LEMOORE, Calif./USA (Thursday, July 19, 2018) - The World Surf League (WSL) has announced that global surfing icon Bethany Hamilton (HAW) will rejoin the lineup against the world's best female surfers at the first-ever Surf Ranch Pro presented by Hurley, Stop No. 8 of the Women's Championship Tour (CT), September 6 - 9 in Lemoore, Calif. Hamilton's previous wildcard performances at the Fiji Women's Pro were some of the best by any wildcard in recent years, earning a Semifinal appearance in 2016 -- eliminating eventual WSL Champion Tyler Wright (AUS).
It was an easy choice for the WSL Commissioner's Office to select the 28-year-old, Kauai-born surfer after her display of barrel riding at the WSL Surf Ranch just weeks ago. Hamilton poses a considerable threat to the top seeds and, with her decorated track record as a wildcard, anything can happen. This event will be Hamilton's ninth CT appearance.
Hamilton has become a source of inspiration to millions through her story of determination, faith, and hope. At the age of 13, she lost her left arm to a shark, seemingly ending her surfing career. Against the odds, the "Soul Surfer" returned to the lineup and went on to realize her dream of surfing professionally. Using her platform as a pro surfer to promote living an epic lifestyle, she has published books, taken on motivational speaking, and is nearly ready to launch a new App aimed to help her followers become unstoppable in their own lives and challenges.
"I'm so excited to be competing at the Surf Ranch Pro," Hamilton said when learning of her Wildcard selection. "I love the idea of competing in a semi-controlled environment. It's great to know what I'm getting with the waves and to be on the same playing field as everyone else. All of us girls are just going to be going to town, shredding it."
Hamilton is currently at WSL Surf Ranch for a pre-event training session. She plans to focus on "Getting dialed in on the wave and fine-tuning my turns. I'm going to be working hard on what I have, and hone in on my own wave skill. It's just mesmerizing that it's really three waves in one, so learning how to maximize each section is going to be key in the competition. I'm excited to get out there and start working on it."
Surf Ranch Pro marks her first event back after giving birth to her newborn son, Wesley, in March of this year. Hamilton's strength and perseverance goes unrivaled, handling the everyday obligations of motherhood while still pursuing her career as a surfer and inspirational speaker. In April, Hamilton premiered her new film ‘Unstoppable' at the Tribeca Film Festival which was well-received by audiences and critics alike.
She will look to be unstoppable once again in September when she heads to Central California to compete at the inaugural Surf Ranch Pro, the first time since 1985 that a wave system event will help decide a World Championship Title. Her goal is to put together a strong mental game plan, stay calm and not let nerves get the best of her.
"With all the people there watching, the energy is going to feel really different. It's going to be amazing to compete amongst all the fans and be with all the girls again," Hamilton said.
"We're thrilled that Bethany has been awarded the wildcard for this historic event," said WSL CEO Sophie Goldschmidt. "She's both a world-class surfer and an inspirational woman and we can't wait to see her performance at the Surf Ranch."
About WSL Surf Ranch: One hundred miles inland, the WSL Surf Ranch is home to the longest and finest open-barrel man-made wave in the world. As a prototype testing facility, the WSL Surf Ranch and KSWC engineers, scientists and visionaries continue refining, improving and adding versatility to a huge combination of waves available at the push of a button. Expect to see additional wave enhancements during Surf Ranch Pro that will challenge the competitors to bring their creative and technical best to Lemoore.
Surf Ranch Tickets: Full event general admission packages (Friday - Sunday) start at $199 for adults. Daily passes are $99 each. Grom tickets are available at a discounted rate and all proceeds from grom ticket purchases will be donated to PURE, WSL's ocean health initiative. Up the ante and enjoy a VIP experience that includes an exclusive VIP viewing deck, elevated food options and an open bar for $499.
Grab a group and share a private cabana for a memorable experience, or splurge for the ultimate experience and after watching incredible surfing all weekend, jump in and ride the waves with the Surf Ranch Experience package. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org to coordinate these packages.
In addition Hamilton has a giveaway going on through July 24th, which includes the chance to win two VIP tickets to the Surf Ranch Pro to see her compete, for more info click HERE
For more information and to purchase tickets, visit WSLSurfRanchPro.com
Surf Ranch Media Credentials: To apply for a media credential to attend and cover the WSL Surf Ranch Pro please complete the online application form here: bit.ly/SRPPress