We're only a few events away from the Final 5 being locked in for a World Title showdown at Lower Trestles. At this halfway mark of the season, it's unusual to see so many big names languishing despite their pedigree as genuine contenders in years gone by.

As we cast our attention towards the Jeep Surf Ranch Pro there are several surfers who can't afford another poor result if they want to stay within striking distance of the breakaway pack atop of the ratings.

In 2021, Griffin Colapinto has shown his consistency in Australia, chalking up third-place finishes at Narrabeen and Margaret River while maintaining his charismatic persona throughout. The affable American has won hearts and minds all over the world but a CT win still escape him. Dropping two spots after a poor performance at Rottnest, he sits at No. 8 on the rankings heading to Surf Ranch.

ROTTNEST ISLAND, AUS - MAY 17: Griffin Colapinto of USA surfing in Heat 1 of Round 2 of the Rip Curl Rottnest Search presented by Corona on MAY 17, 2021 in Rottnest Island, WA, Australia.(Photo by Matt Dunbar/World Surf League via Getty Images) Griffin Colapinto is still within striking distance of the Final Five - WSL / Matt Dunbar

Colapinto's best result at Surf Ranch came in 2019 at the Freshwater Pro, where he dropped a pair of excellent scores on his way to a third-place finish. There is arguably no other surfer better suited for Finals Playoffs at Lower Trestles where he'll have the home ground advantage. If he wants it, Colapinto is going to have to pull out all the stops at Surf Ranch to rocket back into the Top Five.

Another surfer who has failed to launch this season is Japan's Kanoa Igarashi. The Olympic torchbearer for surfing's debut on the world stage has had a whirlwind couple of years.

ROTTNEST ISLAND, AUS - MAY 16: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) surfing in Heat 2 of Round 1 of the Rip Curl Rottnest Search presented by Corona on MAY 16, 2021 in Rottnest Island, WA, Australia.(Photo by Matt Dunbar/World Surf League via Getty Images) Kanoa Igarashi is further down the rankings than you might expect after some uncharacteristic mistakes during the Australian leg - WSL / Matt Dunbar

His win at the Corona Bali Protected in 2019 shot him into the world title conversation. With supreme confidence on display in and out of the water, and a string of Finals Day appearances since it felt like a question of not if, but when.

However, his Australian leg was far from impressive. He produced the lowest heat total of any surfer in his Quarterfinal against Conner Coffin at Narrabeen. Then, made a strange priority mistake at Margaret River which saw him draw an interference against Matthew McGillivray thus eliminating him from the event.

He may have come into Australia with the wind in his sails but he left completely adrift slipping to No. 9 in the world. But as far as experience goes, Igarashi has clocked more hours at Surf Ranch than many of his peers on the CT. His best result, a third-place finish in 2018 shows he has form. He'll need a win at Lemoore if he wants to write himself back into the world title conversation.

Then there are the under-performing Australians. Aside from Morgan Cibilic who has been the breakout star this season, and Ryan Callinan to a lesser extent the rest of the pack are way off the pace.

Rookie Jack Robinson blew the doors off in his first hit out on the CT at the Pipe Masters. And while he showed signs he wasn't going to roll over with fierce performances against Julian Wilson in Newcastle, his Rookie year so far is well below expectations.

MARGARET RIVER, AUS - MAY 3:  Jack Robinson of Australia surfing in Heat 4 of Round 3 of the Boost Mobile Margaret River Pro presented by Corona on May 3, 2021 in Margaret River, WA, Australia.(Photo by Matt Dunbar/World Surf League via Getty Images) Jack Robinson has yet to live up to his potential on Tour but with Tahiti coming up, expect big things - WSL / Matt Dunbar

With an unproven record at Surf Ranch, he's a wildcard heading into the next event. He has the lethal air game to mix it with the world's best. He's also a tube pig of the highest order and we know how hollow those waves can be on tap. But holding his nerve under pressure will be his greatest test.

Future Aussie Olympian Owen Wright failed to capitalize on the four-event leg on home turf. Even with supreme knowledge of the breaks and the advantage of not having to spend two weeks holed up in a hotel room before the start of the leg, Wright was likely expecting bigger things from himself.

ROTTNEST ISLAND, AUS - MAY 16: Mikey Wright (AUS) and Owen Wright (AUS) surfing in Heat 1 of Round 1 of the Rip Curl Rottnest Search presented by Corona on MAY 16, 2021 in Rottnest Island, WA, Australia.(Photo by Cait Miers/World Surf League via Getty Ima Owen and Mikey Wright surfed their Seeding Round together at Rottnest and will once againt be up against one another in the opening flight at Surf Ranch. - WSL / Cait Miers

It's hard to believe, but Wright was the last Australian male CT athlete to win an event, way back in 2019. As one of the sport's traditional powerhouses, it's an unnerving reality that has seen Brazilians and Americans wrestle back control.

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