For the first time in the history of the WSL Championship Tour, the 2021 World Champion will be decided by a one-day, winner-take-all event titled the Rip Curl WSL Finals.
After a season of chasing ratings points and glory around the globe, it comes down to a single day of competition at Lower Trestles. The stakes couldn't be higher or the pressure greater. Here's how it's all going to go down:
Who: The Rip Curl WSL Finals will feature the esteemed WSL Final 5 -- the top five men and women on the WSL's Championship Tour Leaderboard at the end of the 2021 regular season.
The WSL Final 5 will be decided based on points accrued during the regular CT season. The top six out of eight results will be counted in the final WSL Leaderboard rankings.
Where: The venue for the Rip Curl WSL Finals is Lower Trestles, San Clemente, California, the famed cobblestone point that is considered one of the most high-performance waves in the world.
When: The Rip Curl WSL Finals waiting period will run from September 9 to 17, 2021. With a nine-day waiting period during prime season at Lower Trestles, optimum conditions will dictate when the single-day event is ultimately called on.
At the end of the regular season, the number one rated male and female surfer will both receive a bid directly into the Title Match, a best-of-three showdown to determine the World Champion.
The remaining surfers will enter the Rip Curl WSL Finals bracket based on their year-end rankings.
The women will be the first to take the water with the men surfing in the following Match. Women and men will alternate for the remainder of the day.
Match 1: The number five ranked surfer will compete against the fourth ranked surfer in the first Match of the day in a head-to-head competition with a traditional heat format.
Match 2: The winner of Match 1 will then face-off against the number three ranked surfer in a head-to-head competition with a traditional heat format.
Match 3: The winner of Match 2 will then face-off against the number two ranked surfer in a head-to-head competition with a traditional heat format.
- Title Match: The winner of Match 3 will move on to the best-of-three Title Match, where they will face the World Number 1 in a head-to-head competition with a traditional heat format. The first surfer to win two out of three heats becomes the undisputed 2021 World Champion.