The Longboard Tour is back with the Cuervo Surf Ranch Classic and the action in Lemoore, California, is already well underway.
The women's Qualifying Round kicked off today with some of the world's best taking to the basin, while the men's Qualifying Round will be broadcast live beginning at 8:30am PDT Wednesday, September 29, with all 18 competitors awaiting their first scoring rides.
Great performances from the women have been unfolding throughout their Qualifying Round as they compete for their spot into the Top 4, which will be decided by day's end.
Women's Qualifying Round: Soleil Errico Leads the Charge
Surfers' practice rounds were moved to this morning and women's Round 1 will be completed by day's end. But, some of the next generation and former WSL Champion Soleil Errico have locked in their two scoring rides and await their fate as more of the world's best make their debuts later today.
Errico's poise and style on the nose through the offshore wind blowing up the face of the right-hander to garner an excellent 8.90 (out of a possible 10) before posting a 6.67 on the left to accrue an immaculate 15.57 (out of a possible 20) -- not improving on either score in her second run. The Malibu, California, competitor's experience at the Cuervo Surf Ranch Classic specialty event in 2020 gave her confidence coming into familiar territory.
"It's always nerve-wracking out there," Errico said. "It's quiet and there's no one out there but you, it's all you. I'm just thankful I was here at the last Cuervo event and I think that really helped me, and I think I just need to trust my surfing. (This wave) will never be the same every time so you have to adapt. A big result here would mean everything. I've been working really hard and to win this event and the World Title would be great."
Australian talent White, 21, started her LT career in 2017 and now finds herself among the world's best longboarders in search of World Titles. Her ability to maneuver through the wave and keep her footwork moving garnered a 10.04 heat total as she currently sits at No. 3 on the leaderboard.
"It's amazing to be here and there's so many Australians that rip who couldn't be so I feel like I'm carrying them on my shoulders," said White. "Once you get over the initial nerves and buzz of actually being here, and focusing on the wave, it's really special. I feel like I settled into it compared to the practice waves this morning and I'm so excited to have this opportunity."
Two-time World Title runner-up Chloe Calmon added her name to the event threat list with an impressive follow-up to her opening waves -- tallying a 7.53 on her final to jump to No. 2 on the leaderboard. Calmon's morning session helped expunge her nerves and is now ready to make a surge toward her fourth-career LT win.
"It still hasn't sunk in that I'm here and I have to pinch myself but it was nice to get those waves in the morning and wash the pressure off," said Calmon. "But I just over-thought my right and fell, and when I went to get my left I just stopped for a second and realized how blessed we are to be here. I've been dreaming to come here for so long and just enjoy the opportunity -- and it ended up being my best wave."
Updated Cuervo Surf Ranch Format
The format has changed following the men's and womens' Qualifying Round. Each surfer will still receive two rights and two lefts in the Qualifying Round to determine the leaderboard standings. However, now the respective Top 8 will be narrowed down to the Top 4 competitors vying for the event titles in the Final.
Women's Cuervo Surf Ranch Classic Current Leaderboard:
1. Soleil Errico (USA) 15.67
2. Chloe Calmon (BRA) 13.46
3. Sally Cohen (HAW) 13.30
4. Avalon Gall (USA) 13.03
5. Alice Lemoigne (FRA) 12.97
6. Honolua Blomfield (HAW) 12.60
7. Kelis Kaleopa'a (HAW) 11.47
8. Natsumi Taoka (JPN) 10.80
Schedule For Wednesday, September 29, 2021
The men's Qualifying Round begins at 7:08am PDT with the live broadcast beginning at 8:30am PDT to cover all the action through to the Finals beginning at 5:00pm PDT. Some of the world's best are on deck with the full list of competitors below:
Justin Quintal (USA)
Rodrigo Sphaier (BRA)
Taylor Jensen (USA)
Kaniela Stewart (HAW)
Kai Sallas (HAW)
Steven Sawyer (ZAF)
Harrison Roach (AUS)
Tony Silvagni (USA)
Ben Skinner (GBR)
Edouard Delpero (FRA)
Lucas Garrido Lecca (PER)
Taka Inoue (JPN)
Cole Robbins (USA)
Jefson Silva (BRA)
Phil Rajzman (BRA)
Joel Tudor (USA)
Kevin Skvarna (USA)
Augusto Olinto (BRA)