Tomorrow marks the beginning of the WSL Founders’ Cup–the first team-format event at the Surf Ranch in Lemoore, CA. Up until yesterday, how exactly the event would unfold logistically remained under wraps. All that was known was that the following five teams were going to compete against each other in some capacity:
Team USA: Kelly Slater (captain), John Florence, Kolohe Andino, Lakey Peterson, and Carissa Moore
Team Australia: Stephanie Gilmore (captain), Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson, Matt Wilkinson, Tyler Wright
Team Brazil: Gabriel Medina (captain), Adriano de Souza, Filipe Toledo, Silvana Lima, Taina Hinckel
Team Global: Jordy Smith (captain), Michel Bourez, Kanoa Igarashi, Paige Hareb, Bianca Buitendag
Team Europe: Johanne Defay (captain), Jeremy Flores, Frederico Morais, Leonardo Fioravanti, Frankie Harrer
Each team (as you can see above) is made up of three men and two women, one of them being the team captain for some reason. And yesterday, the WSL released a press release explaining just how a team winner will be determined. Here’s the WSL’s detailed explanation:
-Five teams of five athletes. Three men, two women per team.
-Each athlete surfs two waves per run (left and right) – each wave scored out of 10.
-Each athlete will surf six waves across three runs during the Qualifying Round – three rights, three lefts.
-Each athlete’s top-scoring left and top-scoring right will contribute to the Team Total.
-Ten waves (each of the five team members’ contributing top-scoring left and right) are added up to a maximum team total of 100.
-Top three scoring teams out of the five qualify for the Final.
-Three remaining teams of five athletes. Three men, two women per team.
-Each athlete surfs two waves per heat (left and right) – each wave scored out of 10.
-The athlete’s best scoring single wave (out of either the left or right) will make up his or her heat total (out of a possible 10).
-There will be five three-surfer heats in the Final.
-Differing from the Qualifying Round, the Final will assign points for each heat placing toward the Team Total.
-For Heats 1 – 3: 1st: 2 points, 2nd: 1 point, 3rd: 0 points
-For Heats 4 – 5: 1st: 4 points, 2nd: 1 point, 3rd: 0 points
-Heat 4 will be contested by women, heat 5 by men.
-Heats 4 and 5 will matter! Let’s see who the Captains assign to these heats!
– In the event of a Tie, there will be a Surf Off to decide the winner. Surf Off will be one male, one female per team. Each surfer rides one wave each. Both waves count towards the heat total (maximum of 20 points per team) to determine the winner.
If that sounds a bit complicated, just know that the team with the highest score wins in the end. The athletes are currently testing out their boards at the Surf Ranch’s flawless lineup. With this scoring system in mind, who do you think will hoist the team trophy on finals day?
Tune in later today to see how today’s practice run unfolds and to hear what Slater, Medina, Gilmore, Smith and Defay have to say during the team captain press conference.