Seven events down. Four events to go. And only 1750 points seperating Adriano de Souza, who’s in 1st place, from Filipe Toledo and Julian Wilson, who are tied for 4th place. It’s about time we start talking about the 2015 World Title race.
Here’s a screenshot from the WSL website that gives you a better idea of the current situation (read current situation in a Joe Turpel voice, please).
To add depth, here’s a sentiment that summarizes the image you just looked at:
It’s a cluster-fuck.
But it’s a cluster-fuck that we should be very grateful for. This is the business end of the 2015 WSL season. We’re at a point where, historically, there has been a real race to talk about. Or at least a real frontrunner to talk about. While Adriano de Souza seems to be sitting pretty with all those yellow highlights near his name, he’s actually treading in (or, more likely doing a floater over) some dangerous waters — he’s left himself no room for error.
The WSL drops a surfer’s worst two results in order to arrive at a year-end point total, so they end up keeping 9 out of 11 results. Adriano is already keeping a 13th in his scoreline. To put that into perspective, the lowest score Gabriel kept in his Title tally last year was a 9th. The year before that, Mick’s World Champ worst was a 5th. Same with Parko in 2012. Here’s a breakdown of the point structure that shows just how unhealthy it is to hold onto a bad result during a Title campaign:
1st = 10,000.
2nd = 8,000
3rd = 6,500
5th = 5,200
9th = 4,000
13th = 1750
25th = Gift certificate redeemable for two entrees and appetizer at any Ruby Tuesdays restaurant in the Continental United States
But Adriano isn’t swimming in (or, more likely doing a cutback through) those dangerous waters alone. Mick netted a pair of 13ths this year. So has Owen. So has Kelly. Filipe and Julian are also already holding onto 13ths in their respective tallies. So, really, the whole thing is a strip club buffet of intermittent success and missed opportunities. But it’s a beautiful one. One that’ll make things exciting to watch.
The final four events feature three high performance waves and Pipeline. The three pack — Lowers, France and Portugal — all happen relatively quickly, but then the race rests on ice for a month-and-a-half before closing at Pipe. You’ll probably see someone (my bet is Julian) heat up for the next three and have to defend his lead (and last year’s win) at Pipe. El Niño seems to have some special plans this year, so we have a lot to look forward to.