Mikey Wright and Leo Fioravanti in three-heat surf off for injury wildcard
A quick flashback to late 2019:
Three surfers - Adriano de Souza, Mikey Wright, and Leo Fioravanto - apply for the two injury wildcards. Being a past world champ and having hurt himself in competition, ADS is a shoo-in for the first wildcard, but as for the second wildcard, the Wozzle can't split Leo and Mikey so they opt for a novel solution.
That being, each will surf the three contests of the 2020 Australian leg and whoever finishes ahead will receive the wildcard for the rest of the season.
But before the first contest began COVID threw a spanner in the works and now the Woz have had to restructure the world tour, meaning they've again had to concoct a way to split the applicants. This time 'round, Mikey and Leo will surf three man-on-man heats with the winner progressing through the rest of the season - though surfing three heats at Pipe with just one other surfer is a good consolation prize for the loser.
The loser of the best-of-three will get the first replacement spot for the rest of the 2021 season. Already Ace Buchan has indicated he won't be surfing Pipe as he'd then have to spend Christmas in quarantine, so it's likely neither Leo or Mikey will 'lose' at Pipe.
The first of Leo and Mikey's heats will take place between the first and second rounds of the local trials for the Pipe Masters, the second will happen between the semi-final and the final of the trials and, if needed, the decider will run on the first day of the main event.
The main event for Pipe begins on the 8th December, and though it's nearly two weeks away the forecast is looking good.