Challenger Series Complete, Championship Tour Qualifiers Determined
Over the weekend, Erin Brooks and Samuel Pupo won the Saquarema Pro, the final stop on the 2023 Challenger Series. 16-year old Erin Brooks defeated Sophie McCulloch in the women’s Final and Samuel Pupo was victorious over Mihimana Braye in the men’s Final.
With the completion of the contest, the final 2024 CT qualifiers were also determined, seeing Isabella Nichols take the final spot in the women’s division and Kade Matson and Deivid Silva obtain the remaining spots in the men’s division.
The two men's spots were decided in consecutive heats. Eli Hanneman had a come from behind victory over Michael Rodrigues that guaranteed qualification for Kade Matson (while cruelling M-Rod's chance), while in the following heat, Samuel Pupo defeated Hanneman, which guaranteed the return of Deivid Silva to the CT.
Overall, Australians suffered mixed fortunes, having just one surfer qualify in the men's (in contrast, the US/Hawaii had six), yet in the women's, three of the five qualifiers were Aussies.
The final ten men’s qualifiers for the 2024 Championship Tour are in order:
- Cole Houshmand (USA)
- Samuel Pupo (BRA)
- Jacob Willcox (AUS)
- Crosby Colapinto (USA)
- Eli Hanneman (HAW)
- Imaikalani deVault (HAW)
- Frederico Morais (PRT)
- Jake Marshall (USA)
- Kade Matson (USA)
- Deivid Silva (BRA
For the women, Nadia Erostarbe (EUK) needed to win the event to jump into the fifth and final place that would qualify her for the 2024 Championship Tour. Erostarbe came close, but was taken down by Brooks, the eventual winner, leaving qualification with Isabella Nichols.
The list of the final five women’s athletes that qualified for the 2024 Championship Tour include:
- India Robinson (AUS)
- Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS)
- Sawyer Lindblad (USA)
- Alyssa Spencer (USA)
- Isabella Nichols (AUS)
The 2024 Challenger Series schedule is yet to be announced.