Leo Fioravanti and Mikey Wright in surf off for injury wildcard
As mentioned on Swellnet last week, the WSL were in a bind over the men's CT injury wildcards. Three surfers - Leo Fioravanti, Adriano De Souza, and Mikey Wright - had legitimate claims, yet there were only two spots available.
Part of the criteria was past achievements, meaning 2015 world champion ADS was a certainty, while the other contenders each had a genuine claim to the remaining spot.
In lieu of this the WSL has come up with a novel way of deciding who gets it: both Mikey and Leo will enter the three contests of the Australian leg and the person with the most points wins. They'll then surf the remaining eight contests.
From the WSL:
“We have a unique situation with the WSL men’s wildcards for the 2020 season," Pat O’Connell, SVP of Tours and Competition, said. "After reviewing our criteria, as well as the independent medical board assessments, we believe both Leonardo Fioravanti and Mikey Wright have equitable cases for the second 2020 wildcard. After working with our event partners and speaking to both surfers, we have arranged for both Leo and Mikey to compete in the first three CT events of 2020 - Gold Coast, Bells Beach, and Margaret River. The surfer who finishes highest on the rankings across that opening Australian leg will receive the second WSL wildcard for the remainder of the 2020 season.”
Usually there are two event wildcards for each contest, often divvied up between a sponsor wildcard and the winner of local trials, although that can change. Whatever the case, the contest starts with 36 surfers.
At this stage we're unaware which of those options the WSL has done away with to accomodate the two returning surfers, though Swellnet suspects the Corona Open Gold Coast (nee Quiksilver Pro) and the Margaret River Pro - neither of which have surf companies as umbrella sponsors - will simply offer up one Trials place.
We've no idea what will happen down at Bells where the local Trials are as much a part of the fabric as the long-running sponsor, Rip Curl, who like to showcase their up and coming surfers.