Leo Fioravanti and Mikey Wright in surf off for injury wildcard

Stu Nettle
Swellnet Dispatch

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.

Leo (at left) and Mikey, two peas in a pod, both fighting for the same spot on tour

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.

Comments

The Shaper's picture
The Shaper's picture
The Shaper commented Tuesday, 24 Dec 2019 at 8:06am

Who chose those photos? The Itallian smooth stylish.........the Aussie !!! Classic shots.
But can I have Leo's jacket if he loses??? PLEASE??

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Tuesday, 24 Dec 2019 at 8:24am

They were the first two photos that came up in an image search.

I swear....

The Shaper's picture
The Shaper's picture
The Shaper commented Tuesday, 24 Dec 2019 at 10:15am

well that was a gift Stu. Happy Christmas.

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Tuesday, 24 Dec 2019 at 4:53pm

I'm sure they were.
Mikey in a bikini is floating around on the internet also.
He doesn't look so ruff and tough either.

Andrew P's picture
Andrew P's picture
Andrew P commented Tuesday, 24 Dec 2019 at 8:09am

3 Aussie comps, surely MW has a distinct advantage?

Solitude's picture
Solitude's picture
Solitude commented Tuesday, 24 Dec 2019 at 8:35am

Maybe, but they are all predominantly rights so both natural footers should be on pretty equal footing I would’ve thought

hoody's picture
hoody's picture
hoody commented Tuesday, 24 Dec 2019 at 8:53am

In typical WSL fashion making an easy choice difficult.

Mikey-explosive unpredictable great to watch, should be on tour.
Leo-solid powerful, lots of guys like that already on tour.

The big problem is the trials finalists now missing out on a spot, a real negative for up and coming Aussie surfers.

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Tuesday, 24 Dec 2019 at 8:57am

I don't think the WSL will take away the Trials finalists, more so the sponsors pick which is irrelevant for Snapper and margs.

yahabo's picture
yahabo's picture
yahabo commented Tuesday, 24 Dec 2019 at 8:53am

I look forward to this historic matchup between Mikey Wright and Austin Powers.

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Tuesday, 24 Dec 2019 at 4:55pm

Mike myers vs Mikey wright
LOL

Gary G's picture
Gary G's picture
Gary G commented Tuesday, 24 Dec 2019 at 9:12am

Looking at that choice of photos Gary can that you and he have a lot in common, Stu.

Gary’s favourite position is the juxtaposition too.

I’ve created a monster. Cause nobody wants to ride faceys no more, they want Gary; I’m chopped liver.

But if ya want Gary this is what I’ll give ya: a little creatine kiss from a hard licker

Craig's picture
Craig's picture
Craig commented Tuesday, 24 Dec 2019 at 9:25am

Haha, Gary G in fine form ;)

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Tuesday, 24 Dec 2019 at 9:59am

A fine early Chrissy pressie from GaryG

Garryh's picture
Garryh's picture
Garryh commented Tuesday, 24 Dec 2019 at 10:29am

They're both injured right? How is it fair to let 2 injured surfers compete?

WinterSwells

epictard's picture
epictard's picture
epictard commented Tuesday, 24 Dec 2019 at 11:23am

Like sick kids already allowed to stay home from school, they are feeling much better.

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Tuesday, 24 Dec 2019 at 1:29pm

Dr. Stu hands down his 2020 Prognosis on WSL Recovery plan!
Expert medical advice it is... but we'll stick with the spoonful of WSL elixir thanx.

(WSL CT 2018 Ward Chart) > 2019 Outpatient Appointments

1.Frederico Morais....................... 1.Kelly Slater (All Appointments)
2.Caio Ibelli..................................... 2.John John Florence (Missed 6 appointments)
3.Kelly Slater.................................. 3.Caio Ibelli (All Appointments + Killed Twice)
4.John John Florence................... 4.Frederico Morais (Marg's Ward + 7 Appointments)
5.Ethan Ewing............................... 5.Jorgann Couzinet (J Bay + France Triage)
6.Jorgann Couzinet...................... 6.Micheal February (J Bay Operating Theatre )

*Ethan Ewing................................ WSL care plan...Cancel all Appointments.
*France / SA surfers made miracle recoveries at local Hospitals swigging WSL elixir.

(Sick Note)
Micheal February...........................6. (See above WSL miracle elixir cure)

(Nurse's Quarters sponge bath Selfies)
2 > 1.Mikey Wright
1 > 2.Leonardo Fioravanti

http://surf-stats.com/2019/07/event-preview-j-bay/
2019 Extract + Surf Stats - re: Balyn McDonald diagnosis: (Dated J.Bay 2019)

"Caio's elevation came at the expense of Frederico (who was bumped to 2nd replacement) and Ethan (3rd). Frederico will be his 3rd event for the season.Ethan, who should have had 2 already if not for Caio's promotion, is now missing out altogether.
Think I'm bitching needlessly? A 33rd is worth $10,000 (US). That's for losing 2 heats straight. Plus sponsor incentives, exposure, etc.
Maybe the WSL have a good reason to promote Jorgann. Maybe they offered it to Ethan and declined (yeah,right). Eitherway, until the governing body starts acting with transparency and consistency, they will never have the full respect of their fans."

tbb Footnote: WSL deals with Olympic 2020 - France 2024 / ISA / Tahiti.
Olympics-ISA/Surf may require 2 'legitimate French Nationals' WSL Qualifying places.
Only then being able to grant position/s to Surfers from illegitimate French territories.
tbb is only speculating as Tahitian / French rort is front and centre of Teahupoo.

Jorgann was likely a prawn in Pacific Islands colonial slave trade.
Just saying that Ethan may have been held as a Political Prisoner...{ Vive La WSL }

WSL Surf Off may yet blow the lid off Olympic horse trading...
Interesting to see if Outpatients legally qualify for May [2020 ISA Olympic Surf Off]
Coaches + NOC's can elevate fit ISA Olympians ahead of crook WSL chart toppers!

Dr Stu's prognosis: "Skaterz left a spot for a few surf stickers on Olympic cauldron."

Rick Snowden's picture
Rick Snowden's picture
Rick Snowden commented Tuesday, 24 Dec 2019 at 1:50pm

Crisis averted!

scottishsponger's picture
scottishsponger's picture
scottishsponger commented Tuesday, 24 Dec 2019 at 2:53pm

I don’t get it. If they can accommodate both for the first 3 events, why not for the whole year?

Supafreak's picture
Supafreak's picture
Supafreak commented Tuesday, 24 Dec 2019 at 4:34pm

Don’t know if Mickey will be fit shame because he really adds to tour with his performances especially when he was a wild card , it would be nice to see Adriana retire he’s got nothing to prove but neither has slater so l guess it’s wait and see

Solitude's picture
Solitude's picture
Solitude commented Tuesday, 24 Dec 2019 at 7:12pm

How will he not be fit? The mans had a year off for his back......

AndyM's picture
AndyM's picture
AndyM commented Tuesday, 24 Dec 2019 at 7:40pm

Hyperextended the ligaments in his middle finger.

Solitude's picture
Solitude's picture
Solitude commented Wednesday, 25 Dec 2019 at 10:02pm

Ha! Nasty stuff

soz_punter's picture
soz_punter's picture
soz_punter commented Tuesday, 24 Dec 2019 at 4:56pm

Reckon the WSL should also require a dance-off.

Island Bay's picture
Island Bay's picture
Island Bay commented Tuesday, 24 Dec 2019 at 5:26pm

Well one can hold a rail through a turn, and the other one is Mikey Wright.

Go with the former.

benjis babe's picture
benjis babe's picture
benjis babe commented Wednesday, 25 Dec 2019 at 2:05pm

haha I agree.. Leo shreds

OHBILLY's picture
OHBILLY's picture
OHBILLY commented Friday, 27 Dec 2019 at 1:08pm
mattlock's picture
mattlock's picture
mattlock commented Tuesday, 24 Dec 2019 at 6:12pm

At least Mikey stands out with his epileptic style and MP hand jive.I like Leo's surfing but he has a cookie cutter style which is similar to some others on the tour. Although someone will probably injure themselves and they'll both get a go.

Island Bay's picture
Island Bay's picture
Island Bay commented Tuesday, 24 Dec 2019 at 7:04pm

Matlock, I’m no huge Leo fan, but thought Mikey is a bit overrated.

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Tuesday, 24 Dec 2019 at 6:40pm

lol classic pics! The Old World and the New World.

MP vs Ferrari

crg's picture
crg's picture
crg commented Tuesday, 24 Dec 2019 at 6:41pm

Strangely they had no qualms brushing Caio last year but this year it’s too difficult and need a surf off. Another spineless aversion of an opportunity to exhibit strong, transparent leadership.

I'm not cheap,
But I'm free.

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Tuesday, 24 Dec 2019 at 6:51pm

Really curious now, what do you reckon is in the case? It's on a pedestal too...

blackers's picture
blackers's picture
blackers commented Tuesday, 24 Dec 2019 at 8:47pm

A 16 can mini slab of craft beer perhaps? Or maybe one of Gary G's toy sets?

jacksprat's picture
jacksprat's picture
jacksprat commented Friday, 27 Dec 2019 at 3:49pm

Seriously. The finger up, the rough hewn image... the pose for the photo shoot, the stickers on his board. Come on, just another spokes model, different demographic. And anyway, everyone loves a goodie and a baddie.

onetimeonly

Garry Lancaster's picture
Garry Lancaster's picture
Garry Lancaster commented Sunday, 29 Dec 2019 at 10:56am

stiking his finger up what a wanker

liplauncher's picture
liplauncher's picture
liplauncher commented Tuesday, 31 Dec 2019 at 7:19am

just a bit of larrikin fun,
hasn't everyone posed for a photo at some time?