If you hadn’t already heard, the WSL found a way to have surfing contests again. It’s been a while — the last event was back in March, right before the Coronavirus shut down the planet. Well, the first one is back in the water on August 9th, and it’s called the Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold Rumble at the Ranch. It is, as the name implies, at the Surf Ranch. It’s a bit of a different format than usual, though: surfing is a team sport at the Rumble. And the World Surf League just released the teams.
Pat O’Connell and Jessi Miley-Dyer sat down across a computer together and picked names randomly out of hats. Miley-Dyer picked the women’s names while O’Connell picked the men’s. The Rumble is a mixed doubles event (read about how exactly the format works here) with each team surfing four waves — a right and a left for both surfers. The top scores from each surfer added together to make the overall heat score, and the team with the best score moves on to the next round. There are a few additions to the rules which make strategy important (see here for the WSL’s explanation of “the rebate surf”).
The teams are interesting, to say the least. Here they are, as per the WSL’s release:
Filipe Toledo / Coco Ho:
Filipe Toledo’s progressive and inspirational surfing has brought him eight CT event wins since his first year on tour in 2013. At the age of 25, the regular-footed surfer has made San Clemente, California his home. Toledo’s best result from the 2019 season was winning the Oi Rio Pro event. In 2018, Toledo famously threw three airs on a single wave during the Surf Ranch Pro.
Coco Ho from the North Shore of Oahu returns to the wave pool once again. Ho tore her MCL attempting an air reverse at the Waco wave pool in July of 2019. This put her out of the jersey for two months, forcing her to miss the Nissan Super Girl Pro, Vans US Open of Surfing, and the Corona Open J-Bay. She later returned to Waco to conquer the maneuver that led to her injury. Now back and better than ever, Ho will be one to watch at the Ranch.
Kolohe Andino / Alyssa Spencer:
Kolohe Andino from San Clemente, California finished the 2019 season at number five in the world. At 26 years of age, the regular footer calls the iconic Lowers Trestles his home spot. Andino’s best result at the Ranch is a 9th place finish at the Surf Ranch Pro. He has a versatile mixture of aerial maneuvers, barrel riding, and power-house turns to pull from.
17-year-old Alyssa Spencer from Encinitas, California is no new face to the Surf Ranch. Spencer visited the wave pool during the Surf Ranch Rising Tides Event in 2019. The young goofy-footer mixes up her surfing with powerful frontside turns and a sharp backhand which will make her a tough competitor at the specialty event.
Seth Moniz / Carissa Moore:
Four-time World Champion Carissa Moore has been a stand out at the Surf Ranch over the years. She took home the win at the 2018 Surf Ranch Pro and finished 3rd to Lakey Peterson in the 2019 Freshwater Pro. At 27-years of age Moore uses her powerful and proactive surfing as an advantage in the pool.
Hawaiian young blood Seth Moniz joined the Championship Tour in 2019. The 22-year-old positioned himself at World No. 12 on the Jeep Leaderboard last season, proving himself as one of the world’s best. Moniz has yet to find his feet at the Surf Ranch, taking a 17th place finish at the Freshwater Pro.
Kelly Slater / Sage Erickson:
11-time World Champion and wave pool pioneer Kelly Slater returns to the jersey, competing at the 2020 Rumble at the Ranch specialty event. The 48-year-old regular footer finished in the top 10 of the men’s 2019 Championship Tour. Slater’s best finish at the wave pool so far has been a 3rd place during the 2018 Freshwater Pro, and few know the wave at The Ranch better than him.
29-year-old Sage Erickson from Ojai, California made her debut to the Championship Tour in 2012. Erickson won the Vans US Open in 2019 — was one of two QS wins last year which saw her requalify for the Championship Tour. Her best result at the Ranch is a 9th, at the Surf Ranch Pro.
Conner Coffin / Kirra Pinkerton:
Santa Barbara local Conner Coffin will be bringing his authoritative style to the Surf Ranch on August 9th. The regular footer made his debut on the Championship Tour in 2016 with his best performance being runner up at the MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal his rookie year.
San Clemente local Kirra Pinkerton has frequented the wave pool over the past few years. She was a part of the Surf Ranch Rising Tides Event in 2019 along with Alyssa Spencer. Pinkerton was on to a great start on the 2020 Women’s Qualifying Series season with back to back third-place finishes at the SLO CAL Open at Pismo Beach and the Sisstrevolution Central Coast Pro.
Adriano De Souza / Caroline Marks:
Adriano de Souza, the 2015 World Champion, will be returning to the jersey after an injury that kept him out for most of the 2019 season. At 33 years of age, Souza is the second Brazilian to ever win a World Title and is a fierce leader of the Brazilian storm.
18-year-old Caroline Marks finished the 2019 season as the second-best female surfer in the world. Marks won both the 2019 Boost Mobile Pro Gold Coast and MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal. The young Floridian grew up surfing Melbourne Beach enjoying the lefts on her frontside. At the 2019 Freshwater Pro, Marks took her surfing above the lip and landed an air reverse.
Griffin Colapinto / Lakey Peterson:
Griffin Colapinto is arguably the most feared of the next generation of Championship Tour athletes. The San Clemente local has been a standout at the Ranch, especially during 2019 Freshwater Pro where he took home a third-place finish. Colapinto’s ability to mix up innovative maneuvers makes him one of the most versatile surfers on tour and one to keep an eye out for during the Rumble at the Ranch.
Lakey Peterson grew up surfing the notorious Rincon right point break on her front side. The Santa Barbara local ended the 2019 season as world number three and will return to the jersey for the Michelob ULTRA Pure Gold Rumble at the Ranch. Peterson has been a standout at the Ranch since 2018 where she placed third at the Surf Ranch Pro and in 2019 when she won the Freshwater Pro.
Kanoa Igarashi / Tatiana Weston-Webb:
Born in Huntington Beach, California, and of Japanese descent, Kanoa Igarashi holds dual citizenship and is set to represent Japan in the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games. Igarashi made his Championship debut in 2016 and has continually increased his rankings over the years, ending the 2019 season at world number six. The regular footer has been a contender at the Ranch since 2018 where he placed third at the Surf Ranch Pro.
Brazilian born and Hawaiian raised goofy-footer, Tatiana Weston-Webb has been on the tour for nearly half a decade. Since joining the Championship Tour in 2015, Weston-Webb has maintained a spot in the women’s top ten and continuously proven her ability in all types of surf. She is best known for her Championship Tour victory at the Vans US Open of Surfing.
Tune in for the event on August 9th at Worldsurfleague.com