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Nathan Hedge will make his first appearance on the CT since 2014 at the Tahiti Pro. Photo: WSL


The Inertia

Nathan Hedge last competed in a Championship Tour event in 2014 at the very place he’ll be making a return appearance with the Championship Tour. The WSL announced Thursday that Hedge will be a Wildcard replacement on the Men’s CT in place of Gabriel Medina, who won the event twice and appeared in all but one Teahupo’o Final in that same span of time. Yago Dora will be stepping in as another injury replacement for the event, in place of World No. 18 Kolohe Andino.

That leaves the only possible local representation in wildcard selections to the women’s side of the event bracket, where Vahine Fierro will be competing in her third CT event. She’s represented France twice before in past ROXY Pro events in Hossegor and has been a full-time competitor on this year’s Challenger Series. But beyond that, Vahine has spent her fair share of time in the Teahupo’o lineup, which should make her an exciting watch in the women’s draw this year.

The Championship Tour season was cut short just before coming to Teahupo’o in 2021 due to a COVID-19 state of emergency. The women’s tour was set to compete at Teahupo’o for the first time with a quick turnaround following the 2021 Corona Open Mexico. Meanwhile, the Tahitian government shut down its borders in response to an uptick of COVID-19 cases, prompting WSL officials to declare they’d finish out the year at Barra de la Cruz and skip straight ahead to September’s WSL Finals at Lower Trestles.

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