The Quiksilver Pro France gave us the first big shakeup on the WSL’s 2018 Jeep Leaderboard when the now-former owner of the yellow jersey, Filipe Toledo, relinquished his lead to former champ, Gabriel Medina. Toledo took his second throwaway thirteenth of the year. Gabriel Medina made an appearance in the semis. And Julian Wilson won it all.
And now we have a three-man title race.
The World Tour has two more stops left and Gabriel Medina is the only one in position to potentially win it all before everything wraps up at the Pipe Masters in December. With that said, this is the time year when we start to get really curious about how the race could shape up and all those “who needs what” points scenarios. Without wasting more of your precious internet reading minutes with trivialities, here are the three scenarios the WSL has laid out for Medina’s, Toledo’s, and Wilson’s title chances before the MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal:
– Only Medina can claim the title in Portugal by winning the event.
– If Medina wins the event, Toledo will need a ninth or better and Wilson a third or better to take the World Title decision to Hawaii.
– If Medina finishes second or worse in Portugal, the WSL Title will be decided in Hawaii.
A little more than 4,000 points separate all three men in the standings.
“After France, I’m just excited to be back in the Title conversation,” Julian Wilson said. “And it’s looking like we are going to be greeted with really good swell the next few weeks here. I just got to town and came straight to the press conference. I drove down from France with my family. I’m pretty tired right now but the rumors on the forecast got me pumped. Let’s get this started.”
Last year, Julian Wilson actually knocked Gabs out of Portugal in the semis and won the whole event in 2012 where he defeated, you guessed it, Gabriel Medina in the final. Meanwhile, Medina is the defending champ at the MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal but he also has a list of his career throwaway scores there — as many as any other spot on the tour. And as for Filipe, he’s notched a 13th and a 25th in Portugal since winning there in 2015.
If Vegas sportsbooks took bets on the world tour I’d put my money on the title race making it to Oahu this year. But then again, I have a notoriously bad sports betting record. Either way, at least things are interesting at the top of the rankings.