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World Team captain Jordy Smith led his team to a win at the Founders' Cup in Lemoore, California. Photo: WSL

World Team captain Jordy Smith led his team to a win at the Founders’ Cup in Lemoore, California. Photo: WSL


The Inertia

Well, the Founders’ Cup is in the books. Team World came out victorious, which was a surprise to many. At the outset, most of the money was on Team Brazil or Team USA, but Jordy Smith, Michel Bourez, Bianca Buitendag, Kanoa Igarashi, and Paige Hareb put their collective talents together and emerged victorious.

Team Brazil consisted of Gabriel Medina, Filipe Toledo, Taina Hinckel, Adriano de Souza, and Silvana Lima. Team USA was Kelly Slater, John John Florence, Lakey Peterson, Carissa Moore, and Kolohe Andino. The Australia Team consisted of Tyler Wright, Stephanie Gilmore, Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson, and Matt Wilkinson, while Team Europe was Frederico Morais, Frankie Harrer, Johanne Defay, Jeremy Flores, and Leonardo Fioravanti.

Of course, the immediately obvious advantage went to Slater’s team, as Kelly Slater is the original Lemoore local. As it turned out, however, local knowledge doesn’t amount to much when each wave is almost a carbon copy of the previous one. The only perfect ten of the event came when Filipe Toledo took off on his second right and, after nailing a barrel and jamming way too many turns off the top, took to the air.

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When it came down to the final, it all came down to World Team captain Jordy Smith, who earned a 9.27 over US Team and the Brazil Team.

The wave itself did what it was supposed to do—except for a short hour when it went down—and the event was a success. A sold-out crowd watched from the bleachers, cheering on their surfing heroes like a football audience. CBS and Bleacher Report joined the WSL in broadcasting the event. And with that, surfing has officially dipped its big toe into the mainstream.

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