Stephanie Gilmore will lead a strong Australian team on a man-made wave in California this weekend.Shark fears among the world’s best surfers will be momentarily put to rest over the weekend when they lock horns on what’s been dubbed the “best man-made wave in history”.
The recent Margaret River Pro in Western Australia was sensationally abandoned midway through after two nearby shark attacks.
Surfers were spooked by the attacks, with 2014 world champion Gabriel Medina even contemplating not returning to Margaret River next year.
But there will be no such worries this weekend at the WSL Surf Ranch in California, which produces a 640 metre, bi-directional, man-made wave featuring barrel and manoeuvre sections.
The facility has used the help of 11-time world champion Kelly Slater to fine tune the technology to produce a stunning artificial wave.
Now, the world’s best surfers will get to have their turn on it when they compete in the inaugural Founders’ Cup of Surfing.
Crowds of about 5000 people are expected to watch the USA, Brazil, Australia, Europe, and World teams battle it out on what the WSL claims is the “best man-made wave in history”.
Slater will return from a foot injury to captain team America in the two-day event.
Stephanie Gilmore will skipper a strong Australian outfit featuring Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson, Tyler Wright, and Matt Wilkinson.
HOW IT WORKS
*Five teams of five athletes. Three men, two women per team.
*Each athlete surfs six waves (three left, three right) during the qualifying round. Each wave scored out of 10.
*Each athlete’s top-scoring left and top-scoring right will contribute to the Team Total (maximum score of 100).
*Top three scoring teams out of the five qualify for the Final.
TEAMS Australia: Stephanie Gilmore, Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson, Tyler Wright, Matt Wilkinson.
Brazil: Gabriel Medina, Filipe Toledo, Adriano de Souza, Silvana Lima, Tiana Hinckel.
Europe: Jeremy Flores, Frederico Morais, Leonardo Fioravanti, Frankie Harrer, Johanne Defay.
US: Kelly Slater, John John Florence, Carissa Moore, Lakey Peterson, Kolohe Andino
World: Jordy Smith (RSA), Bianca Buitendag (RSA), Michel Bourez (FRA), Kanoa Igarashi (JPN), Paige Hareb (NZL).
Australian Associated Press