First Wave

Inside Sport - - PUNTER’S CHANCE -

The world’s top surfers em­bark upon an­other World Surf League cam­paign, but one with some new-look el­e­ments to it. Fiji is off the sched­ule, re­placed by a visit to Bali, but the most pro­found dif­fer­ence comes in Septem­ber, when the WSL es­chews its usual Cal­i­for­nia stop at Tres­tles for Surf Ranch Le­moore – site of Kelly Slater’s wave pool, three hours’ drive in­land from the coast. Be­fore we get to ar­ti­fi­cial surf, the sea­son be­gins in a most fa­mil­iar place, Snap­per Rocks (above), for the Quik­sil­ver Pro Gold Coast (from Mar 11). The ques­tion on the com­pe­ti­tion side is also fa­mil­iar: who will stop reign­ing champs John John Florence and Tyler Wright, each pur­su­ing a ti­tle three-peat?

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