The season’s end is near with two more events until the top 5 Championship Tour (CT) men and women battle at the Rip Curl WSL Finals at Lower Trestles. Gold medalists Carissa Moore and Italo Ferreira are shredding and should be shoo-ins for the final five. Before the Tour makes its way to California, 36 men and 18 women will compete at the Corona Open Mexico presented by Quicksilver.
The CT returns to Barra De La Cruz 15 years after it was coined the best break in pro surfing history. Rarely do you hear “perfect” from surfers when describing a wave, but at the Rip Curl Search 2006, Kelly Slater, Taj Burrow, Pancho Sullivan, Mick Fanning and Joel “Parko” Parkison collectively used an endless number of superlatives to describe this break. In 2006, the surfers were given four straight days of six- to eight-foot hollow right-handers that could barrel for 20 seconds on the sand-bottomed point.
The wave allows surfers to deploy all tricks in their repertoire — massive carves, huge snapbacks, continuous barrels and ariels; we could be in for another four days of perfection if the conditions allow. There’s a handful of surfers in both the men’s and women’s who need a good finish to either get into the top 5 or hold their position. We should be in for an exciting event.
Which winner of the Mexico event will have the highest individual wave score in the final?
Will a perfect 10 be scored during the men’s final or the Barra de la Cruz, Mexico, Championship Tour event?
The elusive Perfect 10 was scored relatively early in 2006 by the GOAT himself, Kelly Slater who got barelled twice on one wave. Surfers’ tricks have evolved over the previous 15 years, and we have yet to see the likes of Ferreira, Medina, and Kanoa Igarashi surf these waves. It’ll depend on the conditions, but if it's anywhere close to 2006, we may get multiple 10s.
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Will a perfect 10 be scored during the women’s final or the Barra de la Cruz, Mexico, Championship Tour event?
Surfers like Carissa Moore and Tyler Wright have the power to surf these waves well. They’re not the only surfers who’d be able to nab a perfect score. Rookie Isabella Nichols is surfing exceptionally well and requires a high finish to get closer to the top 5; she sits in eighth-place. She might be taking off deeper and doing tricks with high consequence, which could give her and the other competitors doing the same a better shot at a perfect 10.
Will the highest scoring wave of the men’s final be surfed in the last five minutes of the heat (Each final heat is 40 minus in duration)?
Will the highest scoring wave of the women’s final be surfed in the last five minutes of the heat (Each final heat is 40 minus in duration)?
Which stance will the surfer who wins the men’s event have? (Goofy = right foot forward, Regular = left foot forward)
The regular footers have been surfing really well and five of the final eight surfers are regular stance. We also just saw the best surfer and the best goofy-footer, Gabriel Medina, lose his quarterfinal heat to Deivid Silva, so there’s a better than good chance the regulars win this right-handed break.
Which stance will the surfer who wins the women’s event have? (Goofy = right foot forward, Regular = left foot forward)
The final four surfers in the women’s semifinals are regular stance.
What will the highest scoring wave of the men’s final include?
Watching the 2006 event, you routinely see surfers getting barrelled at least once and sometimes twice on these choice waves. But, the conditions aren’t giving us a ton of barrels on the outside. The highest score should involve a combination of critical and progressive turns into an ariel, but we might not see a barrel like we saw when the late Andy Irons won back in 2006.
Choice: Ariel Maneuver
What will the highest scoring wave of the women’s final include?
Choice: Turns Only
What country will the men’s winner be from?
Two of the final four surfers are going to be from Brazil, with Silva advancing to his first semis of the season and best finish since the Rip Curl Pro Newcastle Pro. Italo is still the resounding favorite, and Brazil should continue its reign in the 2021 season.
What country will the women’s winner be from?
Carissa Moore is an overarching favorite, but the Australians could give her some Fitz (pun intended). Stephanie Gilmore clinched her spot in the top five and has surfed so well throughout the event. This wave is perfectly suited for the seven-time World Champion, which gives her a really good shot at hoisting the trophy at the end of competition
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