We have heard mixed reviews of the athletes’ thoughts on the mid year cut off, from a marketing and entertainment point of view, it’s pretty great, but maybe with such a big cut halfway through the season the WSL can now add more women to the CT tour?
With the rest of the forecast for Bells looking a little unpredictable, we have our sights set on some of the new faces on tour and how they can handle the lesser quality of surf at Bells. They’ve just come off the challenger series and the qualifying series where it’s really only small, unpredictable waves and then to come onto the CT and be sent out at Winki or Bells, it seems as though it will be the rookies bread and butter with the swell potentially not really consistently forecasted to get over 3 to 4ft for the whole time allocation.
But there are a few people who need to do well in this event to have the pressure lifted off their shoulders for Margs and the dreaded cut off. For people like Isabella Nichols, Luana Silva and (the now eliminated from contest) Molly Picklum, they would really be trying to get to quarters or above to help them solidify a spot in the top 10 and from some of the clips that have been dropped on social media, they are ripping and a good chance of at least a quarters finish. With Molly being knocked out already, it leaves the door open for people below her to get a good result here and carry that momentum into Margies.
It is really unusual seeing 7 time world champion Steph Gilmore sitting at number 14 in the ratings and potentially (without a good result or two) heading back to the challenger series. In the last 10 times that Steph has surfed Bells she hasn’t finished worse than a 5th which is really something that she is going to need to aim for to get above that cut-off line.
Sally, Courtney and Bronte all really need to get to at least the semi’s or above to make it a breezy time in WA. With the event having a small window, it is going to be hard to beat the smaller ladies out there who have been surfing events in below average sized CT waves for so long. But can experience beat small wave surfing? Can knowledge beat youthful energy? We are so excited to see what the event has in store because we really cannot put a name on a winner for this one. What do you think? Who do you see winning and staying above the cut off line?
To follow the event live go to: www.worldsurfleague.com