LOS ANGELES, California/USA (Tuesday, May 26, 2015) – The world’s best surfers are converging on the idyllic setting of Tavarua and Namotu in the remote South Pacific to contest Stop No. 5 of the 2015 Samsung Galaxy WSL Championship Tour (CT), the Fiji Pro, from May 31 – June 19, 2015.
Held at the world-class reef passes of Cloudbreak and Restaurants, the Fiji Pro epitomizes the WSL mantra of “world’s best surfers, world’s best waves,” and the event will recommence this season’s electric hunt for the world surfing crown. Up first will be the WSL Top 17 contesting the Fiji Women’s Pro from May 31 to June 5.
Mahina Maeda (HAW), reigning WSL Women’s Junior Champion, has been allocated a wildcard into the Fiji Women’s Pro where the young Hawaiian will take on the world’s best female surfers, beginning with two-time World Champion and current frontrunner on the Jeep Leaderboard Carissa Moore (HAW) and European threat Johanne Defay (FRA) in Round 1.
Moore has had a sensational start in 2015, claiming back-to-back wins at the opening events of the year on the Gold Coast and at Bells Beach as well as a 2nd and a 3rd in Margaret River and Rio de Janeiro respectively.
Courtney Conlogue (USA), into her fifth season amongst the world’s elite, is coming into the Fiji Women’s Pro as the form surfer of the moment with back-to-back wins at Margaret River and Rio de Janeiro. Sidelined with an injury in 2014, the young Californian is in the middle of her best title campaign yet.
Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), defending event winner in Fiji, has had an uncharacteristically slow start to 2015, currently sitting at 6th on the WSL CT rankings. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), reigning six-time WSL Champion, is currently tentative for the Fiji Women’s Pro due to a knee injury sustained in Western Australia in April. Gilmore was absent at the Oi Rio Women’s Pro.
Following the completion of the Fiji Women’s Pro, the world’s best male surfers will take on Cloudbreak and Restaurants for the Fiji Pro from June 7 to 19.
Dane Reynolds (USA), former World No. 4 and celebrated innovator of high-performance surfing, has been allocated the wildcard for the 2015 Fiji Pro. Reynolds will face three-time WSL Champion Mick Fanning (AUS) and Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) in Round 1 of competition.
Adriano de Souza (BRA) and Filipe Toledo (BRA) currently sit 1st and 2nd on the WSL Jeep Leaderboard heading into the Fiji Pro. Presently the two leaders of the ‘Brazilian Storm’ phenomenon, De Souza represents experience and power surfing while Toledo champions youth and aerial prowess. Gabriel Medina (BRA), reigning WSL Champion and defending Fiji Pro winner, has had a rough start to the 2015 Samsung Galaxy WSL Championship Tour, currently sitting at 19th, and will look to re-engage in the South Pacific.
Kelly Slater (USA), 11-time World Champion, is one of the most experienced and dynamic surfers ever out at Cloudbreak and Restaurants and the current World No. 13 will be one to watch heading into the Fiji Pro.
Michel Bourez (PYF), last year’s Semifinalist, has withdrawn due to an injury sustained while surfing his home break of Teahupo’o earlier this month. Bourez has been replaced by Alejo Muniz (BRA) for the Fiji Pro.
The Fiji Pro will be webcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com
The world’s best surfing will also be broadcast LIVE on Fox Sports in Australia, MCS Extreme in France, EDGE Sports in China, South Korea, Malaysia and other territories and on Globo TV in Brazil.
Fiji Women’s Pro Round 1 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Bianca Buitendag (ZAF), Nikki Van Dijk (AUS)
Heat 2: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW), Alessa Quizon (HAW)
Heat 3: Carissa Moore (HAW), Johanne Defay (FRA), Mahina Maeda (HAW)
Heat 4: Courtney Conlogue (USA), Silvana Lima (BRA), Sage Erickson (USA)
Heat 5: Tyler Wright (AUS), Coco Ho (HAW), Laura Enever (AUS)
Heat 6: Lakey Peterson (USA), Malia Manuel (HAW), Dimity Stoyle (AUS)
Fiji Pro Round 1 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Taj Burrow (AUS), Sebastian Zietz (HAW), Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 2: Josh Kerr (AUS), Jeremy Flores (FRA), Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 3: John John Florence (HAW), Kolohe Andino (USA), C.J. Hobgood (USA)
Heat 4: Filipe Toledo (BRA), Matt Banting (AUS), Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Heat 5: Mick Fanning (AUS), Wiggolly Dantas (BRA), Dane Reynolds (USA)
Heat 6: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Adrian Buhan (AUS), Aca Ravulo (FJI)
Heat 7: Kelly Slater (USA), Miguel Pupo (BRA), Glenn Hall (IRL)
Heat 8: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Jadson Andre (BRA), Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 9: Owen Wright (AUS), Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Keanu Asing (HAW)
Heat 10: Nat Young (USA), Italo Ferreira (BRA), Fredrick Patacchia (HAW)
Heat 11: Julian Wilson (AUS), Joel Parkinson (AUS), Kai Otton (AUS)
Heat 12: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Bede Durbidge (AUS), Ricardo Christie (NZL)