WQS Update - Who's In, Who's Out ?
Parko just nailed a huge win at Haleiwa in his final Hawaiian season. The big question a lot of people are asking now is, can the legend take his fourth Triple Crown and go out with a bang? We, of course, think yes.
The other buzz on the island is who’s looking good for qualification for the 2019 World Surfing League season? There’s just one QS10,000 to go with major points up for grabs and a potential shift around. Here is a look at a few crew who have cemented qualification and some others who are pounding on the door moving into Sunset…
THE SURE THINGS
The youngest of the famous Moniz family, Seth is doing his Hawaiian heritage proud and has secured his World Tour spot for 2019. All of Hawaii is behind him and super stoked that his semi final finish at Haleiwa has made him a sure thing for next year. He now sits at #2 on the ratings with a whopping 22,200 points. The guy is a weapon at Sunset and Pipe, so he could be someone giving Parko a run for his money for the Triple Crown and maybe even take out the 2018 WQS title in the process.
R-Cal was basically a sure thing for qualification coming into the Hawaii season. He’s now fully cemented his place with a Rnd 4 finish, bumping him up to over 20,000 points. He’s now prepping for Sunset, but in the back of his mind is probably thinking about his return to Snapper and how he’ll be keen to start taking down big names right from event one. It will be interesting to see how he goes in the trials for Pipe as well, since he’s crazy good in heaving lefts. Watch this space.
Griff is sitting just inside the bubble of both tours right now, so is looking on firm footing to be a fixture on the world stage for 2019. At #6 on the WQS it would be unusual for him to drop out of contention, but stranger things have happened in surfing. A Brazilian Tsunami could come washing through the ranks and flush him out. A European onslaught could also do the honors. Saying that, however, it would have to be a perfect storm and it’s almost a lock to see this Cali kid on the CT one way or another next year.
THE HIGH HOPES
Ethan is sitting at #10 on the WQS rankings right now, currently qualifying. However, there are a bunch of crew snapping at his heels and it’s likely he’ll need to improve his points if he wants to yet again hit tour in 2019. He’s made quarters at Sunset before and a similar result would mean he’s guaranteed to garner a sophomore start for next year’s WSL big leagues.
Freestone is sitting at 22nd on the WQS rankings and needs a solid result at Sunset to qualify. A quarter final spot would see him jump into contention, assuming no one above him improves their scores, but that’s a big assumption. More likely, he’ll need a semi final to hit tour for 2019. He’s amazing is solid rights with a chance of tube, so is a red hot shot at contention. But, he’ll have to work hard to get there.
Reef is in almost exactly the same situation as Freestone on the rankings. Sitting just 20 points and one slot behind, he’s going to need a big result to qualify. This goofy has been pulling crazy airs lately, but Sunset isn’t exactly known for its aerial antics. He’ll have to rely on heavy-footed hacks and rail-grabbing pit prowess. Someone to keep an eye on. Reef would have the biggest smile you’ve ever seen on a human before if he can crack the semis and make his dreams come true.
After a quarter final finish at Haleiwa with some impressive power surfing on display, Robbo has jumped from nowhere into 40th spot on the WQS. He’ll need to go even better at Sunset with a final placing, and really needs a 1st or 2nd finish to be a sure thing. The kid is a freak talent, so could definitely be up on the podium. One to keep track of along with the swell forecast coming into the last qualifying event of the year.
Sitting on 6,850 points right now, a win at Sunset would see Josh vault into 9th on the WQS and into qualification (assuming others don’t improve their points beyond the 17,000 mark). That’s definitely long shot, but if anyone can do it Josh can. Seeing little bro Seth qualify would be putting extra fire into his belly too. It would be a fairy tale finish to see both Moniz brothers qualify in the same year. He won the Pipe Shootout earlier this year, so has seen victory in similar waters. Another one to watch.
To view all the Triple Crown action, tune into the WSL website on Nov 25th as the waiting period for the Vans World Cup at Sunset Beach begins.
All photos via World Surf League (@wsl)