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"The World" May Have Won At Founders' Cup, But Team Rip Curl Dominated

8 mai 2018

Founders' Cup, the first-ever official event at the WSL Surf Ranch, was held over the past two days at their facilities in Leemore, California, offering an incredible showcase of surfing from around the world.

In front of a sell-out crowd, the world's best female and male surfers battled in teams representing their home countries. And although "The World" (South African pair Jordy Smith - Team Captain - and Bianca Buitendag, superbly backed up by Michel Bourez – Tahiti - Paige Hareb - New Zealand - and Kanoa Igarashi – Japan) took home the win, Team Rip Curl put on a show to remember.

Gabriel Medina

Mick Fanning

Gabriel Medina, representing for Team Brazil, opened the Final Heat with an incredible 9.67 ride, the highest score of the entire heat.

"The team vibe was great and everyone was just pushing each other to do better," Gabriel said, after the event had wrapped up.

"I'm really happy with how we performed, even though it's disappointing to come up short. We surfed really good as a team and it was a really fun event to show what we could do. It's good to share this moment and have everyone talking to each other, especially with Taina [Hinckel] being so young. We're so used to all the pressure, but it's all new for her and we showed her a lot of support so hopefully, when she gets here in the future, she'll be ready for this amazing atmosphere."

Matt Wilkinson

Tyler Wright

Australia Team earned the fourth-place finish after barely missing qualification in their sudden-death surf-off against the World Team. The team, consisting of Team Captain and six-time WSL Champion, Stephanie Gilmore, three-time WSL Champion Mick Fanning, two-time WSL Champion Tyler Wright, and Matt Wilkinson, surfed with calculation and experience – showing the world that wave pool competition has a bright future.

"It was such an incredible experience to be a part of," said Matt Wilkinson. "The team aspect of it is so fun – usually surfing is such an individual sport, and it’s great to be able to share it with good friends and surf for our country."

After the Founders' Cup, only one question remains... what does this mean for the future of competition in wave pools, and... for the future of surfing?


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