The worldâ€™s best female surfers are heading to Portugal for the first event on the European leg of the 2016 Samsung Galaxy WSL Championship Tour (CT), theÂ Cascais Womenâ€™s Pro, which runs from September 24 until October 2, 2016.
With just three events remaining on this yearâ€™s CT, Stop No. 8 will play host to the WSL Top 17 as they battle for the undisputed world surfing crown and the race to requalify for next yearâ€™s elite tour.
Tyler Wright (AUS)Â is well on her way to claiming her maiden World Title and a win in Cascais could see her become 2016 WSL Champion. An outstanding 2016 season, including four Championship Tour victories (Roxy Pro Gold Coast, Drug Aware Margaret River Pro, Oi Rio Pro and Swatch Womenâ€™s Pro), puts her firmly at the top of the Jeep Leaderboard and more than 7,000 points ahead of her closest rival. Wright will faceÂ Bianca Buitendag (ZAF)Â andÂ Teresa Bonvalot (PRT)Â in the opening round of competition.
Wright, currently with 53,450 points, is the only surfer with the chance to clinch the WSL Women’s Title in Portugal. Wright can only win in the following scenario:
– Wright would have to win the event
– Courtney Conlogue (USA) could finish no higher than 5th
Courtney Conlogue (USA),Â Carissa Moore (HAW),Â Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW),Â Stephanie Gilmore (AUS),Â Johanne Defay (FRA),Â Malia Manuel (HAW)Â andÂ Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS)Â all still have a mathematical chance of taking the title.
If things do play out in Wrightâ€™s favor, her points would be unbeatable regardless of what happens at the Roxy Pro France and the Maui Women’s Pro, the final two events of the season.
Courtney Conlogue (USA)Â sits in second place on the Jeep Leaderboard and is the only surfer that can stop Wright from taking the title if she wins the event in Portugal. Conlogue comes into the Cascais Womenâ€™s Pro as defending winner and will take onÂ Nikki Van Dijk (AUS)Â andÂ Chelsea Tuach (BRB)Â in Round 1.
Carissa Moore (HAW), reigning three-time WSL Champion and current World No. 3, won the inaugural womenâ€™s CT event in Cascais in 2013 and will be looking to repeat that performance this year and stay in the Title Race.
Teresa Bonvalot (PRT)Â has been awarded the wildcard for the event and will face Wright and Buitendag in Round 1. Bonvalot was crowned 2016 WSL European Junior Champion with three event wins in 2016 and is also in 25th place on the WSL Womenâ€™s Qualifying Series following a recent 3rd place finish at the Pantin Classic Galicia Pro QS 6,000. This will be her fourth appearance as a wildcard at the Cascais Womenâ€™s Pro.
Cascais Womenâ€™s Pro Round 1 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Lakey Peterson (USA)
Heat 2: Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW), Sage Erickson (USA), Coco Ho (HAW)
Heat 3: Tyler Wright (AUS), Bianca Buitendag (ZAF), Teresa Bonvalot (PRT)
Heat 4: Courtney Conlogue (USA), Nikki Van Dijk (AUS), Chelsea Tuach (BRB)
Heat 5: Carissa Moore (HAW), Laura Enever (AUS), Alessa Quizon (HAW)
Heat 6: Johanne Defay (FRA), Malia Manuel (HAW), Keely Andrew (AUS)
2016 WSL Jeep Leaderboard Top 5 (After Swatch Womenâ€™s Pro):
1. Tyler Wright (AUS) 53,450
2. Courtney Conlogue (USA) 46,200
3. Carissa Moore (HAW) 42,500
4. Tatiana Weston-Webb 38,450
5. Stephanie Gilmore 37,300