Tuesday 24 October 2017 / 03:10 PM

STAGE SET AT HURLEY PRO

The famed cobblestone break of Lower Trestles, one of the of the most high-performance waves on the planet, will host the world’s best surfers for the Hurley Pro at Trestles, Stop No. 8 of 11 on the 2016 Samsung Galaxy World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT).

With four events remaining on this year’s CT a thrilling three-way title race is emerging between John John Florence (HAW), Matt Wilkinson (AUS) and Gabriel Medina (BRA). Florence and Wilkinson are on the hunt for their first world title while Medina looks to reclaim his 2014 surfing crown.

Florence will wear the coveted Jeep Leader Jersey heading into the Hurley Pro after taking back-to-back runner-up finishes as the previous two events on the CT in South Africa and Tahiti. Florence, whose best result at Lower Trestles was a second place in 2014, will be looking to improve on last year’s 25th place finish at the event and extend his lead heading into the European leg of the tour. Florence will face Davey Cathels (AUS) and either Brett Simpson (USA) or Tanner Gudauskas (USA) in Round 1.

Close behind Florence at No. 2 on the Jeep Leaderboard is Wilkinson, who held first place throughout the opening half of the season following back-to-back wins at the first two events. The Australian has to yet to make it past Round 3 at Lower Trestles and will need a strong showing to close the gap between him and Florence. Wilkinson matches up against Conner Coffin (USA) and one of the wildcards Simpson or Gudauskas in the opening round of competition

2014 WSL Champion Medina reached the Semifinals at the Hurley Pro last year. Medina is just 300 points behind Wilkinson on the Jeep Leaderboard and a good result will keep him in contention for his second world title. Medina will take on Adam Melling (AUS) and Alex Ribeiro (BRA) in Round 1.

Mick Fanning (AUS), three-time WSL Champion and 2015 event winner, will return to Lower Trestles to defend his title. Fanning, who elected to take a personal year in 2016 and is only competing in select events, will face Joel Parkinson (AUS) and Jadson Andre (BRA) in Round 1.

11-time WSL Champion Kelly Slater (USA) has taken six wins at Lower Trestles, more than any other surfer, with victories in 2005, 2007, 2008, 2010, 2011 and 2012. After an incredible return to form in Tahiti with his first CT win since 2013, the iconic Floridian currently sits in 8th place on the Jeep Leaderboard. Slater will battle Filipe Toledo (BRA) and Jeremy Flores (FRA) in Round 1.

Former CT competitor Brett Simpson (USA) and San Clemente local Tanner Gudauskas (USA) claimed the two wildcard spots into the event, which were decided at the Hurley Pro Trials in July.

Taj Burrow (AUS) surfed his last Championship Tour event during June’s Fiji Pro. His position on the 2016 WSL Top 34 has been taken by Adam Melling (AUS).

Owen Wright (AUS) and Bede Durbidge (AUS) remain out with injury and have been replaced by Stuart Kennedy (AUS) and Sebastian Zietz (HAW).

The Hurley Pro at Trestles will be webcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com as well as the WSL app and runs in conjunction with the Swatch Women’s Pro, event No. 7 on the Women’s Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour.

The event is also being carried by the WSL’s LIVE broadcast partners Fox Sports Australia, CBS Sports in the United States, ESPN Brasil, Globosat in Brazil, Edgesport, Sky NZ, Sport TV in Portugal, Canal + Deportes in Spain, Channel Nine, MCS France, Starhub in Singapore, and Oceanic Time Warner Cable 250 & 1250 in Hawaii.

Hurley Pro at Trestles Round 1 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Nat Young (USA), Keanu Asing (HAW)
Heat 2: Julian Wilson (AUS), Kanoa Igarashi (USA), Ryan Callinan (AUS)
Heat 3: Adrian Buchan (AUS), Miguel Pupo (BRA), Kai Otton (AUS)
Heat 4: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Adam Melling (AUS), Alex Ribeiro (BRA)
Heat 5: Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Conner Coffin (USA), TBD
Heat 6: John John Florence (HAW), Davey Cathels (AUS), TBD
Heat 7: Adriano De Souza (BRA), Wiggolly Dantas (BRA), Matt Banting (AUS)
Heat 8: Kelly Slater (USA), Filipe Toledo (BRA), Jeremy Flores (FRA)
Heat 9: Italo Ferreira (BRA), Caio Ibelli (BRA), Jack Freestone (AUS)
Heat 10: Mick Fanning (AUS), Joel Parkinson (AUS), Jadson Andre (BRA)
Heat 11: Kolohe Andino (USA), Josh Kerr (AUS), Stu Kennedy (AUS)
Heat 12: Sebastian Zietz (HAW), Michel Bourez (PYF), Alejo Muniz (BRA)

Swatch Women’s Pro at Trestles Round 1 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Malia Manuel (HAW), Lakey Peterson (USA)
Heat 2: Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW), Sage Erickson (USA), Alessa Quizon (HAW)
Heat 3: Tyler Wright (AUS), Nikki Van Dijk (AUS), Bethany Hamilton (HAW)
Heat 4: Courtney Conlogue (USA), Laura Enever (AUS), Chelsea Tuach (BRB)
Heat 5: Carissa Moore (HAW), Bianca Buitendag (ZAF), Coco Ho (HAW)
Heat 6: Johanne Defay (FRA), Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Keely Andrew (AUS)

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