Battle for the Big Leagues – The Qualification Shuffle
NORTH SHORE, Oahu/Hawaii (Monday, December 2, 2013) – With the culmination of the ASP Prime Vans World Cup of Surfing at Sunset Beach yesterday, won by Hawaiian power broker Ezekiel Lau, the 2013 ASP Qualification Series has come to a close. However, the battle for the coveted elite ASP Top 34 spots for 2014 rages on with the final event of the ASP World Championship Tour (WCT) season, the Billabong Pipeline Masters, playing the final role in the decisions.
The 2014 elite ASP Top 34 will be comprised of the Top 22 finishers on this year’s ASP WCT rankings, the Top 10 finishers on this year’s ASP Qualification rankings and two ASP wildcards (often, but not always, allocated to injured surfers). As ASP Top 34 surfers are permitted to count two ASP WCT results of 9th or higher to their respective Qualification rankings, the final event of the year at Pipeline could prove to shuffle those joining the big leagues in 2014. To get the run down, we went to the Oracle of Australia, Al Hunt. This…is the story…
The way I see it is Top 10 on the Qualification rankings as of now are:
– Adam Melling (AUS) – Kolohe Andino (USA) – Alejo Muniz (BRA) – Jadson Andre (BRA) – Mitch Crews (AUS) – Aritz Aranburu (EUK) – Raoni Monteiro (BRA) – Travis Logie (ZAF) – Dion Atkinson (AUS) – Mitchel Coleborn (AUS)
So if status quo remains with ASP WCT ranks after Pipe, then those 10 will join or rejoin the elite rankings in 2014. However those on the bubble for Pipe that we should be watching are probably:
– Matt Wilkinson (AUS) – Bede Durbidge (AUS) – Brett Simpson (USA) – Travis Logie (ZAF) – Miguel Pupo (BRA) – Adam Melling (AUS) – Kolohe Andino (USA) – Patrick Gudauskas (USA) – Damien Hobgood (USA) – Alejo Muniz (BRA)
If any of Wilko, Bede or Simpo drop out of the ASP Top 22, they would need their Top 10 Qualification spot, taking away a spot Mitch Coleborn. If two drop, then Dion Atkinson is also out.
Although, if the above were to occur, we need to consider WHO knocked them out of the Top 22. If it is Travis, Melling, Alejo or Kolohe, then they don’t need their Top 10 spot so status quo remains en tact.
These are about the only scenarios I can see. I don’t see one of the Top 22 dropping out that is not already above the 10th Qualification rankings position, meaning Coleborn is the last possible qualifier and Willian Cardoso will again be an ASP Top 34 replacement.