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The WSL’s one and only wave pool event, the 2023 Surf Ranch Pro is done, and in the men’s final Griffin Colapinto earned his first CT win of the season after a close final against Italo Ferreira. The win moves Colapinto into the No. 1 spot on the rankings heading into the Surf City El Salvador Pro.

“It means everything to win a CT in California, especially to win here because everyone gets the same opportunity and there’s so much that goes into your physical ability,”

“A lot of hard work went into this. I’m feeling really good and just so psyched, all my friends and family are here so to win with them here is just insane. That Final was so crazy and it’s trippy to watch Italo’s (Ferreira) waves and hope he fell so I’m just over the moon. I had no clue I was No. 1 until you told me and it’s a crazy feeling being in the yellow jersey.”Colapinto told the WSL broadcast.

In the women’s final Carissa Moore claimed her third CT win of the season and moves just like Griffin into the No. 1 spot going into the Surf City El Salvador Pro.

“You can’t wipe the smile off my face right now and to be sharing the podium with these amazing humans is an honor,”

“I think all of us as athletes just want to perform to the best of our potential and I definitely think there was more for me to give out here. But, I felt happy and present, and that’s what matters most to me. I didn't really imagine it would go quite this good and I'm just really happy. I have a lot of family and friends here, and watching all over the world, so I really appreciate all the love. It's a perfect wave, but it's really difficult to ride. It took a couple surfs to figure out the timing again and get to calm the nerves, but I just felt really good.” Moore told the WSL broadcast.

Griffin Colapinto and Carissa Moore may have won the event but the spotlight was definitely on Gabriel Medina who following his elimination against Ethan Ewing published a public statement criticizing the World Surf League’s judging criteria.

"Surfing has been my life, and my love for this sport is unconditional. I have put all my heart into it and want to leave a beautiful legacy one day when I look back at it."

"However, the surfing community, especially in Brazil, has been mesmerized by the poor clarity and inconsistency of judging for many years now, but lately, it has been even more shocking."

"It is quite clear that judging is now rewarding very simple surfing and seamless transitions and have taken critical turns in critical sections out of the criteria."

"This is very frustrating and is stagnating the sport."

"Fans and sponsors will not accept this to continue and will, in the near future, be drawn away since all they want is equal and fair judging of the sport."

"Also, important to note that many coaches and managers have had the opportunity to speak to WSL after heats/events to ask about progression and variety in the criteria and the lack of reward for this space."

"The response given is always quite defensive by giving poor examples to illustrate their point."

"WSL urgently needs to clarify judging and apply equal and fair judging to save the progression of the sport."

Filipe Toledo, Italo Ferreira, Yago Dora, Julian Wilson, Jeremy Flores, Ramzi Boukhiam, Jack Freestone, Alejo Muniz, Caio Ibelli, Adriano de Souza, and Michel Bourez were some of the athletes who backed Medina's statement.

WSL’s Erik Logan issued a statement on Tuesday addressing not only the judging criteria but also the social media frenzy that followed Medina’s statement.

“I want to respond directly to the statements (from Medina, Toledo, and Ferreira), however, we first need to address a much more important issue,”

“In recent days, a number of surfers, WSL judges, and employees have been subject to harassment, intimidation, and threats of violence, including death threats, as a direct result of those statements. Those things should never happen in our sport or any sport, and we’re devastated that members of our community have been subject to them. It is an important reminder to us all that words have consequences. We hope the entire WSL community stands with us in rejecting all forms of harassment and intimidation.”

“Firstly, the judging criteria are provided to the athletes ahead of each competition. All athletes competing at the Surf Ranch Pro received these materials on May 20th,” he wrote. “Every athlete had the opportunity to ask questions about the criteria at that time. None of the athletes who made these statements (on social media) took advantage of this opportunity at the Surf Ranch Pro.”

“Our rules allow any athlete to review the scoring of any wave, with the judges, and receive a more detailed explanation of how they were scored with the judges,” he said. “This process has been in place for a number of years, and is the direct result of working with the surfers to bring more transparency to the judging process. It is not acceptable, and is a breach of league policy, for surfers to choose not to engage with the proper process and instead air grievances on social media.” wrote WSL CEO Erik Logan.

Men’s Championship Tour Rankings following the Surf Ranch Pro:

Griffin Colapinto (USA) 35,090 points
João Chianca (BRA) 33,000 points
Felipe Toledo (BRA) 31,660 points
Ethan Ewing (AUS) 28,895 points
Jack Robinson (AUS) 26,545 points

Women’s Championship Tour Rankings following the Surf Ranch Pro:

Carissa Moore (HAW) 39,490 points
Tyler Wright (AUS) 34,295 points
Molly Picklum (AUS) 32,035 points
Caroline Marks (USA) 29,040 points
Caitlin Simmers (USA) 26,050 points


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