Ewing and Wright finish runners-up in Portugal

Published on 17/03/2024

Ethan Ewing and Tyler Wright have placed runners-up at the Pro Portugal, the third stop on the WSL Championship Tour.

Ewing posted his best result to date in Portugal but couldn’t quite convert all the way for a third CT win against Griffin Colapinto (USA). But he still showcased some of the event’s finest surfing to dispatch two ferocious goofies, Italo Ferreira (BRA) and Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR) on his way to the Final.

“It was super cool to surf the Final with Griffin, we’re really good friends,” Ewing said.

“We haven’t had that many man-on-man heats together but they’re always super fun. When I came to Portugal I was really unhappy with my surfing but just to kind of pull through that and the cold water and the long travel was great.”

The Australian has also officially made the Mid-season Cut with this result. Ewing and Colapinto had previously eliminated Crosby Colapinto (USA) and Gabriel Medina (BRA) respectively in their Semifinal matchups.

Meantime, Wright has put two third-round exits in her rearview mirror and found her pace in Portugal to reach the Final against Johanne Defay (FRA).

“It’s amazing, I feel like this has been a really key point for my year,” Wright stated.

“It’s taken me a while to figure out some of the different changes that I’ve had going on. I’m really excited to be in Portugal, honestly, this is me and my wife’s favorite event all year, so thank you Portugal for having us, I really enjoyed myself.”

Open about health issues and the changes she has made to continue to progress in her career and life, Wright has definitely found her form again and will be a threat as she heads to Bells Beach where she is the back-to-back defending event winner.

Defay and Wright had previously eliminated Lakey Peterson (USA) and Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) respectively in their Semifinal matchups.

The focus now shifts to Australia for CT Stops No. 4 and 5.

Next Up: The Legendary Bells Beach

2024 will be the 61st year the world’s best surfers make the pilgrimage to Bells Beach on Victoria’s Surf Coast in Southern Australia, with the hope of scoring long-period, groomed walls and putting on a performance that will earn them the privilege of ringing the famous Bell Trophy by event’s end.

Unlike the first three events of the Championship Tour, Bells Beach presents a unique challenge to the elite. Its open, powerful walls demand surfers to display the perfect combination of power, precision, patience, and timing. Long-period swells, Southern Ocean cold fronts, and massive tidal movements mean competitors must be ready for anything and have to ensure they can adapt. Several locations are open for the competition within the event site’s footprint, namely, The Bowl, Rincon, or Winki Pop, and each of these waves requires a different approach.  

Surfers are easily exposed at this location, and the importance of clean lines is evident when looking at the list of previous winners, with most of the biggest surfing legends having etched their names on the famous Bells’ stairs. 2024 will see the world’s best return to Bells for a chance to win one of world surfing’s most prestigious events.

Event Wildcards and Injury Replacements Announced

Rip Curl team-rider and former CT competitor, Morgan Cibilic (AUS), will replace Joao Chianca (BRA) as the second-highest Challenger Series-ranked surfer in the Australia / Oceania region. The spot was originally offered to the top-ranked Challenger Series surfer Jackson Baker (AUS), who declined as he recovers from an ankle injury. 

Sophie McCulloch (AUS), who qualified for the 2023 CT but wasn’t able to requalify, continues as the replacement surfer for Carissa Moore’s (HAW) spot up until the Mid-season Cut and will compete at Bells once again in 2024.

The final two spots will be awarded to the Rip Curl Victoria Trials’ winners on both the men’s and women’s sides. This will be a one-day event, which is set to be held at Bells Beach on Saturday, March 23. 

Watch LIVE
The Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, Presented by Bonsoy, is the next stop on the 2024 Championship Tour. The competition window opens on March 26 and closes on April 6, 2024. The competition will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com, the free WSL app, and the WSL’s YouTube channel.

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