New Faces Join The 46th Season Of The WSL Championship Tour
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New Faces Join The 46th Season Of The WSL Championship Tour

The 2023 World Surf League (WSL) Championship will mark the 46th season of the professional surfing tour circuit and the biggest one to date. Unlike any other year, the 2023 WSL Championship Tour will have a lot more on the line, as it serves as the main qualifying route for the 2024 Paris Olympics, where surfing will return as a part of the event’s program.

2023 WSL Championship Format & Schedule

The 2023 World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour will kick off on Sunday, January 29, with the opening event of the year, Billabong Pro pipeline, in Ohau, Hawaii. The season will continue with the second event in Hawaii, the Hurley Pro Sunset Beach, and run until September 15, when the world’s top surfers will square off at Rip Curl WSL Finals in San Clemente in California, United States.

  • Date: January 29 – September 15

The 2023 World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour will feature 11 events spread across nine months, with a mid-season cut after Margaret River Pro in April. The cut will reduce the field of 18 women competitors to just 12, while on the men’s side, it will see a 36-man field reduced to 24.

Following the cut, the 2023 WSL Championship will continue with Surf Ranch Pro in the United States, followed by four events, and culminating with Rip Curl WSL FInals in Lower Trestles, USA, on September 7-15.

Full Schedule

  • Billabong Pro Pipeline (Hawaii): January 29 – February 10
  • Hurley Pro Sunset Beach (Hawaii): February 12-23
  • MEO Rip Curl Portugal Pro (Portugal): March 8-16
  • Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach (Victoria, Australia): April 4-14
  • Margaret River Pro (Western Australia, Australia): April 20-30
  • Mid-Season Cut
  • Surf Ranch Pro (USA): May 27-28
  • Surf City El Salvador Pro presented by Corona (El Salvador): June 9-18
  • Rio Pro presented by Corona (Brazil): June 23 – July 1
  • Corona Open J-Bay (South Africa): July 13-22
  • SHISEIDO Tahiti Pro (French Polynesia): August 11-20
  • Rip Curl WSL Finals (Lower Trestles, USA): September 7-15

The Main Qualification Route For Paris 2024

After making its Olympics debut in 2020, surfing will return to the main program for the 2023 Paris Olympics, and WSL Championship Tour will serve as the main qualifying route for the international sports event, for both men and women. By the end of the season, the top eight women, and ten men, will receive a direct ticket to the Olympics.

With a long season ahead, it’s tough to pick the main candidates to represent their country in Paris, but according to the latest Surfing betting odds, there are a few surfers to keep an eye on.

The reigning Olympics champion Carissa Moore enters the 2023 WSL season as the woman to beat, priced as the main favourite (3.25 at bet365) to claim her sixth world title. She’s followed by Stephanie Gilmore (5.50 at bet365) and Brazil’s Tatiana Weston-Webb (5.50 at bet365), who is still searching for her first trophy.

The rest of the field looks too far distance from the main contenders, with Lakey Peterson (8.00 at bet365), Tyler Wright (9.00 at bet365), Johanne Defay (10.00 at bet365), and Caroline Marks (12.00 at bet365), all priced as outsiders.

Still, while the rest of the competitors hold onto unflattering betting odds, Courtney Conlogue (26.00 at bet365), Sally Fitzgibbons (36.00 at bet365), Caitlin Simmers (31.00 at bet365), Bettylou Sakura Johnson (31.00 at bet365), Brisa Hennessy (41.00 at bet365), and Molly Picklum (51.00 at bet365) all pose a threat to do some damage in early-season events.

It will be particularly interesting to see how Australia and the USA will do, as the most represented nations at the 2023 WSL Championship, with seven representatives a piece. That includes two newcomers in, Australia’s Caitlin Simmers and USA’s Sophie McCulloch, who are making their WSL debut this season.

Complete 2023 World Surf League Championship Betting Odds & Odds Comparison

Surfer / BookmakerBet365
Carissa Moore3.25
Stephanie Gilmore5.50
Tatiana Weston-Webb5.50
Lakey Peterson8.00
Tyler Wright9.00
Johanne Defay10.00
Caroline Marks12.00
Courtney Conlogue26.00
Sally Fitzgibbons26.00
Caitlin Simmers31.00
Bettylou Sakura Johnson31.00
Brisa Hennessy41.00
Molly Picklum51.00
Gabriela Bryan67.00
Isabella Nichols 67.00
Macy Callaghan67.00
Sophie McCulloch81.00

An Exciting Season Ahead

In the women’s WSL Championship Tour, specifically, there is a rise of a new generation of surf stars, which made this year’s lineup very strong. Caitlin Simmers, who is just 17 years old, is coming off her rookie season, which saw her make a name for herself as one of the world title contenders.

Then there’s also Betty-Lou Sakura Johnson, who’s just as old as Simmers, and Molly Picklum, recent winner of the Vans Pipe Masters, who is considered one of the most exciting Australian young talents since Tyler Wright.

There’s a lot to look forward to if you’re a surfing fan, and with the 2023 season offering much higher stakes, this might be the biggest WSL Championship Tour in years.

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