Wright, Gilmore in danger of WSL axe

·2-min read

The mad scramble to survive the World Surf League mid-season cut will be the feature of the upcoming Margaret River Pro, but Australia's would-be carpenter Callum Robson can breathe easy.

Only the top 22 men, plus a wildcard, will qualify for the second half of the Championship Tour season, with the rest relegated to the Challenger Series.

Olympic bronze medallist Owen Wright, fellow Australian Morgan Cibilic, American Conner Coffin and South African Jordy Smith are some of the high-profile men who face relegation.

Only the top 10 women, plus a wildcard, will progress on the CT beyond the Margaret River Pro, which will start on Sunday if conditions permit.

As it stands, Bells Beach winner Tyler Wright is the only Australian woman to have already secured a safe passage through to the second half of the season.

Seven-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore is ranked ninth and needs a solid result on the fifth stop of the season to secure her spot, while fellow Australians India Robinson (eighth), Sally Fitzgibbons (equal 12th), Isabella Nichols (equal 12th), Molly Picklum (16th) and Bronte Macaulay (18th) are others who need to come up with the goods.

Australia already have three confirmed survivors in the men's field, with Ethan Ewing, Robson and Jack Robinson all locked in.

Wright moved up to 23rd in the rankings with his quarter-final showing at Bells, while countrymen Connor O'Leary (16th) and Jackson Baker (20th) are others right in the thick of it.

Cibilic, who finished fifth in the world last year, is ranked 28th and needs a big result in WA in order to avoid relegation.

Robson has been one of the big surprise packets of 2022, with the rookie securing his survival with a stunning run to the final at Bells.

Although he was defeated in the decider by world No.1 Filipe Toledo, Robson's display justified his decision to lay down the tools and concentrate on surfing.

"I dropped out of school and started doing an apprenticeship with my dad, and realised how much that sucked," he said.

"So I just went all-in on surfing, and I'm glad I did because I ended up here."

Wright fought back tears last week after winning Bells for the first time.

The result propelled her to No.2 in the world rankings, giving her an excellent opportunity to finish in the top five and qualify for the year-ending finals.


Carissa Moore

Tyler Wright

Brisa Hennessy

Lakey Peterson


Filipe Toledo

Kanoa Igarashi

John John Florence

Kelly Slater

Barron Mamiya

Italo Ferreira

Caio Ibelli

Ethan Ewing

Miguel Pupo

Seth Moniz

Callum Robson

Griffin Colapinto

Jack Robinson

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