Prepare for a shake up.
Bethany Hamilton has been awarded the wildcard into the Swatch Women’s Pro for the second consecutive year. This will mark Hamilton’s seventh appearance in a Championship Tour event and her second this season. Who can forget her incredible form at the Fiji Pro, eliminating world No. 1 Tyler Wright and six-time World Champion Stephanie Gilmore.
“Lower Trestles is a really special place and the perfect platform to showcase women’s surfing,” said WSL Women’s Commissioner, Jessi Miley-Dyer. “I can’t wait to see what Tyler and the rest of the Top 17 will deliver this year.”
“Bethany is an extremely talented surfer and we are very excited to have her back at the Swatch Women’s Pro,” added the commissioner. “After her incredible performance in Fiji, which is the best we’ve seen from a wildcard in some time, she has earned the opportunity to compete alongside the world’s best once again.”
Meanwhile, currently world No. 1 Tyler Wright is looking to increase her overall lead with another win at Lower Trestles.
“Trestles is the most rippable wave on tour,” said Wright. “You see some of the best surfing of the year happen in the men's and women's events at the venue and it's really exciting. Since the US Open, I did a Search trip, then went home to decompress. I've been in Southern California for a couple weeks now, dialing my boards in and surfing Lowers a lot. These days, everyone is a threat on the women’s tour and, at a wave like Lowers, everyone has the opportunity to put up big numbers. There's never been a more dangerous field in women's surfing than the one we have in 2016."
Courtney Conlogue is within striking distance of Wright. The Californian is currently No. 2 on the Jeep Leaderboard, and has proven to be a serious title contender this season after five solid performances this season.
Two-time defending event winner and reigning three-time WSL Champion Carissa Moore will be searching for her first event win this season at Lowers. After a slow start expect the Hawaiian to come out firing and re-enter the title race conversation if she posts a result.
Swatch Women’s Pro Round 1 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Malia Manuel (HAW), Lakey Peterson (USA)
Heat 2: Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW), Sage Erickson (USA), Alessa Quizon (HAW)
Heat 3: Tyler Wright (AUS), Nikki Van Dijk (AUS), Bethany Hamilton (HAW)
Heat 4: Courtney Conlogue (USA), Laura Enever (AUS), Chelsea Tuach (BRB)
Heat 5: Carissa Moore (HAW), Bianca Buitendag (ZAF), Coco Ho (HAW)
Heat 6: Johanne Defay (FRA), Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Keely Andrew (AUS)