SAN CLEMENTE, Calif.—“It’s so fun out there today!” an elementary school-aged surfer with bleached hair told his dad while he sat under a beach umbrella at Lower Trestles beach Sept. 8.
“Do we have time to go back out there again?” he implored.
Just behind the duo, officials with the World Surf League (WSL), the organization that oversees the professional world tour of surfing, were placing the finishing touches on a two-story platform that would house the judges in the upcoming Rip Curl WSL Finals.
With an event window between now and Sept. 16, the one-day final contest of the World Surf League Championship Tour will see one male and one female take home the title of world champion in the “winner-takes-all” contest.
According to league spokeswoman Delia Kang, the beach’s Lower Trestles location, can produce some of the most high-performance and “iconic” waves in the world.
“[It] provides a natural arena for the world's best to showcase their talents and put on one final performance of the year,” she said.
The early September event window was scheduled to not only monitor optimal weather patterns, but also to make sure the world’s top 10 surfing professionals have the best swell patterns possible, according to league officials.
By the afternoon, a “Yellow Alert” issued for the beach meant the contest would likely begin during the next 24 hours, just in time for a large swell generated by Hurricane Jova in the South Pacific Ocean to make its presence known.
“It’s good they are not having the contest today because tomorrow’s going to have much better surf, mate,” one athletic middle-aged man told The Epoch Times.
This year’s five male contenders include Ethan Ewing of Australia, Joao Chianca of Brazil, Jack Robinson of Australia, Griffin Colapinto of the United States, and last year’s world champion Filipe Toledo of Brazil.
Female contenders include Molly Picklum of Australia, Tyler Wright of Australia, Caroline Marks of the United States, Catlin Simmers of the United States, and five-time women’s world champion Carissa Moore of Hawaii.
“This is their chance to win a World Title and stake their claim in history,” Kang, the spokeswoman, said. “This moment is what the competitors have worked toward their entire lives.”
A decision to start the contest will be made by league officials Sept. 9 at 7:30 a.m.
Women will begin the first heats of the contest with Match 1, followed by the men in Match 2. The male and female competitors of Match 3 will go on to face the top-ranking contenders in a best-of-three title match where the winner will take home the “iconic” Duke Kahanamoku World Champions’ Trophy, named after one of surfing’s earliest icons.
The finals are free and open to the public.
Pedestrian access to Lower Trestles can be made by a 20 to 25-minute walk from paid and limited street parking off the I-5 Freeway exit of Cristianitos Road.