The world’s best surfers are heading to Central America for the Surf City El Salvador Pro Presented by Corona, Stop No. 7 on the World Surf League (WSL) 2023 Championship Tour (CT). From Friday, June 9 to Sunday, June 18, 2023, they will take on the challenge of Punta Roca, a renowned high-performance right-hand point break. This year marks the second time this famous wave, also known as La Punta or Punta Chilama, will host the CT.
With only four events remaining before the Rip Curl WSL Finals, the competition is heating up as surfers vie for a spot in the Final 5. Carissa Moore (HAW) and Griffin Colapinto (USA) currently hold the top spots in the rankings following their victories at the Surf Ranch Pro. However, they have yet to secure their place in the Final 5, and other top surfers are not far behind. A win in El Salvador could easily turn the tide and shake up the rankings.
This event is also crucial for surfers aiming to qualify for the Olympic Games Paris 2024. The WSL CT serves as the Tier 1 pathway to qualification, with four women already provisionally qualified. However, there are still 10 men’s and four women’s spots up for grabs. The points earned in El Salvador will play a significant role in determining which athletes will represent their countries in Tahiti next year.
Carissa Moore, a five-time World Champion from Hawaii, is establishing herself as the one to beat after back-to-back wins at Margaret River and Surf Ranch. Although she finished 5th in El Salvador last year, losing to Caroline Marks from California, Moore’s recent victory over Marks in the Surf Ranch Pro final will undoubtedly boost her confidence heading into Stop No. 7.
Griffin Colapinto from San Clemente, USA, will don the yellow Leader jersey for the first time in his career at the Surf City El Salvador Pro. He clinched his second CT career win at this very venue last year and hopes to repeat his success to maintain his position at the top of the rankings. Colapinto’s performance in El Salvador could have significant implications for his provisional Olympic qualification for the United States.
While several experienced surfers currently sit just outside the Top 5 rankings, a victory in El Salvador could be a game-changer for their Olympic dreams. Last season, defending event winner and eight-time World Champion Stephanie Gilmore from Australia experienced a turning point in El Salvador. Her event win propelled her up the rankings and secured her a spot in the WSL Final 5. Currently placed 7th in the rankings and the third-highest-ranked Australian woman, Gilmore is only one spot away from Olympic qualification.