• Kelly Slater and Gabriel Medina will be his rivals to boot.
Costa Rican surfer Carlos “Cali” Muñoz, considered one of the best surfers in the country and Latin America, will face Kelly Slater and Gabriel Medina in the Hurley Pro, during the eighth stop of the World Champioship Tour (WCT).
Muñoz is going to participate in the well-known event after achieving a wild card selection, by popular public vote some weeks ago. He will now have to compete against one of the two best-ranked surfers of WCT or Dream Tour: Medina or Slater, who had an outstanding participation in Tahiti in the seventh date.
According to the official website of the event, the only two places to enter the event as a wild card will participate in the three-competitor series, during the first round. The tournament will begin with these series on September 09, at Lowers Trestles in California.
In heat number 5, the American and 11-time world champion, Kelly Slater figures together with, Australian Matt Wilkinson, who is currently ranked 22nd. Slater is ranked second. In heat number 6, together with the Brazilian and current tour leader, Gabriel Medina, is another Australian, Adam Melling, who is now positioned 24th in the table.
Carlos Muñoz must demonstrate his conditions from the very beginning, since he is facing huge opponents that are among the best in the world. Muñoz is placed 54th of the second world division or WQS and will compete for the chance to doubling his name as a professional surfer on the biggest stage of the sport in the world.
“Honestly, I am very happy to participate for the first time in a WCT. I do not see any preference whatsoever as to being in any of the two first heats; they are the best in the world today, so I have to work really hard,” Munoz said.
Round 1 of a WCT event has no loser; the winner qualifies directly to round 3 and the second and third places go to round 2. Muñoz will then have at least two attempts to achieve a good result.
This is how WCT’s heats work:
Round 1: Heats of three competitors; there are no losers (winner goes to Round 3).
Round 2: Heats of two competitors; one classifies heat to round 3.
Round 3: Heats of two competitors; one classifies heat to round 4.
Round 4: Heats of three competitors; there are no losers. (Winner goes to Quarterfinal).
Round 5: Heats of two competitors; one classifies to Quarterfinal.
Beds: Heats of two competitors; one classifies to Semifinal heat.
Semis: Heats of two competitors; one classifies to the Final heat.
Final: Heat of two competitors.
The event, which is scheduled to start on Monday, September 9 in the sought-after wave of Lowers, could be extended until Saturday, September 20th, provided that Hurley Pro’s organization decides to use the timeout to only surf on optimum conditions; however, the wave forecast dictates that a large swell will hit the Californian coasts in the early days.
“Waves are very good at Lowers. It is actually my favorite of California. I hope to flow with my best surfing, because, in the end, it is all about enjoying every moment,” said Cali.
Muñoz is in Europe right now waiting for WQS PRIME event to be held in Azores, Portugal, from September 2nd to 7th.