WSL to Hold Nation-Based Team Event in Kelly’s Surf Ranch

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WSL is opening the Surf Ranch in Lemoore to the public for the 2018 Founders’ Cup scheduled on May 5th and 6th. The event will feature twenty-five of the world’s best surfers grouped into five nations, battling it out on Kelly’s man-made waves.

The nations competing will be USA, Brazil, Europe, Australia and (the rest of the) World. And though there’s no final lineup yet, the leaders have been chosen. Leading team USA is no other than the King himself, Kelly Slater.

“Surf Ranch and the wave system are obviously special to me,” said Slater in an interview. “And it’s really exciting to see it come online for the public in 2018, first with the Founders’ Cup and then with Surf Ranch Open.”

11-time World Champion Kelly Slater is Team USA’s captain | Instagram

2017 has been a big year for Kelly from hosting a WSL test event at his Surf Ranch to becoming an official stop on the 2018 CT and getting an approval to bring his waves to Florida. The upcoming Founders’ Cup will mark another milestone in the King’s colorful surfing career.

“As someone who has competed in probably every competition format there is, the Founders’ Cup region-versus-region, co-ed format is really intriguing to me. I think May is going to be a great showcase for the world’s best surfers at the facility,” Slater added.

Gabriel Medina, last year’s MEO Rip Curl Pro and Quiksilver Pro France champion, will head the Brazilian team. If you recall, Medina (along with Carissa Moore) emerged as winners in last year’s secret event at Lemoore so it’s safe to say that he knows his way around Kelly’s wave, as well.

24-year-old Gabriel Medina will lead Team Brazil | Instagram

“Leading the Brazil team at the Founders’ Cup in May is a real honor. We have so much talent in Brazil on both the men’s and women’s side that I think we will be in a strong position to do well in the inaugural teams’ event,” said Medina.

The other team captains are Johanne Defay for Europe, six-time World Champion Stephanie Gilmore for Australia, and last season’s rank four Jordy Smith for the rest of the World.

Tickets for the 2018 Founders’ Cup will be available on March 12.

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