The exodus from tomorrow's Surf Ranch Pro continues as another top-rated pro surfer withdraws from the WSL's only wavepool event.
Hottish on the heels of today’s report of a top-rated surfer describing the Surf Ranch Pro as “an abomination, anti-nature, soulless” and following the withdrawals of Jordy Smith, John John Florence, Julian Wilson, Kolohe Andino, Michel Bourez and gals Tyler Wright, Lakey Peterson, Bronte Macaulay and Macy Callaghan, is the news that two-time Pipe Master Jeremy Flores has also withdrawn from the contest.
Reunion Island-born Flores, who is thirty-three and the current world number eighteen, made the announcement in a tweet this afternoon.
Unfortunately i had to pull out of the Surd ranch event due to some health issues & fatigue. The last few months have been non stop, between the OZ leg & the ISA in El Salvador. I’m going to recover & I’ll be back in the water soon ! Good luck to all
J’ai dû déclarer forfait pour cette étape du Surf ranch, pour des raisons de santé & fatigue. Ces derniers mois ont était intense entre les étapes australiennes et les ISA à El Salvador. Je vais tout faire pour récupérer au plus vite pour pouvoir repartir à l’eau 🤙🏼
— Jeremy Flores (@floresjeremy) June 18, 2021
The news is another blow to whatever prestige the WSL might attach to the event, many surfers of the belief, which is correct, that if y’ain’t Italo, Gabriel or Filipe, you’re gonna lose early and who wants to be sitting around in Lemoore when it’s 111 (44 degrees) and the stink of 100,000 doomed cows from nearby Harris Ranch fills the air?
Am I right?
Even the New Yorker’s Bill Finnegan, who was fresh off wining the Pulitzer for Barbarian Days when he visited the event in 2018, pronounced it as “unexciting…..the pool made surfing feel tame, domesticated.”
The highlight of that year, I think very safe to say, was a billboard on the road leading to the Ranch celebrating the diversity of talent at the WSL.
Despite vowing never to cover the event again, Steve “Longtom” Shearer has agreed to write an analysis of each of the three days.
“God yes, I have to,” he wrote to me via SMS. “Just to see what Kelly does.”