Little known glitch in the end-of-year points calculation dooms three-time world champ Medina.
The World Surf League, surfing’s governing body which is currently for sale if anyone wants the shrivelled grapes from that withered vine, is again under siege after an online sleuth claimed Gabriel Medina was “robbed” of a place on Finals Day at Lower Trestles.
You’ll remember in mid-August when, in rapidly deteriorating four-foot waves, surf fans fondled themselves into a state of near nervous collapse after Australian Jack Robinson muscled his way through Medina to win the Tahiti Pro and a spot on Finals Day.
Now, and via the shaper-centric podcast The Dust Up (episode, “What shit luck for Gabriel Medina”), John ‘Robbo’ Robertson reveals Medina’s place in the showdown was effectively stolen thanks to a little known glitch in the scoring system.
Correct me if I’m wrong and the old eyes do tend to glaze a little reading rule books, contracts and so on, but the old way of calculating the end of year ranking was to drop your two worst events and add up the result of, say, the other eight if it was a ten-event year.
Robbo says, correct me if I’m wrong etc, that a surfer can drop one event in the first half, but not in the second, presuming they made the mid-year cut. Which means, it pays to come on relatively late in the season points wise.
“Gabriel had a cracker first half of the year. Worst result was a 332o, a ninth maybe, and the back half of the year he had a shocker, worst result a 1330, a seventeenth at Rio and he had to keep it. That’s a 1990 points difference. The result (had he been able to throw away the 1330 not the 3320) would have taken him from sixth to fourth position in the ratings. Would’ve been in the top five. The only surfer who had a worst result in the back half of the year was Ethan and Ethan’s was an injury.”
Robbo gives a pretty good example of how the new way of calculating end of year points can go real bad.
“Imagine if in the first events your worst result was a quarter-final. You’re top three in the world going into the back half the season. Going into the back half of the season, you win two events…get injured and you miss the final three events. So the quarter-final is a throwaway.”
Theoretically, and possibly, the surfer who dominated the year before tweaking their ankle or whatever misses Finals Day.