Updated: Aug 18
Caroline Marks (USA) has been awarded the women's 2022 WSL season wildcard, which gives her entry into Championship Tour (CT) events following the Mid-season Cut and entry into the first half of the 2023 CT season. The men's 2022 WSL season wildcard was awarded to Gabriel Medina (BRA). Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) and Yago Dora (BRA) have been awarded the 2023 WSL season wildcards, which give entry to all competitions in the first half of the 2023 CT season.
As the WSL season wildcard for the remaining CT competitions following the cut, Marks' points will be eligible for the WSL Final 5 rankings, where the Top 5 surfers on the men's and women's CT will compete in the Rip Curl WSL Finals to compete for the 2022 World Title. The same rules will apply to Medina's competition eligibility as the men's 2022 WSL season wildcard.
As the 2023 WSL season wildcards, Fitzgibbons and Dora will also be the first replacements for the remaining events in the 2022 CT season. Points earned by Fitzgibbons and Dora as the replacements for any CT events in 2022 will count as rankings' points.
Marks was the youngest surfer to qualify and surf on the elite CT, joining the world's best surfers in 2018. She has finished in the top 10 every year since and was runner-up for the World Title in 2019. Marks withdrew from competition following the Billabong Pro Pipeline for medical reasons. Fitzgibbons has been competing on the CT for 14 years with three runner-up finishes to the World Title, four third-place finishes, and within the top 5 nine times in her career. Ahead of the 2022 CT season start, Dora suffered a foot injury and was unable to compete in any CT events this season. Dora was ranked 9th on the world rankings at the conclusion of the 2021 season.
The WSL season wildcards are selected by the WSL Tours and Competition team following applications from athletes. The wildcard selection process takes into account competitive performance, such as World Titles, CT and Challenger Series rankings, and event results, as well as a medical evaluation if applicable.
"Caroline Marks and Gabriel Medina are the official WSL season wildcards for the 2022 CT competitions following the Mid-season Cut," said Jessi Miley-Dyer, WSL SVP of Tours and Head of Competition. "Sally Fitzgibbons and Yago Dora will be the 2023 WSL season wildcards and will gain entry into all the 2023 CT competitions in the first half of the season. Sally and Yago will also be the official replacement surfers, should any athlete on the CT withdraw from competition in 2022. We look forward to seeing these incredible athletes return to the CT.