Updated: Jun 13, 2022
PUNTA ROCA, La Libertad, El Salvador (Saturday, June 11, 2022) - The Surf City El Salvador Pro Presented by Corona will officially open tomorrow as Stop No. 7 on the World Surf League (WSL) 2022 Championship Tour (CT).
This first-ever CT event in El Salvador will host the world’s best surfers at the famed right-hand pointbreak widely known as Punta Roca, also known as La Punta or Punta Chilama, from Sunday, June 12 through Monday, June 20.
The first call will be tomorrow at 7:15 a.m. CST for a possible 7:35 a.m. start.
Wildcard and Injury Updates: Local Hero Bryan Perez Wins Trials Wildcard, Josh Burke to Replace Kelly Slater
One of Punta Roca’s standout talents and local hero Bryan Perez earned his wildcard spot in the event after clinching a career-defining win in the trials. A relative newcomer to the Qualifying Series, Perez started chasing his dream of making it to the CT in 2018 and despite not yet finding a significant result, it hasn’t stopped his pursuit with explosive moments throughout his career.
“This is super special and a dream come true,” said Perez. “When I was a kid, I always dreamed to have a CT event here. Everyone from here is super stoked and it is so fun to watch the best surfers in the world surf this wave. It is a high-performance wave, you can do airs, turns, and barrels, so it’s going to be great for the competition. I was a little nervous in the trials at first, but I surf here all the time and this is my spot. To be in the water with the world’s best surfers at my home break is going to be amazing and I cannot wait.” 11-time World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) has officially withdrawn from the Surf City Pro El Salvador pres. by Corona due to injury and will be replaced by a very capable Josh Burke (BRB). Burke is one of Barbados’ top competitors and his prowess on right-handers comes from a lifetime spent performing at his home break, Soup Bowl. The 25-year-old has had terrific competitive showings, counting two QS victories which includes one at Soup Bowl, and awaits his breakthrough year to join the CT full-time.
“I am over the moon,” said Burke. "I can’t wait to represent my country, Barbados, on the world stage. I’ve been wanting an opportunity like this my whole life and would love to prove that I belong there.”
Race to the WSL Final 5 Resumes in El Salvador
An all-important Stop No. 7 will play a pivotal role as only four events remain for competitors to make their moves and solidify spots within the Top 5. With the likes of seven-time World Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), World Title contender Lakey Peterson (USA), and more just outside the mark, the world-class righthand pointbreak of Punta Roca may just be the event needed to close the gap on the current World No. 1 Carissa Moore (HAW) and company. Though it’s a new event on Tour, the world’s best are ready to rise to the occasion.
“So far I’ve had a great experience here in El Salvador,” said Moore. “I am settling in and trying to figure everything out. I’ve had two sessions out at Punta Roca. The wave is really fun and I am excited to see it with a little more swell on it. It is super exciting to have a new event on Tour, but to have it as our seventh event and on the second-half of the Tour at such a crucial point in deciding the Final 5 at the end of the year, it is a little nerve-wracking. Everyone is on that level playing field and everyone is starting from square one. The person who is going to win it will be the person who can go with the flow.”
For the men, the return of reigning, three-time WSL Champion, Gabriel Medina (BRA) made their mission that much more difficult after his impressive showing in G-Land. But, a highly-competitive field sits within the Top 5 such as current No. 1 Filipe Toledo (BRA), and just outside looking to capitalize on every opportunity. For Toledo, this wave resembles his San Clemente home of Trestles and the likes of J-Bay, both waves he’s had a lot of success in.
“This is a beautiful wave, really high-performance with a good opportunity for variety,” said Toledo. “It is a cobblestone beach similar to Trestles, but it is a right-hand point break. I hope we’ll see airs, and if it is big enough, barrels. It reminds me of J-Bay a little bit. It is going to be a really fun event. I feel like all the heats are going to be really high points, and it is going to be really fun to watch.”
El Salvador’s Next Generation of Surfers Meet Pros at WSL Rising Tides Presented by Pura Vida
WSL Rising Tides Presented by Pura Vida kicked off its 2022 program ahead of the Surf City El Salvador Pro.
WSL Rising Tides is a cornerstone of the WSL’s values, providing young surfers access to the world’s best surfers and a platform to explore and learn from their heroes about pursuing their dreams in and out of the water.
Today, El Salvador’s up-and-coming talents met up with CT stars for a surf session at Playa San Blas. Brisa Hennessy (CRI), Isabella Nichols (AUS), Gabriela Bryan (HAW), Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA), Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), and Dominic Barona (ECU) shared their insights as professional surfers to the young girls who joined the afternoon session, ranging from 6 to 26 years old. This is the first of seven WSL Rising Tides programs taking place throughout the year.
Women’s Opening Round 1 Matchups:
HEAT 1: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA), Lakey Peterson (USA), Gabriela Bryan (HAW)
HEAT 2: Carissa Moore (HAW), Courtney Conlogue (USA), Tia Blanco (USA)
HEAT 3: Brisa Hennessy (CRI), Isabella Nichols (AUS), Caroline Marks (USA)
HEAT 4: Johanne Defay (FRA), Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS)
Surf City El Salvador Pro pres. by Corona Men’s Opening Round 1 Matchups:
HEAT 1: Ethan Ewing (AUS), Jordy Smith (ZAF), Yago Dora (BRA)
HEAT 2: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN), Connor O’Leary (AUS), Carlos Munoz (CRI)
HEAT 3: Jack Robinson (AUS), Samuel Pupo (BRA), Joshua Burke (BRB)
HEAT 4: Filipe Toledo (BRA), Nat Young (USA), Bryan Perez (SLV)
HEAT 5: Italo Ferreira (BRA), Kolohe Andino (USA), Jackson Baker (AUS)
HEAT 6: Griffin Colapinto (USA), Caio Ibelli (BRA), Jake Marshall (USA)
HEAT 7: Gabriel Medina (BRA), Callum Robson (AUS), Jadson Andre (BRA)
HEAT 8: Miguel Pupo (BRA), Barron Mamiya (HAW), Matthew McGillivray (ZAF)
Stay tuned to American Surf Magazine for updates.