Owen Wright (AUS), current WSL No. 5 and contender for the 2015 world surfing crown, has officially withdrawn from the Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons following a head injury sustained during a practice session yesterday morning.
A form surfer throughout the pre-event warm ups, Wright once again navigated an excellent tube ride in the pre-event surf yesterday morning before taking several 15-to-20 foot waves on the head. The impact of the waves reportedly caused a severe concussion, mild bleeding in the brain and limited mobility, forcing Wright to withdraw from the final event of the year and the 2015 WSL Title race. Wright remains in hospital and is expected to make a full recovery.
Characterized by his unparalleled physicality, progressive surfing and fearless tube-riding, Wright’s 2015 saw improved consistency punctuated by excellent performances at heavy-water lefthanders: a win in Fiji and a 3rd in Tahiti.
Wright’s position in the Billabong Pipe Masters has been filled by Mason Ho (HAW).
Three-time WSL Champion and current Jeep Rankings’ Leader Mick Fanning (AUS), Filipe Toledo (BRA), Adriano de Souza (BRA), reigning WSL Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA) and defending Pipe Master Julian Wilson (AUS) remain in the running for the 2015 WSL Title following Wright’s withdrawal.
Event organizers will be making today’s call shortly.
Surfline, Official Forecasters for the World Surf League, are calling for:
Solid surf continues on Thursday as the current WNW swell trends more to the NW and strong E trades prevail. The surf fades through Friday as trades also ease. Small NW swell prevails over the weekend, with much lighter wind. Confidence is increasing that a strong NW swell will build in through the middle part of next week as trades also rebuild.