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After a couple of controversial calls go against Medina and Italo Ferreira in Lemoore, Medina issues an open letter to the WSL via his Instagram
Gabriel Medina criticizes the WSL
The Brazilian three-time world surfing champion published a post on his social media accounts expressing concerns about how his waves have been scored in Championship Tour events.
“Dear WSL, please understand the importance of this discussion.
Surfing has been my life and my love for this sport is unconditional. I have put all my heart into and and want to leave a beautiful legacy one day when I look back at it.
However the surfing community, especially in Brazil, is mesmerised with the poor clarity and inconsistence of judging for many years now, but lately it has been even more shocking.
It is quite clear that judging is now rewarding very simple surfing, seamless transitions and have taken critical turns in critical sections off the criteria. This is very frustrating and is stagnating the sport.
Fans and sponsors will not accept this to continue and will in a near future be drawn away once all they want is equal and fair judging to the sport.
Also, important to note that many coaches and managers have had the opportunity to speak to WSL after heats/events to ask about PROGRESSION and VARIETY in the criteria and the lack of reward for this space. The response given by them is always quite defensive by giving poor examples to illustrate THEIR point.
WSL needs urgently to clarify judging and apply equal and fair judging to save the progression of the sport.”
Griffin Colapinto Controversially Defeats Italo Ferreira
In addition to Gabriel Medina’s defeat, Surf Ranch’s decision between Italo Ferreira and Griffin Colapinto also caused great controversy, the Brazilian ended up losing unfairly, in the opinion of many fans.
Gabriel Medina lost his quarterfinal matchup against Ethan Ewing with an equal result – both surfers finished the heat with 16.67 points.
The professional surfing circuit has not yet commented on the Brazilian’s words.
Filipe Toledo, Yago Dora, Julian Wilson, Jeremy Flores, Ramzi Boukhiam, Jack Freestone, Alejo Muniz, Caio Ibelli, Adriano de Souza, and Michel Bourez were some of the athletes who backed Medina’s statement.
The WSL rule book defines five subjective elements that are at the heart of judging:
- Commitment and degree of difficulty;
- Innovative and progressive maneuvers;
- Combination of major maneuvers;
- Variety of maneuvers;
- Speed, power, and flow;
Unlike sports like football, basketball, or tennis, surfing requires subjective measurement using a set of assessment criteria. Surf heats involve a panel of five judges.