Rip Curl Newcastle Cup Pres. by Corona: Rookie Eliminates World No. 1 in Round of 32

  • Shock Elimination for World No. 1 John John Florence by Rookie Morgan Cibilic
  • Brazilian World Champions Find Success, Adriano de Souza Celebrates 500th CT Heat
  • Julian Wilson Ends Jack Robinson’s Run at Newcastle
  • More Available at WorldSurfLeague.com
Pictured: CT rookie Morgan Cibilic (AUS) upset the Rip Curl Newcastle Cup pres. by Corona by eliminating current World No. 1 John John Florence (HAW) in the Round of 32. Credit: © WSL / Miers

The Rip Curl Newcastle Cup presented by Corona, the second stop on the World Surf League (WSL) 2021 Championship Tour (CT), said goodbye to half the men’s field today with eliminations in the Round of 32. In clean, two-to-four foot waves, the day’s biggest upset went to CT rookie Morgan Cibilic (AUS), who eliminated World No. 1 John John Florence (HAW). 

Shock Elimination for World No. 1 Florence by Rookie Cibilic

In a major event upset, CT rookie Morgan Cibilic (AUS) eliminated John John Florence (HAW), current World No. 1 and two-time WSL Champion, in the Round of 32. Following a foot injury, it was thought that Cibilic might have withdrawn from the event as he was unable to walk. To everyone’s surprise, Cibilic fought through the pain of his toe fracture to score an excellent 17.13 two-wave total (out of a possible 20) to Florence’s 13.16 combined score. The 21-year old will advance to the Round of 16, where he will face compatriot Wade Carmichael

“I feel like I just won the event,” Cibilic said. “I’m so glad the event didn’t run for a few days because I haven’t been able to surf for almost four days. If we ran yesterday, I don’t think I would have been able to compete. I still had so much bruising around my foot. It’s really settled down overnight, so I was glad to get out there this morning. I’ve surfed events with burst eardrums, knee injuries and now a fractured toe, it seems to work for me and keep me composed. I’m so excited to win.”

Brazilian World Champions Find Success, De Souza Celebrates 500th CT Heat 

Two-time WSL Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA) took a solid win in the opening heat of the day, overcoming fellow goofy-footer Connor O’Leary (AUS) in the slow, hightide conditions. Medina looked fast and sharp on his way to victory, crediting his current approach to his new coach Andy King. 

“I wanted to get out of my comfort zone,” Medina said. “I wanted to try something different because I’m getting old. I know my sister is coming up, you know, my dad’s going to take care of my sister. I’m pretty sure she will be here one day and he’s the right guy to do it. So I’m here working with Andy King. He’s giving me the confidence to do it, so that’s the guy I need on my corner and to have that knowledge of being a goofy and having experience here is a big advantage, so I feel good. He also pays lots of attention to boards and maneuvers, which is interesting and helpful to me.”

2015 WSL Champion Adriana de Souza (BRA) competed in his 500th CT heat today in the Round of 32. De Souza celebrated the feat with a win overJeremy Flores (FRA) in Heat 3. He will now advance to the Round of 16, where he will match with Julian Wilson (AUS). Last year, De Souza announced that 2021 will be his final year on the CT before retiring from full-time competition. 

“I went into that heat trying to be as relaxed as I could,” De Souza said. “ I’m not fighting for my points anymore, just for my best performance. My first few rounds were super tough and I had close losses so I analyzed them at least 20,000 times to understand where I went wrong. In Round 2, I felt more prepared but this round I felt fully prepared. Jeremy Flores is such a great competitor and he really pushes me. We have had a long rivalry but a lot of respect for one another. I’m hoping I can keep these performances coming for the next few days of the event.” 

Reigning WSL Champion Italo Ferreira (BRA) had his work cut out as he came up against Merewether Surfboard Club’s wildcard Jackson Baker (AUS). He narrowly defeated the local favorite by only 1.60-points with the exciting goofy-foot extending his lead on his final ride. The Brazilian standout progresses into the Round of 16 where he will take on Californian youngster Griffin Colapinto (USA).

Wilson Ends Robinson’s Run at Newcastle

For the fourth time in three events, CT stalwart Julian Wilson (AUS) matched up with 2021 CT Rookie Jack Robinson (AUS). With Robinson already banking two wins over Wilson, Wilson was eager to get his second victory over the youngster. It was a close heat down to the wire until Robinson, needing a score, blocked Wilson and was penalized with an interference, meaning he lost his second score, leaving Wilson to progress into the Round of 16. 

“That was a good heat,” Wilson said. “I’m stoked to see that Jack (Robinson) has the fire to compete. He’s very talented and obviously got a win over me at Pipe, which I was super bummed about and I came here and got two back on him, which felt good. He’s one of my favorite surfers to watch and we will have plenty of more heats with each other, but he’s got to learn to get out of the way when I’ve got priority.” 

Watch LIVE
All the action from the Rip Curl Newcastle Cup pres. by Corona will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com and the free WSL app. Also, check local listings for coverage from the WSL’s broadcast partners. Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow, Friday, April 9, at 6:45 a.m. AEST to reassess the conditions and make the next call. 

The Rip Curl Newcastle Cup pres. by Corona is proudly supported by our partners Rip Curl, Corona, the NSW Government’s tourism and major events agency Destination NSW, The City of Newcastle, Red Bull, Oakley, Hydro Flask, Harvey Norman, Bonsoy, Boost Mobile, Dometic Outdoor, Bond University, BF Goodrich, Burton Automotive, and Oakberry. 

Rip Curl Newcastle Cup pres. by Corona Men’s Round of 32 Results:
HEAT 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 12.16 DEF. Connor O’Leary (AUS) 9.60
HEAT 2: Frederico Morais (PRT) 12.10 DEF. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 11.20
HEAT 3: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 10.93 DEF. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 7.40
HEAT 4: Julian Wilson (AUS) 11.67 DEF. Jack Robinson (AUS) 4.00
HEAT 5: Morgan Cibilic (AUS) 17.13 DEF. John John Florence (HAW) 13.16
HEAT 6: Wade Carmichael (AUS) 12.17 DEF. Seth Moniz (HAW) 11.67
HEAT 7: Ryan Callinan (AUS) 11.40 DEF. Crosby Colapinto (USA) 11.06
HEAT 8: Owen Wright (AUS) 9.60 DEF. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 9.00
HEAT 9: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 12.80 DEF. Jackson Baker (AUS) 11.20
HEAT 10: Griffin Colapinto (USA) 11.43 DEF. Michel Bourez (FRA) 10.50
HEAT 11: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 10.83 DEF. Ethan Ewing (AUS) 8.50
HEAT 12: Deivid Silva (BRA) 10.50 DEF. Caio Ibelli (BRA) 8.74
HEAT 13: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 11.50 DEF. Alex Ribeiro (BRA) 10.40
HEAT 14: Conner Coffin (USA) 11.84 DEF. Peterson Crisanto (BRA) 11.37
HEAT 15: Yago Dora (BRA) 12.84 DEF. Jack Freestone (AUS) 10.83
HEAT 16: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 16.23 DEF. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 12.56

Rip Curl Newcastle Cup pres. by Corona Men’s Round of 16 Matchups:
HEAT 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Frederico Morais (PRT)
HEAT 2: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Julian Wilson (AUS)
HEAT 3: Morgan Cibilic (AUS) vs. Wade Carmichael (AUS)
HEAT 4: Ryan Callinan (AUS) vs. Owen Wright (AUS)
HEAT 5: Italo Ferreira (BRA) vs. Griffin Colapinto (USA)
HEAT 6: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) vs. Deivid Silva (BRA)
HEAT 7: Jordy Smith (ZAF) vs. Conner Coffin (USA)
HEAT 8: Yago Dora (BRA) vs. Filipe Toledo (BRA)

Rip Curl Newcastle Cup pres. by Corona Women’s Quarterfinals Matchups:
HEAT 1: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) vs. Isabella Nichols (AUS)
HEAT 2: Keely Andrew (AUS) vs. Courtney Conlogue (USA)
HEAT 3: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Johanne Defay (FRA)
HEAT 4: Bronte Macaulay (AUS) vs. Caroline Marks (USA)

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

COVID-19 Updates
Due to COVID-19 regulations limiting crowd size, WSL is requiring fans to reserve FREE tickets. To learn more, please read the WSL’s event guide for information on free ticket reservations and FAQs. Reserve your FREE tickets at wsl.tv/NewcastleTickets

The WSL will implement a robust and thorough COVID-19 health and safety plan for each event during the Australian leg of the CT in accordance with federal and state guidance. The WSL’s health and safety plan includes physical distancing measures, enhanced high-touch cleaning at the event site, contact tracing procedures, sanitizer stations throughout the event site, and minimal personnel on-site. 

All traveling athletes and support staff completed the mandatory 14-day hotel quarantine and received medical clearance from public health officials before entering the general community.

Due to COVID-19, the Australian CT events will run based on state border closures, strictly adhering to federal and state government guidelines and restrictions. All tour stops and dates subject to change due to applicable COVID-19 related restrictions, including global travel restrictions.

About the WSL 
Established in 1976, the World Surf League (WSL) is the home of the world’s best surfing. 
 
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The WSL annually crowns the men’s and women’s surfing World Champions. The global Tours and Competition division oversees and operates more than 180 global contests each year across the Championship Tour, the development tiers, including the Challenger, Qualifying and Junior Series, as well as longboard and big wave properties.  
 
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WaveCo includes the Surf Ranch Lemoore facility and the utilizing and licensing of the Kelly Slater Wave System.
 
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For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.