The World Surf League has announced that the Founders’ Cup of Surfing presented by Michelob Ultra Pure Gold will be held at the Kelly Slater Wave Co. Surf Ranch in Lemoore, California, the first WSL event to be staged in a man-made venue. Scheduled to take place May 5–6, the region-versus-region teams event will feature a cross-section of the world’s best surfers.
Five teams (United States, Brazil, Australia, Europe and World) comprising men’s and women’s surfers from the WSL Championship Tour will compete at the man-made wave venue. Revealed to the public in December 2015, the Surf Ranch facility features a 700-yard, high-performance, bi-directional wave featuring barrel sections and maneuver sections. The Surf Ranch primarily existed as a testing facility but has recently undergone technological developments under the guidance of Kelly Slater, an 11-time WSL champion, and feedback from visiting WSL surfers. The Founders’ Cup of Surfing is the facility’s first public event.
“This technology has captured the imagination of the global surfing community and created a number of new opportunities for the WSL,” said WSL CEO Sophie Goldschmidt. “The Founders’ Cup of Surfing will be the organization’s first public event at the facility and we’re very excited to showcase the wave and the world’s best surfers through this unique team format in May.”
The Founders’ Cup of Surfing will feature men and women competing alongside one another in the team format, a first for WSL events. Teams will be made up of three men and two women from each region. The competition will be held in a festival setting that includes food, music, art and special guests.