All things considered, it’s been a pretty great year for Filipe Toledo. While not each individual segment has been great, it’s certainly all been interesting for the Brazilian. He added to the captivating nature of his persona with a win at the Hurley Pro at Trestles Friday in San Clemente, Calif.
That gives Toledo two event wins in his past three Championship Tour contests after he won the J-Bay Open back in July. He moves into seventh place for the season, though his world title chances are still minimal.
It’s been a much longer time since Silvana Lima’s previous CT victory, but she also pulled off the amazing feat for the first time since 2010 by topping Keely Andrew in the Swatch Pro final.
For Lima, who was part of an earlier generation that really helped push the women’s CT to its current status, this victory is extra special. Since a severe knee injury in 2012, she has become more of a Qualifying Series mainstay, typically dominating the QS to continue her CT inclusion. Since that injury, Lima has only even made the quarterfinals in two CT contests, so her win Friday truly came out of nowhere.
Just as surprising was her opponent, the Aussie sophomore. Andrew did make one semifinal as a rookie, but has now gotten her feet wet in a final for the first time.
The pair had to be lights out, with Lima topping Lakey Peterson (16.90 to 15.60) and Andrew dispatching Courtney Conlogue (13.43 to 13.17) in the semifinal round.
It’s certainly a feel-good story for Lima, who moves up to 13th place on the CT leaderboard. She currently leads the QS rankings, so she’ll be back for the 2018 world tour even without finishing in the top 10. But this win is a reminder of the depth and danger throughout the entirety of the women’s roster. Lima has felt like a darkhorse candidate to pull out a win for the past few seasons and she has finally broken through with that signature result.
Tatiana Weston-Webb and Malia Manuel each dropped slightly in the rankings following their second-round losses. Weston-Webb is in 10th for the season and Manuel, who missed four events with injury, falls to 15th.
Carissa Moore’s quarterfinal result keeps her in ninth and still within that current re-qualification zone. She rarely has to be cognizant of the cut line, but with multiple surfers on her heels, it’s still a pressing issue.
For Toledo, his 2017 has included the highest highs and the lowest lows. He’s now the only surfer on the men’s tour with two victories this season. But he was also suspended for one event after charging into the judges’ area at the Rio Pro, forced to miss the Fiji Pro. In addition to that, he has two second-round defeats, so he’ll be counting at least one minimum result in his final ledger.
Despite those road blocks, he moves into seventh place and he could quickly move into the top five after France.
But finishing with the yellow jersey is a long shot. Jordy Smith maintains his grip on the top spot after his runner-up finish at Trestles. Smith has been remarkably consistent all year, reaching the quarterfinals in all but two events.
John John Florence has accomplished that same feat, but he sits 2,450 points behind Smith with three contests remaining. Florence dropped his semifinal heat to Toledo, missing out on a chance to face Smith in a one versus two showdown.
Sebastian Zietz reached the fifth round at Trestles, knocking off Italo Ferreira in round three before falling to Smith for a ninth-place result. Zietz remains in 15th place on the season and while his hold on a re-qualification spot seems solid, it’s anything but assured. One finals day result, either in France, Portugal or Pipeline, would go along way in securing that achievement.
The men and women take their respective CT seasons to France on Oct. 7. They have a few weeks to recuperate and clear their heads before the final stretch kicks in.
David Simon can be reached at email@example.com.