WSL Championship Tour Arrives in Paradise for Corona Bali Protected

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Keramas, Bali/Indonesia (Sunday, May 12, 2019) – The Corona Bali Protected will welcome back the world’s best surfers tomorrow for the start of the third stop on the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT). The event’s holding period runs through May 25, 2019, and event officials will select the best days within the window to run the competition. With a promising forecast over the next two days, the event looks likely to get underway tomorrow on its opening day

Heading into its second year, title partner Corona and WSL are continuing to raise awareness around the world about the dangers of marine plastic pollution in Bali by dedicating the name of the event to the cause. At the Corona Bali Pro-tected, Corona is launching “La Casa”, a pop-up house made from 1.5 tons of recycled plastic in partnership with NevHouse. The house is a platform for surfers, artists and thought-leaders to collaborate on projects that can inspire a better world. The house will pop-up in different locations on the Championship Tour, with each iteration involving new collaborators and new projects. This year, in partnership with Parley for the Oceans, the project is supporting local NGOs who have successfully campaigned for a ban of single-use plastic later this year.

Keramas surf break in Bali, Indonesia Credit: © WSL / Cestari
Defending Event Winners Peterson and Ferreira Poised to Strike at Keramas
Lakey Peterson (USA) took a big victory at the 2018 Corona Bali Protected to put herself in serious contention for her maiden WSL Title. In 2019, Peterson returns to Keramas hoping to make up ground as she sits just outside of the Top 5 on the Jeep Leaderboard. The 25-year-old will be one to watch with her powerful forehand on the walls of Keramas. 

“I really feel that Indonesia as a whole is so important to surfing,” Peterson said. “I believe that the best waves in the world are here in Indonesia and I think that most surfers around the world would agree, so I think it’s so good that the CT is back here in Bali. Last year was so special to take the win here and being chaired-up the beach was something I’ll never forget. I’d like to take some confidence from that and I do believe that there is a lot to improve on from my performance from last year, so I’m looking forward to applying it at this event. I’ve had a bit of a disappointing start to the year so I’m hoping to get back to the basics and enjoy it here in Bali.” 

Last season, Italo Ferreira (BRA) put the surfing world on notice by taking out three of the eleven stops on the men’s CT. One of these wins came at the Corona Bali Protected, where the Brazilian livewire mixed progression and power to decimate his opponents. With a win already this season on the Gold Coast, Ferreira comes to Bali sitting in second on the Jeep Leaderboard with hopes to relive his success from 2018 and work through a minor ankle injury. 

“The wave of Keramas is so special and is one of the best rights in the world,” Ferreira said. “It’s so close to the beach so you can hear all of the fans on the beach and feel the energy. Last year was so special for me winning this event. I feel like it was one of the best performances of my life. I’ve got a small injury in my ankle, but it feels pretty good so I’m looking forward to putting the jersey on and competing.” 
Jeep Frontrunners Marks and Florence Ready for Opening Day Swell
After only two events on the 2019 CT Season, 17-year-old Caroline Marks (USA) already has a commanding lead on the Jeep Rankings as she arrives on the ‘Island of the Gods’. Having finished in Equal 5th place at Keramas last year, Marks refuses to settle for anything less than a Semifinal result. 

“Bali is so amazing and it has some of the best waves in the world,” Marks said. “The people are so nice, it’s super warm so it’s good to be back. I definitely think that it is one of the most high-performance waves on Tour and I love surfing it on my backhand and I feel like the wave really suits my surfing. This year has been so fun and I’m really stoked to be wearing the Jeep Leaders Jersey. I want this contest to get started because I feel like I’m in a good rhythm so want to keep it going and hold on to the lead all year. I’m so excited to get the event started and keep my plan simple which is to win every time I paddle out.”  

Known for his incredible talent in the air, in the tube, and on the face, John John Florence (HAW) looks forward to competing at Keramas, the Balinese gem that offers opportunities that match all these surfing styles. Last year, Florence uncharacteristically fell out of the draw early, injured himself shortly after, and was then forced to withdraw from the remainder of the  2018 season. Florence now arrives in Bali in a much better position, atop of the Jeep Leaderboard. The two-time WSL Champion hopes to right the wrongs of last year and stamp his authority at the Corona Bali Protected. 

“Bali is the kind of place that you dream of coming when you’re a kid,” Florence said. “It’s such a perfect surf trip with great waves and such a rich culture. It’s a totally different world here with such amazing people and great food. Keramas is one of the best places to compete in the world, it’s so high performance and really consistent, too. It has a bit of everything with barrels turns and air sections. It really brings the best out of the competitors, plus it’s so close to the beach, which makes it exciting. I’m super excited to be in the Jeep Leaders Jersey but I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself as it’s a long year. This is definitely one of the better starts to the year I’ve had which is nice to know that all of that hard work to come back from my injury  has paid off.”

The Corona Bali Protected and Red Bull Airborne Bali will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com and Facebook.com/WSL . Also check local listings for coverage from the WSL’s broadcast partners. 

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com