As the World Surf League Championship Tour his the unofficial halfway point (there are 11 stops this year) as the guys head to Jeffrey’s Bay, South Africa, let’s take a quick look at how we got here. An uneven first half for the Dragon surfers may seem less than ideal as we get ready to kick off stop six, they are very much in the title race.
Owen Wright—who made his triumphant return to competitive surfing after a devastating injury late in 2015—has exceeded everyone’s expectations and currently finds himself tied for 3rd place in the points standings. After a monumental and emotional win at Snapper Rocks to start the year, Owen has been consistently in the top 9, save for an uncharacteristically early exit in Fiji. The lanky goofy-footer looks to improve in J-Bay, as he sits within striking distance of Tour leader and good friend Matt Wilkinson.
Last year’s J-Bay champion, Mick Fanning, had a rough start to the year, but after making some adjustments and making the best of some down time, he has put together some strong performances. A solid performance from Fanning in South Africa would propel him into the top 10. He has his work cut out for him, but a strong second half wouldn’t be out of the question for the 3-time World Champion.
Adrian “Ace” Buchan sits in the middle of the points leaderboard (16th) after a string of disappointing finishes, yet the results are highlighted by a 2nd place finish in Brazil at the Oi Rio Pro. The Australian has years of experience and will likely lean on it as he looks to turn on the jets on the back nine.
The outlook for Dragon’s stable of surfers is a bit uneven, but with six events left and plenty of points available in a wide open title race, look for Owen, Mick and Ace to make a move. The Corona Open at J-Bay waiting period kicks off July 12th. Visit the World Surf League event site for streams, results and information.
Owen Wright’s brilliant performance at the Fiji Pro could not have been scripted any better. In perfect eight- to ten-foot surf at the infamous Cloudbreak, Wright cruised to his first world tour victory since 2011.
“It’s a dream come true,” sighed a bewildered Wright from the channel after the spray has settled.
Posting two perfect 10-point rides in Round 5 of the contest, Wright found himself in very distinguished company as one of only five surfers to have ever logged a perfect heat. But he wasn’t done. Fighting his way to the final, the powerful goofy-footer was clearly on a roll. Already in firm control of the final, in the dying minutes he locked into two more perfect 10-point rides. It’s the first time in the history of professional surfing that someone has tallied two perfect heat scores in one contest.
Wright now sits ranked third on the WSL ratings, right in front of fellow Dragon team member Mick Fanning. Both are within striking distance of the 2015 WSL World Title and are looking to make a strong push as the season hits the halfway point.
Wright has been a part of the Dragon family since his early days and has helped provide inspiration and design feedback for our award winning sunglass line. He has his own signature sunglass color ways in the Jam and Remix styles and was a key inspiration in the development of the H20 Floatable Collection, which has revolutionized sunglasses for those who live their lives in and around the water.
Elevating expectations for a lifestyle sunglass, Dragon introduces the new Shadow Collection for 2015. Consisting of three bold silhouettes – the DS1, DS2 and Mansfield – the Shadow Collection takes design cues from Dragon’s award winning Frameless Lens Technology with a unique shield lens that creates a sleek, sophisticated aesthetic. This is combined with hand-made, Italian crafted frames and the assurance of the premium quality Dragon is known for. The name aside, this distinctive collection is for those looking to set themselves apart from the crowd.
Many of Dragon’s top athletes like Owen Wright have been wearing the styles in this new collection. To see the Shadow Collection in person, check out one of our fine retail partners near you or go online to www.DragonAlliance.Com.