The WSL yesterday announced that Dane Reynolds will surf in this year's J-Bay Open, after being awarded his third wildcard spot so far this season.
Yep, another one. Because of the WSL rule change meaning wildcards now keep their CT points, Dane's currently sitting in 34th place in the world rankings -- ahead of full-time tour surfers CJ Hobgood and Brett Simpson, and two places behind Jay Davies, who like Reynolds has competed in two events as a wildcard this year. He'll almost certainly be Quiksilver's chosen wildcard for the France Pro too -- especially if he performs well in South Africa -- making qualification for next year, which would require him to finish in the top 22, a genuine if unlikely possibility.
Obviously the WSL is desperate for Reynolds to be back on tour, as indeed is Quiksilver, precisely because most of us are too; it makes their respective products more interesting. Stab magazine called it "a synonymous push from what fans want and what the WSL needs." What a sentence that is. I've been wondering exactly what a "synonymous push" entails. Is it a shove? Or were they reaching for "unanimous"? Or "simultaneous", perhaps? Bloody Australians.
No doubt those QS competitors busting guts and breaking banks year-round in sub-par surf, but possessing neither Reynolds' talent nor commercial appeal, will feel a touch put out, perhaps synonymously so; but from a purely selfish point of view, is there anyone else whose J-Bay heat you're more excited about watching? Which may or may not be the point.
Here's some J-Bay Dane from 2009.