(Reuters) – The world’s best surfers are heading inland this week to California’s farm country as they compete in the first-ever World Surf League event on mechanical waves.
The Surf Ranch Pro, in Lemoore, features a man-made lake which takes away the uncertainty of ocean conditions and the event, which starts on Thursday, will use a new leaderboard style format with surfers earning scores for “runs” rather than standard heats.
Brazil’s Filipe Toledo leads the men’s championship standings after seven rounds, with compatriots Gabriel Medina and Italo Ferreira and Australian Julian Wilson the others still in contention for the title.
“Being number one there’s always a target on your back but you know it’s always a motivation for me to do better, to improve in my results in my surfing and that what I’m trying to do,” the 23-year-old Toledo said.
(Reporting by Hardik Vyas in Bengaluru, editing by Ed Osmond)