Who will win the 2017 women's world title?

Gerroa's Sally Fitzgibbons. Photo: WSL / DAMIEN POULLENOT
Gerroa's Sally Fitzgibbons. Photo: WSL / DAMIEN POULLENOT

THE race for the 2017 women's World Title is one of the closest in history, with five of the sport's biggest names still very much in the mix heading into the final event of the season, the Maui Women's Pro.

Jeep Leader Sally Fitzgibbons, from Gerroa, is clinging to a razor-thin lead over Culburra Beach’s  Tyler Wright, with Courtney Conlogue right on their heels.

Both Stephanie Gilmore and Carissa Moore will be playing the long odds, but will be ready to step up should the frontrunners stumble.

While there's a long list of possibilities, the gist is that Fitzgibbons, Wright and Conlogue all control their own destinies. Here are some basic takeaways of how this showdown can shake out.

Behold the season-ending point possibilities for the 2017 Women's World Title race. The highlighted result is the minimun requirement for each surfer to have a shot. The bold number is the minimum number of rankings points they'll walk away with after the Maui Pro. Photo: WSL

Behold the season-ending point possibilities for the 2017 Women's World Title race. The highlighted result is the minimun requirement for each surfer to have a shot. The bold number is the minimum number of rankings points they'll walk away with after the Maui Pro. Photo: WSL

Minimum requirement for a World Title shot:

Sally Fitzgibbons: Can bomb out, but Tyler can't finish 5th or better. Courtney can't get 3rd, and Stephanie and Carissa can't win.

Tyler Wright: Needs at least a 5th, but Sally can't finish in front of her. Courtney can't get 3rd or better. Steph and Carissa can't win.

Courtney Conlogue: Needs at least a 3rd, but can only win the World Title if she finishes ahead of Tyler and Sally.

Carissa Moore: Needs to win the event, but Sally and Tyler can't get better than 5th, and Courtney can't make the Final.

Stephanie Gilmore: Needs to win the event, but Sally and Tyler can't get better than 5th, and Courtney can't make the Final.

The devil's in the details 

The most interesting thing to note about this race is that even though Sally is the current Jeep Leader, if she and Tyler both advance to the Quarterfinals, the advantage flips in Tyler Wright's direction because if they both finish equal 5th or equal 3rd, Tyler ends up with more points.

  • Sally, Tyler and Courtney can all win the World Title by winning the Maui Pro, so ultimately they're in control of their destiny.
  • If Sally and Tyler both get 3rd, and Courtney doesn't make the Final, the World Title goes to Tyler.
  • If Sally and Tyler both get 5th, Courtney doesn't make the Semifinals, and Steph or Carissa don't win, the World Title goes to Tyler.