Conner Coffin
Conner Coffin, shown surfing at Rincon Point, will be competing for a World Surfing League World Championship at Lower Trestles in San Clemente next month, (Noozhawk file photo)

Santa Barbara professional surfer Conner Coffin will be competing for a men’s world championship in the inaugural World Surfing League Finals next month in Southern California.

Coffin earned one of the top five seeds for the event at Lower Trestles in San Clemente. The Rip Curl WSL Finals waiting period will run from Sept. 9-17.

“I’m so fired up to be going to the finals,” Coffin told Surfer Magazine. 

Coffin this past week competed in the WSL Corona Open Mexico in Barra De La Cruz, Oaxaca, and reached the quarterfinals.

The Corona Open turned out to be the final contest of the WSL regular season as the originally scheduled finale at the Tahiti Pro Teahupo’o was canceled due to a coronavirus outbreak in Tahiti.

The WSL decided to go to a playoff-type format to determine its men’s and women’s World Tour winners this year rather than having its season points leaders being crowned the World Champions.

Coffin ranked fourth after seven tour events with 25,355 points. It’s the highest finish in his six-year career on the WSL Championship Tour. He’ll be the only American in the men’s Final Five at Lower Trestles. Brazil’s Gabriel Medina (43,400 points), Italo Ferreira (31,660) and Filipe Toledo (30,735) are the top three and Australia’s Morgan Cibilic (25,270) is fifth.

“It’s been one of those weird weeks where everything sort of crumble into my lap and panned out perfectly,” Coffin said in his Surfer Magazine interview. With Teaahupp getting canceled, it played into my favor even though I would have loved to surf some good waves and big tubes there. But I’m stoked to go to Lowers.”

The women’s Final Five at Lower Trestles will include recent Olympics champion Carissa Moore of Hawaii at No. 1, followed by Sally Fitzgibbons (Australia), Tatiana Weston-Webb (Brazil), Stephanie Gilmore (Australia) and Johanne Defay (France).

In the format for the one-day WSL Finals, the points leaders will have byes to the finals, a best-of-three heats competition. The remaining surfers will be placed in a playoff bracket for knockout heats. Coffin has to win three heats to reach the final.

In the first round, he will surf against Cibilis, with the winner taking on No. 3 Toledo in the quarterfinals. The highest scorer of that heat advances to the semifinals to face No. 2 Ferreira for spot in the final against Medina for the world title.

Coffin has six top-10 finishes this season,  including a second place to Medina at the Rip Curl Narrabeen Classic in Australia. He grabbed fifth places at the Corona Open Mexico and at the Rip Curl Newcastle Cup and Rottnest Search in Australia, and a ninth at the Jeep Surf Ranch Pro in California.

Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.

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Barry Punzal, Sports Editor

— Noozhawk sports editor Barry Punzal can be reached at Follow Noozhawk Sports on Twitter: @NoozhawkSports. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.