World Surf title decider edging closer

The new-look WSL Final, to decide the men's and women's world titles, is likely to go ahead in the next 24 hours with the California event now on yellow alert.

STEPHANIE GILMORE.
STEPHANIE GILMORE. Picture: Drew Ryan/Getty Images

Stephanie Gilmore's wait to fight for a record eighth world surfing title continues, however, the new-look WSL Finals are likely to get under way in the next 24 hours.

The next call on competition at the Lower Trestles break in California will be made on Tuesday AEST with the event placed on "yellow alert", meaning a start then is probable.

It has a window from September 9-17, awaiting the best conditions for the one-day frenzy to decide both the women's and men's crown.

"We're not on today but we've put the event on yellow alert which means it's very likely we will be running tomorrow," said Jessie Miley-Dyer, the WSL's head of competition.

"The yellow alert is 24 hours out from what we think is going to be the start so I'm saying tomorrow is probably going to be the day."

Gilmore is waiting to take on France's Johanne Defray in the opening clash of the women's event for the season's top five surfers.

But as fourth seed, she will need to go unbeaten through four matches in the one day to win the crown while top-seeded Hawaiian Carissa Moore is already guaranteed a spot in the best-of-three heat title decider.

A win over fifth seed Defray means Gilmore then faces third-ranked fellow Australian Sally Fitzgibbons, while second seed Tatiana Weston-Webb awaits the winner of that.

Australia's Morgan Cibilic faces the same marathon challenge as Gilmore in the men's event.

Seeded fifth, he will take on fourth-ranked American Connor Coffin in the opening men's match.

Men's competition leader Gabriel Medina is seeded straight through to the title decider.