Here's the latest regarding the upcoming Outerknown Fiji Pro:
Kelly Slater - In
He's not officially OUT, anyway.
Slater withdrew from Rio citing back problems and, if you do the math, he should still be out of action for Fiji. The thing is: Slater simply won't miss his maiden event as principal sponsor. And he's been adequately nursing said back problem for years. And it's his favourite event. And the injury was, in part, only an excuse to skip Rio in favour of Gold Coast gold.
He'll be there.
Leonardo Fioravanti - IN
Leo has been reportedly ripping out there recently, and will definitely compete, but we've heard that he's carrying a minor ankle injury and is only 80-85% on that leg. It could be nothing, but it's worth noting.
Caio Ibelli - OUT
Caio withdrew from the event because of an injury. He has stated that he will return in time for JBay.
Bino Lopes - IN
Bino has been rewarded for his poor result in Rio and mediocre QS ranking* by snaring the replacement spot for Caio. Not next-highest-ranked 2016 surfer Keanu Asing. Not 2017 QS juggernaut Jesse Mendes. Not some local surfer. No. Bino Lopes.
*This isn't actually fair; he was legitimately given the replacement because he was the next-highest ranked 2016 QS surfer behind Zeke.
WSL Wildcard - Yago Dora
Yago was the name on everyone's lips last event. Can he continue to dominate the big guns of the CT?
Italo Ferreira - IN
Italo returns from a 3-event hiatus due to an ankle sprain. Nobody has seen him surf, it seems. I've no idea how he's looking or feeling, but he has confirmed that he's competing.
Filipe Toledo - OUT
Filipe's hissy fit at Rio has been well documented. The WSL have suspended him until JBay. Better luck next year, Filipe.
Nat Young - IN as suspension replacement
Nat is still on track to qualify if people can continue getting injured/suspended. He's looked OK too.