UPDATED: September 8, 2015
Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) has withdrawn from the Swatch Women's Pro due to an ongoing recovery from injury. She is the latest surfer to join the growing injured list for the elite contests at Trestles. Jordy Smith (ZAF) bowed out Monday from the Hurley Pro at Trestles, joining rookie Matt Banting (AUS).
Like Smith, Gilmore is the defending event champion at Trestles. She hurt herself in a freesurf during the Women's Drug Aware Margaret River Pro in May and has yet to return to competition.
"I'm only about 70 percent recovered from my injury," said Gilmore. "I really don't want to push it and I want to be fully healed before surfing competitively again. But on the plus side, I'm really looking forward to watching the women attack the wave and seeing what they do out there."
Recent San Clemente transplant Caroline Marks (USA) will surf in Gilmore's place. Ranked No. 2 on the North American Junior Tour, Marks made a splash last month in Huntington Beach when she won the Vans US Open of Surfing Junior women's event.
"Caroline is someone who I see having a very bright future ahead of her in professional surfing," said Deputy Commissioner Jessi Miley-Dyer. "I am excited to introduce her as one of our biggest up-and-coming talents."
Among the men, injury replacement surfers will be filling in for two of the world's best. Smith has suffered a series of injuries this season. Early reports suggested that the South African was unsure about his decision to compete in San Clemente before ultimately electing not to surf.
Banting, who suffered a freesurf injury during the J-Bay Open will also tally the event in San Clemente as his third injury withdrawal of the season. Qualifying Series surfers Tomas Hermes (BRA) and Aritz Aranburu (ESP) will replace Banting and Smith, respectively.
For Smith, however, missing the Hurley Pro is a significant blow as the powerful regularfooter is last year's event champion. Previously, Smith was forced to withdraw from the Fiji Pro and Billabong Pro Tahiti in a particularly frustrating year, suffering injuries to both his back and knee.
After using the offseason to rehabilitate a shoulder injury he suffered during the Pipe Masters, he kicked the year off with solid results at Snapper and Bells. But his upswing was soon derailed when he hurt his knee in a freesurf during the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro.
Still not feeling 100 percent, Smith finished 25th at the Oi Rio Pro and withdrew from the event that followed, the Fiji Pro. He made the most of his time off, rehabbing his knee in time for the J-Bay Open. But two days before the contest began, Smith's back went out. He ultimately decided to surf his Round 2 heat against Adam Melling (AUS) but was visibly sluggish throughout, and things eventually went Melling's way. At No. 23 on the Jeep rankings, Smith now sits one spot below the requalification cutoff.
Smith and Banting haven't been alone on the sidelines. French surfer Jeremy Flores suffered a severe head injury during a surf trip to Indonesia. The injury forced him to withdraw from the J-Bay Open in July, but he came back stronger than ever in Tahiti, going on to win the event, which he surfed with a protective helmet.
And the list goes on: John John Florence (HAW) has seen bench time to rehab an ankle injury, also suffered during a freesurf, while reigning women's World Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) withdrew from Rio after injuring herself during a freesurf there, and is expected to return to competition at the Swatch Women's Pro starting September 9.