Alejo Muniz (BRA) and Tomas Hermes (BRA) will replace Taj Burrow (AUS) and Freddy Patacchia (HAW) at this year's Quiksilver Pro France, Stop No. 9 of the Men's Samsung Galaxy Championship World Tour (CT).
"I wouldn't miss it for the world," Burrow said. "This is the most monumental moment of our lives." The longtime pro hopes to return at the tail-end of the season for the Billabong Pipe Masters.
Patacchia, currently No. 27 on the Jeep Leaderboard, has withdrawn from the remainder of the CT contests this season for personal reasons. The legendary Hawaiian surfer has been on Tour for 11 consecutive seasons and said he hopes to rediscover the competitive drive that has kept him there for so long.
The replacement surfers for both Patacchia Jr. and Burrow will be solid threats when they paddle out in France. Muniz was on the CT in 2014, and is currently ranked No. 1 on the Qualifying Series, while hermes is No. 46. The last time Muniz and Hermes appeared in a CT contest together was at this year's J-Bay Open, where they finished in fifth place and 25th place, respectively.
Since then, Hermes competed against the world's elite at the Vans US Open of Surfing QS contest, where Kolohe Andino (USA) defeated him in Round 4. He was back again for the Hurley Pro, but had an early exit when Gabriel Medina (BRA) defeated him in Round 2.
Muniz, meanwhile, made it to the Quarterfinals at J-Bay, where Mick Fanning (AUS) took him down. In Round 1 in France, he will be competing in Heat 1 against Kelly Slater (USA) and fellow Brazilian Jadson Andre, while Hermes will look to take down Filipe Toledo (BRA) and Adam Melling (AUS) in Heat 4.