PENICHE, Portugal (Saturday, October 20, 2018) - Italo Ferreira (BRA) has won the MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal, Stop No. 10 of 11 on the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), over Joan Duru (FRA) in a Final held in clean three-to-four foot (1 - 1.2 metre) surf at the iconic Supertubos beach break. Tens of thousands of fans flocked the beach and dunes of Supertubos to support the athletes and enjoy high-performance surfing at one of Europe’s finest surfing spots. The electric vibe peaked every time surfers took their act to the air and fans lit up in loud cheers.
The 10th edition of the MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal witnessed incredible performances by the world’s best surfers earlier this week as Supertubos pumped heavy surf, and culminated today with Ferreira’s first-ever win on Portuguese soil.
“This is crazy, I can’t believe it,” Ferreira said. “In my first year I got a second here, so now I’ve got my first win here. Thank you Portugal and thank you to everyone on the beach and my family and friends. I’m so excited. That was a crazy year for me, I got a couple of wins and some bad results, but I’m just living my dream and this is the best feeling.”
World No. 4 Ferreira claimed his third event victory of the season after winning the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach and the Corona Bali Protected earlier this season. Despite being inconsistent with six early losses, the 24-year-old is in his best-ever season on the Championship Tour and will be a strong contender for the World Title race in years to come. In an incredible air show, Ferreira defeated compatriot Gabriel Medina (BRA) in the Semifinals and effectively sent the World Title race to Hawaii by depriving Medina of a win in Portugal.
“I’m still learning and enjoying myself,” Ferreira added. “This is the best job in the world!”
Duru pulled the trigger first in the Final with a combination of two critical backhand turns for a 7.00 (out of 10) to apply pressure on Ferreira early on. But the Brasilian just went to what he does best and landed two back-to-back forehand rotations for a 7.43 and an excellent 8.50 to turn the situation mid-heat. The ocean, unfortunately, did not provide many more opportunities for Duru and the result remained unchanged for the remainder of the Final, giving Ferreira the win.
World No. 33 on the Jeep Leaderboard coming into this event, Duru posted with this runner-up result, his career-highest placing and will rocket up ten spots in the rankings to No. 23, to give himself a strong shot at re-qualifying in the final event of the year in Hawaii (only the Top 22 male surfers will requalify from the Jeep Leaderboard). Duru was the event’s giant-killer, having previously eliminated Filipe Toledo (BRA) in Round 3, Julian Wilson (AUS) in the Quarters and Owen Wright (AUS) in the Semifinals.
“I’m so stoked and I didn’t have many results before,” Duru said. “I just came here to have fun and make some heats so I’m really stoked to be here and it’s amazing. I really didn’t think about requalification and rankings, I just wanted to surf and that’s it. I’m stoked I had my family, my grandparents and my mom here with me, and thanks to all my friends for the support.”
In the first Semifinal, Ferreira got a quick start with a 7.17 in the early minutes of his exchange with Medina, launching what would become an incredible air show, with a good forehand rotation. Medina did not wait long to reply with a similar wave for a 6.83 and later upgraded to a 7.90 with an alley-oop to take the lead. Both surfers continued to showcase the different variations of their aerial repertoire and Medina seemed in control of the heat. But, out of nowhere, Ferreira pulled the biggest maneuver of the whole event for an incredible 9.30 to upset the 2014 World Champion and advance into the Final.
With his equal 3rd result in Peniche, Medina further extended his pole position on the Jeep Leaderboard, finishing ahead of his two rivals in the World Title Race, Toledo and Wilson. Coming off of four consecutive excellent results, Medina is undoubtedly the form surfer of the back half of the 2018 season and seems poised to claim a second World Title as the year winds up.
“It was a good heat against Italo as always,” Medina said. “He’s a good friend of mine and he deserved that one. I’m happy with my performance. I know I did my best and now my focus is on Pipe. We didn’t hassle each other, we knew it was going to be an air show. I come from two wins and two thirds so I’m happy with my performance and Pipe is a wave that I like so now I’ll focus on that.”
The Men's World Title Scenarios going into the last event of the season, the Billabong Pipe Masters in Hawaii, are as follows:
- If Gabriel Medina finishes 1st or 2nd at the Billabong Pipe Masters, he wins the World Title;
- If Gabriel Medina finishes 3rd at the Billabong Pipe Masters, Julian Wilson & Filipe Toledo will need to finish 1st;
- If Gabriel Medina finishes 5th-25th, Julian Wilson & Filipe Toledo will need a 2nd or 1st at Pipe.
In the second Semifinal, Duru took on Wright in another goofyfoot showdown, but this time most of the action happened on the wave face. Both surfers attacked the rights on their backhand, but the best wave of the heat came to the Frenchman and he posted a 7.83 to distance himself from Wright and take the spot for the Final. With an Equal 3rd place, Wright posted his second-best result of the season and moved up ahead of Jordy Smith (ZAF) to No. 5 on the rankings before the Billabong Pipe Masters.
Michel Bourez (PYF), the first surfer eliminated today in Quarterfinal 1, kickstarted a return to form with an Equal 5th place in Peniche. The Tahitian surfer started his 2018 season strong with two 5th place results and a runner-up result in the first four events, but then suffered a heavy setback with four consecutive 13th place finishes and an even more unusual last place loss in France. A former Pipe Master, Bourez will have one more chance to redeem himself at the final event of the season in December.
In the second Quarter, World No. 1 Medina lit the beach on fire with aerial mastery and gave his opponent Matt Wilkinson (AUS) no chance with a 16.16 heat total (out of a possible 20). The Australian stuck to a different peak with clean little rights to exploit on his backhand but eventually bowed out in equal 5th place at Supertubos.
Duru continued his giant-killing spree and once again played spoilers in the World Title race as he eliminated Wilson in the third Quarterfinal. In a slow heat, Wilson waited too patiently to start putting scores on the board while his opponent was building his scoreline on smaller waves. Eventually, the gap was too big for the Australian to fill and he placed equal 5th. Wilson needed to advance through to the Semifinals to push the title race to Pipeline.
The last Quarterfinal continued with the slow pattern and once again it was a goofyfoot who found the best opportunities early on. Wright surfed a very similar heat to Duru’s and put together a 5.00 and a 6.17 (out of a possible 10) to eliminate Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) in equal 5th. The Japanese surfer failed to advance into a fourth Semifinal this season but put on a satisfying result following a disappointing 25th in France.
For highlights from the MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.
The men will now head to the North Shore of Oahu for the final event on the Championship Tour, the Billabong Pipe Masters. The event window will open on December 8 and run through December 20, 2018.
The women’s World Title will also be decided in Hawaii at the Beachwaver Maui Pro, which holds a competitive window from November 25 - December 6, 2018.
Both events will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com and the WSL’s Facebook page. Also check local listings for coverage from the WSL's broadcast partners.
For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.
MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal Final Results:
1 - Italo Ferreira (BRA) 15.93
2 - Joan Duru (FRA) 10.77
MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 16.47 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 14.73
SF 2: Joan Duru (FRA) 13.60 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 12.00
MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 16.10 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 5.20
QF 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 16.16 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 11.03
QF 3: Joan Duru (FRA) 11.57 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 5.10
QF 4: Owen Wright (AUS) 11.17 def. Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 4.60
2018 WSL Men’s CT Jeep Leaderboard (After MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal):
1 - Gabriel Medina (BRA) 56,190 pts
2 - Julian Wilson (AUS) 51,450 pts
2 - Filipe Toledo (BRA) 51,450 pts
4 - Italo Ferreira (BRA) 43,070 pts
5 - Owen Wright (AUS) 35,570 pts
For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.
PLAGE DES CULS NUS - Hossegor, Landes, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France (Friday, October 12, 2018) - Today, Julian Wilson (AUS) and Courtney Conlogue (USA) won the Quiksilver Pro and Roxy Pro France, Stop No. 9 of the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT). The final day of competition witnessed Wilson and Conlogue plow through a stacked field to earn their momentous wins at the 17th running of the iconic French event.
Wilson’s victory in France is his second of the season after the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast earlier this year. Only a month before the 2018 season opener on the Gold Coast, Wilson suffered a serious shoulder injury and it was unclear whether he would be able to compete. The win today proves his determination and the fact that the 29-year-old is not giving up his hopes for a maiden World Title. Wilson now strengthens his third place position with only 4,645 points separating him and World No. 1 Gabriel Medina (BRA).
“My emotions come from dedicating this win to Pierre Agnes,” Wilson said. “He was such a beautiful human being. Thank you, Pierre. All the surfers love you. The moment of silence before the Final shook me, everything he’s done for surfing here in France and I’ve always dreamt of winning this event."
Conlogue has been fighting her way back to the top following a foot injury that sidelined her for the first half of the season and today’s victory marks a triumphant confirmation of her new-found form following a win at the Vans US Open of Surfing and a fifth-place finish at the Surf Ranch Pro. The Championship Tour veteran, in her eighth year competing with the Top 17, claims her first-ever win in France and the eleventh of her career, pushing her up to No. 8 on the Jeep Leaderboard.
“This whole event has been quite the journey,” Conlogue stated. “I had a lot of fun out there today, the conditions were so clean in that Final and I was just frothing. I had to keep my cool cause I was feeling like a grom! I wanted to be here in this position [with two event wins], but it was a matter of believing and working really hard. I came here with a little injury, but it was good cause it made me slow down a bit and forced me to maintain energy over the lay days."
In a slow start to the men’s Final, Ryan Callinan (AUS) fired first with a good left, hitting the lip multiple times all the way into the shorebreak for a 6.83 (out of a possible 10) and the lead. Following a short interruption due to the evening fog coming through the lineup, Wilson answered with a tail-high full rotation for a 6.67 to tighten up the battle. Just before the 10-minute mark, Callinan laid into a powerful layback snap to grasp the Final’s lead with a 7.40. But Wilson picked up where he left off in the Semifinals and launched a big backhand full rotation for an excellent 8.67 to steal the lead off the wildcard. Time ran out on Callinan chasing a 7.95 and Wilson took the win.
“To share the Final with Ryan (Callinan) was incredible too,” Wilson added. “I loved surfing against (Gabriel) Medina, too. There’s just so much I can be thankful for. I had to bring my A-game to beat Ryan in the final. I’ve lost my first Final here against Medina and I think I hold a grudge since then and this year finally it happened.”
Callinan comes off a tear on the Qualifying Series, culminating with his win at the QS 10,000 in Ericeira two weeks ago, which sealed the deal on his qualification for the 2019 Championship Tour. The goofyfoot from Newcastle perfectly transitioned to the big leagues in this event, showing he deserves a full-time spot with the world’s best surfers. Callinan spent one season on the CT in 2016 but never made it past 9th place back then, and the runner-up result today marks a career-best achievement for the 26-year-old.
“This doesn’t feel real but more like a dream,” Callinan said. “I’m sure it’ll sink in soon though and I’m just so happy to be here and be a part of it in France. It’s really exciting. I couldn’t have asked for anything better [than sharing the final with Julian Wilson], even finishing second to him, I know he’s going for something special and that was a big event for him. We’ve grown to be really good friends and I was happy to share that special moment with him.”
Callinan will have another opportunity to show his place amongst the world elite as the wildcard on the next stop on the men’s CT, the MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal, which opens on October 16, 2018.
The 2018 WSL Title race previously heated up in the men’s second Semifinal as Medina and Wilson fought it out for a place in the Final. The 30-minute heat was an unbelievable exchange of aerial mastery between two of the most progressive surfers on the planet. Wilson launched and landed a crazy inverted backhand rotation to post the event’s first Perfect 10 point ride and defended it with a good 6.67 for the win. Medina fought back with a great wave on which he performed two airs, a straight air with a grab first and a forehand rotation to finish it, but the score came in as a 7.77, short of the 9.01 required score to turn the heat.
Wilson’s incredible performance deprived the 2014 World Champion of a shot at a third straight event win in France and put a stop to his incredible streak on the Championship Tour lately. The 3rd place finish now vaults Medina to first on the leaderboard and he will now wear the yellow Jeep Leader Jersey at the upcoming MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal.
Roxy Pro France winner Conlogue started the Final against Macy Callaghan (AUS) with a massive layback snap on a set wave to post a 7.33 (out of a possible 10) on this single, highly technical maneuver. The Californian quickly backed it up and continued to build momentum, surfing the long rights with her aggressive forehand attack to eventually build a 14.74 heat total (out of a possible 20). Callaghan fought on a similar playing field, catching several good rights but couldn’t quite match Conlogue’s power in the turns or link together a long wave to get back in the fight. With only two average scores on the board, the 17-year-old Australian never really threatened Conlogue for the win.
"I said before the Final that if I can find some rhythm and if the ocean and I can link up and have the same high voltage then I can put in a statement performance, which I think I did," said Conlogue. "It's a huge win in a place I love. I couldn't be happier."
Callaghan, 17, is Australia’s next up-and-coming superstar. As the 2016 World Junior Champion, all eyes have been on the young surfer as she has been given the opportunity to compete on the WSL CT as a replacement for injured CT competitors. Today’s finish marks Callaghan’s career-best result in only her eighth time competing at the most elite level of professional surfing. On the cusp of qualification for the 2019 season, she will undoubtedly be a competitor to watch and a key player in surfing’s next generation.
"I had a bad run at the start of the year and Bells was probably the low point,” Callaghan stated. “I was emotional and not in a good place. I wasn't believing in myself or my surfing. I haven't even made the Final of a big Qualifying Series event before, so to make my first Championship Tour Final is unbelievable. I'm disappointed that I didn't perform to my best in the Final, but the bigger picture is so positive. There's been a big change and that is that I believe in myself and my surfing. I've learned so much here in France and had so much fun doing it. I'll never forget this experience."
Callaghan had an amazing road to the Final in France, defeating many great surfers on her way to a career-best result. It started in Round 2 with a victory over Nikki Van Dijk (AUS), continued with a second place in Round 3, eliminating veteran Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) in the process, and two wins over Coco Ho (HAW) and Bronte Macaulay (AUS) in the Quarterfinals and Semifinals.
Three-time WSL Champion Carissa Moore (HAW) started her Semifinal with a good sized right and a beautiful drawn-out carve, finishing the wave with a radical snap for a 7.83 and the early lead. But while her opponent - eventual winner Conlogue - was keeping busy catching waves, the Hawaiian scoured the lineup unable to find a wave to her liking. Moore eventually picked up a wave in the last minute of the heat but it shut down too early and she couldn’t score the required 6.31, placing Equal 3rd and missing her chance to earn a third-straight event title in France.
In the second Semifinal, Macaulay couldn’t keep the excellent form she’s been displaying since the start of the event and was forced to watch Callaghan’s success story continue. The Australian goofyfoot captured a career-second Semifinal berth, the first of her 2018 season.
The final stop on the Women’s WSL Championship Tour will be the Beachwaver Maui Pro. The holding period will open November 25 and run through December 6, 2018. During this time, event officials will monitor the conditions and run the event during the best conditions.
The World Title scenarios are as follows:
- Gilmore will win the World Title with a 3rd or better at the Beachwaver Maui Pro.
- If Gilmore finishes 5th or worse, Peterson must win the event to force a surf-off* for the World Title.
*In the event of a tie for any World Title at the end of the Surfing Season, the tied Surfer will have a “surf-off” during the final Event, which will have the format determined by the Commissioner’s Office.
The next stop on the Men’s WSL Championship Tour will be the MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal, which holds a competitive window from October 16 - October 27, 2018. As the penultimate stop for the men’s CT, the MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal will be critical to the 2018 World Title race. The event will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com and the WSL's Facebook page. Also, check local listings for coverage from the WSL's broadcast partners.
For highlights from the Quiksilver Pro and Roxy Pro France, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.
Quiksilver Pro France Final Results:
1 - Julian Wilson (AUS) 15.34
2 - Ryan Callinan (AUS) 14.23
Quiksilver Pro France Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Ryan Callinan (AUS) 15.30 def. Conner Coffin (USA) 11.43
SF 2: Julian Wilson (AUS) 16.67 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 15.44
Quiksilver Pro France Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Conner Coffin (USA) 13.50 def. Adriano De Souza (BRA) 7.83
QF 2: Ryan Callinan (AUS) 15.77 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.03
QF 3: Julian Wilson (AUS) 15.10 def. Mikey Wright (AUS) 14.23
QF 4: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 12.44 def. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 10.73
Quiksilver Pro France Round 4 Results:
Heat 1: Conner Coffin (USA) 12.50, Jordy Smith (ZAF) 11.20, Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 10.80
Heat 2: Ryan Callinan (AUS) 18.53, Adriano De Souza (BRA) 16.50, Willian Cardoso (BRA) 12.44
Heat 3: Mikey Wright (AUS) 13.96, Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.90, Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 6.70
Heat 4: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 15.90, Julian Wilson (AUS) 14.10, Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 10.07
2018 WSL Men's CT Jeep Leaderboard (After Quiksilver Pro France):
1 - Gabriel Medina (BRA) 51,770 pts
2 - Filipe Toledo (BRA) 51,450 pts
3 - Julian Wilson (AUS) 47,125 pts
4 - Italo Ferreira (BRA) 33,490 pts
5 - Jordy Smith (ZAF) 32,020 pts
Roxy Pro France Final Results:
1 - Courtney Conlogue (USA) 14.76
2 - Macy Callaghan (AUS) 10.96
Roxy Pro France Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 14.14 def. Carissa Moore (HAW) 13.26
SF 2: Macy Callaghan (AUS) 14.33 def. Bronte Macaulay (AUS) 10.73
Roxy Pro France Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Carissa Moore (HAW) 14.67 def. Malia Manuel (HAW) 10.33
QF 2: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 13.50 def. Johanne Defay (FRA) 12.83
QF 3: Macy Callaghan (AUS) 13.60 def. Coco Ho (HAW) 10.87
QF 4: Bronte Macaulay (AUS) 12.83 def. Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 12.40
2018 WSL Women's CT Jeep Leaderboard (After Roxy Pro France):
1 - Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 61,175 pts
2 - Lakey Peterson (USA) 54,260 pts
3 - Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 44,770 pts
4 - Carissa Moore (HAW) 44,235 pts
5 - Johanne Defay (FRA) 39,895 pts
The 2018 Sea Harvest SA Junior Surfing Championships has ended at Lower Point in Jeffreys Bay with the Cape Town Surfriders team successfully defending the coveted Freedom Cup which is awarded to the team accumulating the highest points across all divisions at the five day tournament.
Their victory margin over traditional rivals, eThekweni Surfriders from KZN, was 45375 points to eThekweni’s 45140 points. The Capetonians claimed two of the eight individual national titles at stake while eThekweni took three championship titles. Buffalo City Surfriders from East London scored 42965 points and came third, their best result at the national junior championships since their runner up spot in 2003. They claimed two national titles while hosts Nelson Mandela Bay Surfriders 38066 points gave them fourth place overall. They produced one new national champion.
Cape Winelands Surfriders came fourth with 33985, Ugu Surfriders from the KZN South Coast were sixth with 27360 points came sixth. The Garden Route based Eden Surfriders team posted 24058 points for seventh, Ilembe Surfriders from the KZN North Coast were eighth with 20640 points and the six strong SA Academy Team took ninth spot with 8960points.
The 22nd edition of the national junior championships will be remembered for five days with sunshine, offshore and onshore surf, great vibes and excellent memories. Although the final day of competition was held in tough onshore surf the finalists put on an excellent show and the 2018 can proudly add their names into the annals of South African surfing history.
The new champions are Max Elkington (Cape Town Surfriders) who adds the U18 Boys Title to his previous age division success at the SA Junior Championships. The Kommetjie surfer is the only surfer to win every age group at this event.
Nelson Mandela Bay surfer and Sea Harvest Surfing Excellence Award winner in 2018, Angelo came second with 2017 U16 Boys Champion Eli Beukes (Cape Town) ending third ahead of Karl Steen (eThekweni).
Kai Woolf (Nelson Mandela Bay), the 2017 U16 Girls champion added another SA title to her name by winning the U18 Girls Final. Former champion Sophie Bell (eThekweni) was second Tayla de Coning (Buffalo City) came third and Maya Shefer – Boswell (Cape Town) came fourth.
Tide Lee Ireland (eThekweni) took gold in the U16 Boys final edging fellow SA Junior Team member Mitch du Preez (Buffalo City) into second place. Manoa Robb and York Van Jaarsveldt (both Cape Town) came third and fourth respectively.
SA Open Women’s champion and 2014 winner last year, Zoe Steyn (Buffalo City) showed her class in taking honours in the U16 Girls final. Talented Kayla Nogueira (eThekweni) came second, Ceara Knight (Cape Winelands) was third and Gabi Lailvaux (eThekweni) was fourth. All four surfers are members of the SA Junior Team going to the ISA World Championships in three weeks’ time.
SA Junior Team member Luke Thompson (eThekweni) continued his good run of form by winning the U14 Boys title. Daniel Emslie (Buffalo City), who named male Surfer of the Contest, was runner up with Brad Scott and Connor Slijpen (both Cape Town) taking third and fourth respectively.
A stoked Aimee du Preez (Buffalo City) had a fantastic contest and sealed it with a win in the U14 Girls Division. Buffalo City teammate Adriel Wolmarans was second, Chloe Ribbink (eThekweni) came third and Gia Gillmer (Ugu) was fourth.
After some good results in the early round Nate Colby (eThekweni) won gold in the U12 Division beating Kai Hall (Ilembe) into second spot. Buffalo City surfers Josh Malherbe and Joel Fowles were third and fourth respectively.
Dynamic Sarah Scott (Cape Town) not only won the U12 crown but was also named as the female Surfer of the Contest for her efforts during the championships. Anastasia Venter (Cape Winelands) was second, Sea Harvest Surfing Excellence Award winner Zia Hendricks (Nelson Mandela Bay) was third and Mayah Potgieter (Ilembe came fourth).
According to Alex Milne, SSA Operations Manager and Event Director, the 2018 Sea Harvest SA Junior Championships was a huge success. “This contest has been amazing. The weather was good, the waves have been contestable and all the surfers have enjoyed themselves. The surfing standard has been really high and it is good to see new faces claiming the titles. Without a great partner such as Sea Harvest, Surfing South Africa would not have been able to present a five star tournament such as this one. We are already looking forward to the 2019 SA Junior Surfing Championships.”
Seal Point, Cape St Francis – Breezy onshore conditions and a slight surge in swell greeted competitors on the final day of competition at the Billabong Junior Series Finale, and the first heat of the day – the U12 Girls Final was sent straight out. Gabi Herbst was the surfer of the morning with a few incredible rides in the mixed up conditions, including an 8.0 ride for the title. Sarah Scott was the runner up.
Kai Hall was the champion in the U12 Boys final, banking one huge score for two critical turns on a big set wave for a score of 9.33 and an unassailable lead, closely followed by Joel Fowles who surfed impressively on his backhand.
The U14 Girls division was a slow heat, with low scores and at the end of the heat it was Aimee Du Preez who emerged as the winner, with Olivia Winter in second place.
Luke Thompson caught 11 waves in his Final heat to defeat James Ribbink in what was an exciting and fast U14 Boys heat. Thompson’s strategy of hard and fast surfing, catch anything that moves proved to be the winning formula, with Ribbink Daniel Emslie and Brad Scott filling up the minor slots.
As the tide dropped out and the onshore waves continued to pour through relentlessly, the U16 Girls headed out for their final, and it was an action-packed exchange, with three of the girls on their backhand and one on her forehand. Zoe Steyn emerged victorious with a safe win against her counterparts, with Kayla Nogueira, Ceara Knight and Caroline Brown in second, third and fourth respectively.
The U16 Boys was another final dogged by few sets and low scores, with Tide-Lee Ireland snagging the win from York Van Jaarsveldt with a combined score of less than 9 points. Mitch Du Preez and Reilly Mare’ finished off the results with third and fourth spots.
The Pro Junior Women was a nail-biting affair as Zoe Steyn and Kai Woolf took center stage. Both surfers had been surfing phenomenally all event, and it was going to be about the surfer who caught the best waves. That was Steyn, and she won the final by a close margin from Woolf.
Then Max Elkington and Luke Slijpen took to the water to battle it out for event honours in the Pro Junior Men’s division. It was all about Elkington who took the win and broke his year-long victory drought with his first place. “I haven’t had a win this year, and for a bit of last year, so I am really happy with the win today,” said a stoked Elkington. “I also won it last here two years ago, so just very happy with the win.”
Ntokozo ‘Surprise’ Maphumalo
Aimee Du Preez
Kaylee Shaw Nell
Tide Lee Ireland
York Van Jaarsveldt
Mitch Du Preez
Pro Junior Men
Pro Junior Women
VonZipper Expression Session
BOS Highest Heat Score Award
Billabong Junior Series Results
Aimee Du Prees
Mitch Du Preez
York Van Jaarsveldt
2018 Billabong Junior Series Pro Junior Champions.
2018 Billabong Junior Series Pro Junior Champions.
2018 WSL Africa Pro Junior Champions.
Men – Luke Slijpen.
Women – Kai Woolf.
2018 WSL Africa Juniors to attend the WSL World Junior Championships – Taiwan.
Men – Luke Slijpen, Max Elkington, Eli Beukes, Luke Thompson.
Women – Kai Woolf, Zoe Steyn.
Billabong South Africa: www.facebook.com/Billabong
Billabong Women’s South Africa: www.facebook.com/BillabongWomens
The Billabong Junior Series is supported by BOS, VonZipper, Surfing South Africa and the World Surf League.
Comp report by Gregg Clarke. All photo's Dirk Tolken unless otherwise stated.
So Cobbles is a super consistent longboard wave, the only conditions it won't handle is an onshore or any big ground swell….Pretty much exactly what we got, except it was a spectacular 15 ft on the outside, with the last day adding a stiff onshore to the mix, to complicate matters even more!
None the less, when the country s best loggers pull in to the Bay for a classic weekend of jolling and surfing- you can expect the conditions to have very little affect on the surfing. Many surfers still scored in the excellent scoring range.
Well over 40 contestants were from out of town, and we were really hoping that the Classic would be, well….classic, and as always, it was! The okes were super stoked with the weekend.
We have said this many times before, it is also the only contest were someone will get knocked out of the event only to be sitting 5 minutes later on the beach with a big smile on their face watching the classic surfing that goes down. Surfing is always celebrated here, and not only the winners.! Guys were really so stoked to all hang out together and look at the different boards, appreciate the subtle differences in styles and learn more about the art of styling a classic longboard.
This year the whole format was amended. The idea was to focus more on the surfing and less on the winning, so we introduced the session based format. Every surfer got to surf 3 heats/sessions with points being allocated for each position as well as an aggregate heat total which decided the top 16 mens and top 12 ladies who would then go into the standard elimination rounds. We also added the Old Mal division, which saw surfers having to ride legitimate 60’s boards. We saw some Whitmores, Seal Points, Max Wettelands, Bobby Jouberts and a Baron being ridden. I’m sure some of those boards have never been turned or nose ridden like those dudes rode those boards. It was insane to watch.
Anyway lets get down to the surfing! The standard this year was incredible and it seems like every year the bar is being raised…another important reason we do the classic- to grow classic longboarding. To make the final cut from the 48 men and 20 ladies was a tough ask. Stand outs at this stage were Shaun Simpson, Craig Cuff and Mia Baard who were all top of their respective divisions.
The mens final saw two familiar faces, Dean “Porp” Simpson and Ludi Du Toit, with two new faces to the finals, Matt Macleod and Sam Christonson. Porp had started off a bit slow in the event with no real sign of what was yet to come....But then Porp decided to show up, albeit a little late! The 30 min final was the Porp show, with some excellent scoring rides he was able to secure a comfortable win, with Sam from Durban finishing second. Matt pulled a third, with Ludi finishing fourth.
The ladies final saw completely new faces from last years final, Crystal Hullet, Susannah Leigh, Michelle Von Kempen and Caitlyn Broukert. The tough conditions definitely opened up the playing field which suited Crystals approach to heats. She was able to dominate the final with the type of clever surfing which has seen her win so many events in both shortboarding and longboarding. In a close second place from Cape Town, was Susannah Leigh who was able to log with grace and style in really tricky conditions. Michelle secured third place, which was exceptional after the board drama she encountered, having to ride a borrowed board in the final. Caitlyn from the South Coast finished fourth.
The Old Mal was won by Ludi Du Toit with Matt Macleod taking second place.
The Best Noserider of the event: Dylan Swindale (from CT)
Style Master: 12 year old Levi Mayes (from CT)
Surfers Choice: Your truly, Gregg Clarke
I quick thanks to the following sponsors:
RYD Land and Sea
Relik Surf Store
St Francis Brewing Company
The prizes this year were amazing with a combined value of about R 40 000! Again an event like this is simply not possible without the involvement from the sponsors, so ja, on behalf of the 70 odd surfers a big thank you all!!!
Till next year,
C'mon peeps - let's get some Friendly City vibes going and all chip in to help get new Millers Local Alfonso Peters to Taiwan to compete for the SA team in the WSL 2018 World Longboard Champs this November.
Alfonso moved down to PE earlier this year and is now a regular out at Millers. He is a super smooth surfer and all-round lekker ou, and needs help to get to the World Champs.
Check out his Funding page here:
Even if you can lob in R10, it will all add up and help him get to the R22k he needs to cover flights, accommodation, food, visas and travel insurance.
Alfonso is an inspirational guy who has overcome huge challenges in his life to get where he is today - a great surfer, a loving husband, and a a proud new dad.
He moved from Cape Town to PE earlier this year to become the Manager of the Port Elizabeth Waves for Change organisation. He has been surfing for over 14 years, and represented South Africa at the ISA World Longboard Championships in China in January this year.
Alfonso had a tough childhood, and moved from Mitchell's Plein to Manenberg when he was young after the death of his father. As troubled teenager he would run away from home, get in trouble for theft. He would later live on the streets and in shelters on and off for eight years.
"It's tough and there's a lot of poverty. Living there [in Manenberg] I didn't have hope and dreams. I wanted to be a gangster myself... I nearly went that route."— Alfonso Peters
After he got in trouble with the police, a social worker invited him to a camp that changed the trajectory of his life. When he went back to school and moved to live in Muizenberg with his social worker, Ryan, Alfonso came across a pamphlet offering a free surf programme.
"I was absolutely hooked... It gave me something to wake up to in the morning. It was my passion and kept me sane."— Alfonso Peters
Throw a few shaka's - and a few bucks - Alfonso's way peeps!
Event: Billabong Junior Series
Status: WSL JQS 1,000 rated events for U18 Boys & Girls, SAST events for U16 & U14 Boys & Girls, and U12 Boys & Girls.
Venue: Seal Point, Cape St Francis, Eastern Cape
Dates: September 28 – 30.
Seal Point, Cape St Francis – The best junior surfers in the country are arriving in Seal Point for the final event in the 2018 Billabong Junior Series. The surf forecast for the contest has signs that it might be an epic weekend of surfing at the ever-consistent Seal Point, with plenty of swell around for the competitors to display their top surfing skills to the judges.
This event is possibly one of the most crucial junior surfing tournaments of the year, with much at stake for the competitors. Firstly there are the stand-alone event results, with surfers wanting to win this contest for points and prize money. Leading on from this, there are the Billabong Junior Series winners. Two event results count for these winners – from both the Billabong Junior Series Ballito and Seal Point events. This event will also crown the World Surf League (WSL) Africa Junior champions, which will also lead on to the qualification for the WSL World Junior Championships, including the top four men and top two women surfers who will compete in the World Junior Championships in Taiwan in December 2018. It promises to be an action-packed and dramatic weekend of surfing.
The WSL Africa Men’s Junior Tour is currently being led by Luke Slijpen, with Eli Beukes and Max Elkington hot on his heels, and Dillon Hendricks and Bryce Du Preez not far behind. Slijpen has had an excellent competitive year and has a healthy lead in this division, with Beukes more than one thousand points behind him.
In the WSL Africa Women’s Junior Tour rankings, Kai Woolf is out in front with a comfortable lead over second ranked Zoe Steyn, with Sophie Bell in third place going in to this event. Kirsty McGillivray and Kayla Nogueira make up the remainder of the top five positions.
Both divisions contain a number of surfers who have improved dramatically over the last year, and there is every possibility of an upset in either division from the likes of Karl Steen and Daniel Emslie in the men’s, and Ceara Knight and Sne Makhubu in the women’s divisions respectively, to name a few.
In the U16 Boys division, all eyes will be on Tide Lee Ireland, York Van Jaarsveldt and Mitch du Preez, while in the U16 Girls division Zoe Steyn, Kayla Nogueira and Gabi Lailvaux are just three surfers who look set to dominate.
“It has been a good year for Junior Surfing in the country, and the Billabong Junior Series has been a great success,” said Billabong South Africa Marketing Manager Chad D’Arcy. “We’re immensely proud of this series as it finishes its 21st year in the country, and we are looking forward to another positive year next year for both Junior Surfing as well as the Billabong Junior Series.”
The Billabong Junior Series runs from Friday to Sunday when all the event and series champions will crowned at the awards ceremony on the beach.
Billabong South Africa: www.facebook.com/Billabong
Billabong Women’s South Africa: www.facebook.com/BillabongWomens
The Billabong Junior Series is supported by BOS, VonZipper, Surfing South Africa and the World Surf League.
LEMOORE, California/USA (Sunday, September 9, 2018) – Carissa Moore (HAW) andGabriel Medina (BRA) have won the inaugural Surf Ranch Pro presented by Hurley, Stop No. 8 on the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT).
Today’s victory is the first of the season for Moore and her first on the CT since the Roxy Pro France last year. The win sees the three-time WSL Champion take home 10,000 points and move up one place to World No. 4 on the Jeep Leaderboard with two events remaining in the women’s CT season.
“I’m ecstatic to walk away with a win at the Surf Ranch Pro and this facility is such a new thing, so it’s such an honor to be a part of. It’s been a crazy year so far and we have two more events, and I’m just super stoked. My biggest goal is just to finish the year off strong and re-qualify because I’m not in the Title race. I just want to have a strong performance and gain some confidence hopefully for next year.”
The surfer from Hawaii dominated the Final Day from the start and posted two excellent scores on her first run to claim first place. Moore went on to improve her total with an incredible second run where she earned two excellent scores and a 17.80 total (out of a possible 20). It was Moore’s decimating forehand that proved to be the dominant factor for the win.
Medina takes home his second CT win of 2018 with victory at the Surf Ranch Pro, now earning back-to-back wins against the world’s best. The 2014 WSL Champion narrowed the gap between him and Jeep Rankings Leader Filipe Toledo (BRA) with his 11th career CT win.
“It was amazing to win again, especially here at the Surf Ranch, and it feels good to get a little closer to Filipe (Toledo),” Medina said. “Filipe is so dangerous, he’s probably the best at the Surf Ranch, so it’s special to win. There are no words. I am so happy right now. I surfed the way I wanted to. It’s totally different from surfing in the ocean, but I’ll take it! It’s the most high-performance wave I think we’ve ever surfed and it’s good to feel we are on level ground with the other guys. There are three more events so they should be fun ones.”
Medina’s win today looked to be in jeopardy after an uncharacteristic fall on his opening left, but he was quick to bounce back and posted an excellent 8.73 on the right run. Medina then went on to take advantage of the makeup left granted to competitors due to the infrequency of wave quality and soared his signature, ending air maneuver to earn a near-perfect 9.13.
Six-time WSL Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) could not quite put her dream run together on Finals Day, but still finished in second place. The Australian’s brilliant performance on her last run earned her an 8.87 (right) that moved her up to second place over World Title contenderLakey Peterson (USA) and 16-year-old rookie Caroline Marks (USA), who both failed to improve their scorelines. Gilmore will retain the yellow Jeep Leader Jersey and has increased her lead over Peterson heading into the Roxy Pro France.
“You just have to take a few deep breaths and just focus on what you can do,” Gilmore said. “It was a stressful moment and I just had to make a right. I haven’t made one all today and I didn’t think it would beat the 9. It’s nice to hold onto the lead. Lakey (Peterson) is fighting super hard. She’s a tough competitor, all of them are. But, now we’ll head to France and see what happens there.”
Toledo continues to be one of Surf Ranch’s most dynamic performers and one of the sport’s greatest showman. The current World No. 1 showcased his incredible aerial antics once more, landing three airs on the wave that earned him an all but perfect 9.80 (out of a possible 10). Now, the Brasilian heads into a crucial European leg with Medina only 3,100 points behind him.
“I feel great. I made a few mistakes throughout the whole event and I could have done better on the left and be in first right now,” Toledo said. “But, I’m really happy to be a part of it. This is a new era of surfing and I have to thank all the fans for coming out here. It’s always scary to compete against these guys. They’re in the Top 5 for a reason, but I’m just trying to concentrate on myself and do my job and make sure I stay really far away from them.”
The Surf Ranch Pro provided the first artificial wave to host World Title implications since 1985 and both the men and women’s Word Title races heated up in Lemoore this past weekend. While the Toledo’s impressive lead has been cut in half by Medina’s impeccable performance, Gilmore created an even greater deficit between her and Peterson.
“I’m stoked to get the opportunity and I sort of felt like I did enough, but I can only control what I can control,” Peterson said. “Congrats to Carissa (Moore), and I’m looking forward to France, but just disappointed I didn’t get the score in the end. I want to grow from it, get better, and learn from it and make myself a better surfer.”
Surf Ranch Pro Men’s Final Results:
1 - Gabriel Medina (BRA) 17.86
2 - Filipe Toledo (BRA) 17.03
3 - Kelly Slater (USA) 16.27
4 - Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 15.77
5 - Owen Wright (AUS) 15.40
6 - Julian Wilson (AUS) 15.37
7 - Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 15.07
8 - Miguel Pupo (BRA) 12.96
Full men’s results available HERE: http://www.worldsurfleague.com/events/2018/mct/2791/surf-ranch-pro/results
Surf Ranch Pro Women’s Final Results:
1 - Carissa Moore (HAW) 17.80
2 - Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 16.70
3 - Lakey Peterson (USA) 16.57
4 - Caroline Marks (USA) 14.77
Full women’s results available HERE: http://www.worldsurfleague.com/events/2018/wct/2792/surf-ranch-pro-womens/results
For highlights from the Surf Ranch Pro pres. by Hurley, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.
2018 WSL Men's CT Jeep Leaderboard (After Surf Ranch Pro):
1 - Filipe Toledo (BRA) 49,785 points
2 - Gabriel Medina (BRA) 45,685
3 - Julian Wilson (AUS) 37,125
4 - Italo Ferreira (BRA) 31,825
5 - Owen Wright (AUS) 29,485
2018 WSL Women's CT Jeep Leaderboard (After Surf Ranch Pro):
1 - Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 61,175 points
2 - Lakey Peterson (USA) 54,260 points
3 - Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 41,415 points
4 - Carissa Moore (HAW) 41,235 points
5 - Caroline Marks (USA) 37,000 points
LEMOORE, California/USA (Thursday, September 6, 2018) – The inaugural Surf Ranch Pro presented by Hurley commenced today in Lemoore, California with the world’s best surfers taking on inland California’s man-made wave, the Surf Ranch. Surfing in a format new to the Champion Tour (CT), eighteen men and ten women tested the leaderboard structure today at Stop No. 8 on the World Surf League (WSL) CT.
The competition today and tomorrow host the Qualifying Rounds, where each surfer will surf four waves each (two rights and two lefts). On Saturday, all competitors will have one last chance to make the Final with two more waves (one right and one left).
Kelly Slater (USA), the wave’s co-creator and 11-time WSL Champion, ignited the day’s performances with a big 8.50 (out of a possible 10) on his right-hander in Run 2 and totaled a 14.57 (out of a possible 20). Slater’s opening run was easily forgettable, but he came back firing to make up for it and now holds the No. 1 spot for the men’s event.
“For us first guys going it’s a lot of pressure on us to set the standard so we can be in the mix later,” Slater said. “I feel like I surfed the left better on my first wave but the second one I was chasing and not transitioning well. The first run was below average. I fell on both and felt like I should’ve been a touch deeper. But, just the way the tube section works, sometimes the wave slows down right there and forces you out then you just pull back in.”
Surf Ranch Pro Trials winner Hiroto Ohhara (JPN) surfed the event’s first wave to the tune of an average 4.50, letting his nerves prevail. Ohhara recovered on his second run for a 6.00 and still has two waves to showcase his talents.
Joan Duru (FRA) took over his opening day runs against Keanu Asing (HAW) and Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) after following up on his second run right-hander with explosive backhand surfing to garner a 6.23, which moved into No. 2 on the overall standings. However, Ian Gouveia (BRA) came out and took the No. 2 from Duru with a 7.23 and 7.10. The Brasilian has put his time in at the WSL Surf Ranch, coming up from Southern California every chance he could, and it’s showing in his early performances.
“I just wanted to go out and get two good scores so I could really push it Saturday,” Gouveia said. “It felt good to get that 7 on my second left after getting a decent score on my first try. I’ve been out here as much as I can to learn this wave because it’s still so tricky, but the more you surf it the more comfortable you can feel. I’m looking forward to the next one and going for more to stay in for the finals.”
Tomas Hermes (BRA) made a charge up the leaderboard to No. 3 following his terrific display of WSL Surf Ranch knowledge, but it was Sebastian Zeitz (HAW) who topped Slater for the highest single-wave score of men’s opening day with an 8.67 after locking into a deep barrel ride and then delivering multiple power turns. The Kauai, Hawaii, native knows the importance of this event and is eyeing down a much-needed result, but sits just outside the top 8 on the standings after Adriano de Souza (BRA) pushed him out with a solid performance.
“I’m kind of on the bubble at World No. 21 and there’s a big point gap so I’m just trying to climb up there with a big result,” Zeitz said. “I was a little nervous after the test event since it suited the smaller guys more, but after getting that 8.67 I know it can be done. The goofy-footers have a little more room to move on the left, but it’s definitely the most level playing field that surfing’s seen and in that case the best surfer should win.”
The world’s best women followed suit with impressive surfing. Coco Ho (HAW) leads the pack with Californians Sage Erickson (USA) in second and Courtney Conlogue (USA) in third.
Wrapping up a brilliant day of competition, Ho shook off her subpar practice waves and delivered a jaw-dropping performance. The ten-year CT veteran stepped up with the day’s top single-scoring wave of women’s competition, an 8.17, and heat total of 14.94.
“I actually fell on my first two practice waves, so I didn’t come here confident, but I just hopped on the board I rode in Spain and it felt amazing,” Ho said. “Knowing there’s not a lot of pressure on the Qualifying Series (QS) anymore put me in a good mindset whether I fell on those waves or not. But, we were just laughing about it because the next wave isn’t until Saturday, which I think shows who’s a natural on their board and not able to surf for a few days then come back perform.”
Event wildcard Bethany Hamilton (HAW), injury replacement Macy Callaghan (AUS), andPaige Hareb (NZL) got opening round action underway as Hareb’s backhand attack shined to earn a 13.00 heat total and the outright lead -- but only briefly after Sage Erickson’s (USA)debut. The Ojai, California, native stepped up and delivered on her second right to earn a solid 14.07 heat total heading into the weekend’s third run.
“I couldn’t have anticipated how it was going to feel being in the pool, alone, with the jersey on and I’m happy to say I’m loving it,” Erickson said. “I’m loving competing more than ever in this event because there’s a perfect wave under my feet. Mentally I feel good and my ability has been there this year, but I haven’t had the chance to show that or feel confident. But, here I do being in California even though there’s still a lot of work to do. I’m excited to have my family and friends here this weekend so I think I’ll be in even higher spirits.”
With the eight surfers completing rides ranging from throwaway scores to excellent surfing, six-time WSL Champion, Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), and World Title contender Lakey Peterson (USA) know what’s required of them tomorrow.
During the Qualifying Round, each athlete will surf six waves (three lefts and three rights) over three runs (made up of one left and one right consecutively). The best scoring right and the best scoring left are added together to create each athlete’s total score. At the end of the Qualifying Round the Top 8 Men and Top 4 Women on the leaderboard will advance to Final.
The Final will see each athlete surf another three runs (six waves total) and the male and female surfers with the highest score will win the event.
View the full men’s schedule HERE and the full women’s schedule HERE.
Competition will resume tomorrow morning at 9 a.m. PST with Malia Manuel (HAW) up first.
Men’s Surf Ranch Pro Qualifying Round Leaderboard Top 8:
1 - Kelly Slater (USA) 14.57
2 - Ian Gouveia (BRA) 14.33
3 - Tomas Hermes (BRA) 14.20
4 - Yago Dora (BRA) 13.80
5 - Joan Duru (FRA) 13.73
6 - Patrick Gudauskas (USA) 13.70
7 - Connor O’Leary (AUS) 13.56
8 - Adriano De Souza (BRA) 13.56
Full men’s leaderboard HERE.
Women’s Surf Ranch Pro Qualifying Round Leaderboard Top 4:
1 - Coco Ho (HAW) 14.94
2 - Sage Erickson (USA) 14.07
3 - Courtney Conlogue (USA) 13.54
4 - Paige Hareb (NZL) 13.00
TEAHUPO’O, Tahiti (Sunday, August 19, 2018) - Gabriel Medina (BRA) claimed victory today at the Tahiti Pro Teahupo'o, Stop No. 7 on the World Surf League (WSL) Men’s Championship Tour (CT). An exciting Finals Day witnessed Medina take his first win of the 2018 season in clean three-to-five foot (1 - 1.5 metre) waves at the famed South Pacific reef pass.
Medina, 2014 WSL Champion, earned his big win today by defeating Owen Wright (AUS) in the Final, Jeremy Flores (FRA) in the Semifinals, and Italo Ferreira (BRA) in the Quarterfinals. Since his first Tahiti Pro win in 2014, Medina never dropped below third place, and today the Brasilian superstar stamps his second win at Teahupo’o.
“I’m just so happy to win here again and, first, I just want to thank God,” Medina said. “I came here and trained a lot, and I was just waiting for the victory. I love Tahiti and I’ve had some great Finals here. I’ve won here before, two second-place finishes, and another win now. I have a great family here, which is incredible. Now I can kind of start thinking about winning a World Title. I think anything is possible. There’s a couple of events to go and I just want to keep giving it my best.”
Medina’s victory moves him up from 3rd to 2nd on the Jeep Leaderboard, 6,300 points behind World No. 1 Filipe Toledo (BRA). In last year’s World Title race, Medina fell short of the win against John John Florence (HAW). Now, with a win in Tahiti and second on the rankings, the 2014 World Champion is well within striking distance of capturing a second WSL Title this year if he maintains strong results in the final four events.
“I was just praying, ‘God just give me one more, one more,’ and Owen (Wright) had to go on the first one, but if he didn’t I was going to go on that one,” Medina added. “I’m really happy right now, but I know Owen’s got the same feeling I had last year, which was horrible for me, but it’s competition and that’s why we love competing. I feel blessed to have been in the right spots at this event and now I’m going to enjoy this moment, then I’m focusing on the next event.”
The start of the 40-minute Final saw Wright get the inside of Medina to capture the matchup’s first tube for 6.50 (out of a possible 10). Medina battled back quickly with an air for a 6.17. The two continued to attempt superior backup scores, and at the halfway point, Wright punched out of a tube for the lead. With ten minutes left in the heat, Medina held priority needing 4.54. In a failed attempt to escape a barrel, the Brasilian lost his priority and handed control back to the Australian. A final exchange in the dying minutes of the heat saw Medina steal the win with a critical tube, defeating Wright by 1.43 points.
Wright’s runner-up finish today marks his best result in Tahiti and his best result of the season. To make his first Final in Tahiti, the Australian took down Jeep Frontrunner Toledo in the Semifinals and Wade Carmichael (AUS) in the Quarterfinals. Before Tahiti, Wright sat at 11th on the Jeep Leaderboard, but his result now boosts him up to 6th.
“It’s a sting, but it’s just nice to be back in the Final,” Wright said. “Right now, it’s a hard loss to take a second, but it’s been an incredible week. It all came down to those last two waves. I made the wrong decision and I’m already feeling that deep burn and drive. I’m stoked for Gabby, well-deserved win for him after it got taken off him by Julian (Wilson) just last year. Congratulations to Gabby."
Current Jeep Rankings Leader Toledo fell just short of his third Final to eventual runner-up Wright in a hard-fought Semifinal bout. Toledo’s impeccable form throughout the event, including a brilliant Quarterfinal win over rookie Michael February (ZAF), finally gave way during his Semifinal matchup. The Brasilian will retain the Jeep Leader Jersey into the next stop, the Surf Ranch Pro.
“I feel really happy and proud of myself with all the hard work I put out here, and a Semifinal result in Tahiti is definitely a keeper,” Toledo said. “I’ve been on the Tour for six years now and this is one of those years where everything is clicking and everything’s happening. I’m just making sure to capitalize and get the job done. It’s important to just keep the focus on what I’ve been doing - my training, my surfing and not worrying about the outside world.”
A critical heat in this year’s World Title race unfolded in Quarterfinal Heat 3 between contenders Medina and Ferreira. Medina took control of the all-Brasilian affair early on with a brilliant barrel ride into three forehand maneuvers, showing variety and power, to earn a 7.67 and didn’t let go of that lead, taking the edge over Ferreira en route to his win.
“I’m happy to make the Quarterfinals with my injury, and I think it’s an amazing result,” Ferreira said. “I hope to get stronger than ever and we still have four events left so I’m ready. Hopefully, I can get more out of the rest of the year and I’m so excited for the Surf Ranch to see what I can do there.”
The next stop on the 2018 WSL Championship Tour will be the Surf Ranch Pro pres. by Hurley in Lemoore, California from September 6 - 9, 2018.
For more information, check out WorldSurfLeague.com.
Tahiti Pro Final Results:
1 - Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.50
2 - Owen Wright (AUS) 12.07
Tahiti Pro Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Owen Wright (AUS) 12.60 def. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 10.03
SF 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 15.17 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 6.10
Tahiti Pro Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 11.43 def. Michael February (ZAF) 8.60
QF 2: Owen Wright (AUS) 16.00 def. Wade Carmichael (AUS) 9.57
QF 3: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.57. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 7.57
QF 4: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 13.34 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 5.74
WSL Men's CT Jeep Leaderboard (After Tahiti Pro):
1 - Filipe Toledo (BRA) 41,985 pts
2 - Gabriel Medina (BRA) 35,685 pts
3 - Julian Wilson (AUS) 32,380 pts
4 - Italo Ferreira (BRA) 30,160 pts
5 - Wade Carmichael (AUS) 25,550 pts