Carissa Moore and Gabriel Media have taken out the Corona Open J-Bay the sixth stop on the 2019 World Surf League, in four to six-foot conditions at Jeffreys Bay in South Africa.
The win is a first in South Africa for World Champions Moore and Medina and also marks their first CT wins for 2019 and strengthens their World Title campaigns.
Carissa More Captures Top Spot on Leaderboard
Event winner Carissa Moore (HAW) now leads the World Title race with Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) in second, Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) in third, and Americans Lakey Peterson and Caroline Marks not far behind in fourth and fifth, respectively. En route to her victory today, three-time WSL Champion Moore defeated Peterson in the Final and Marks in the Semifinal.
“I haven’t been in the yellow jersey in a few years, so it’s extra special,” said Moore. “I know there’s a lot of work to be done for the rest of the year, but I’m just so excited! Getting to share this win with my support group, my husband, my dad, Duncan (Scott) who’s been helping me here in South Africa, all my sponsors, I couldn’t do it without them. South Africa didn’t disappoint. I’m stoked to be back in the Title race with everyone. It’s probably going to come down to Maui. I’m really stoked and couldn’t have asked for a better end to the day.”
The Final saw Moore and Peterson go blow-for-blow in the Supertubes sets. Peterson stuck to her strategy of securing a good score on her first wave, opening with a 6.83 (out of a possible 10) in the first few minutes of the Final. Moore kept her focus and found a set wave, drawing out her signature carves, and the judges awarded her an 8.50 to jump into the lead. Peterson got a 7.27 while Moore was still trying to make her way back into the lineup. Moore improved her lead with a wave under priority to take the win.
Gabriel Medina Back in World Title Conversation after Jeffreys Bay Victory.
Gabriel Medina’s win not only jumpstarted his World Title campaign but meant a goofy-footer earned the CT victory in J-Bay for the first time since Mark Occhilupo in 1984. This is the 13th CT win of Medina’s career and the first of 2019 after failing to move past the Quarterfinals so far this season. The 25-year-old took down Italo Ferreira (BRA) in the Final, Kolohe Andino (USA) in the Semifinals and Owen Wright (AUS) in the Quarterfinals.
“That felt so good!” said Medina. “This is a hard contest to win. I had a lot of fun this week, it was amazing and I wasn’t expecting that. I’m really happy right now. Something clicked in that heat that was really special. I knew I could match up with Italo (Ferreira) or Filipe (Toledo), both of them were ripping. I just want to thank God for giving me the waves and I’m so happy I did the job.”
The CT event in J-Bay had never seen an all goofy-foot Final before today. The all-Brasilian battle was a momentous clash between Ferreira and Medina. Ferreira opened with a 9.10 (out of a possible 10) to set the tone, but Medina replied with a near-perfect 9.73. It took a while for both surfers to find a winning backup score. Ferreira got a 7.67 and with Medina only requiring something in the 7-point range. He didn’t hold back and matched the speed of the wave, completing his turns in the critical part of the wave with a smooth, flowing rhythm. Medina scored a barreling section to the roar of the crowd and came out flying for a 9.77, capturing 19.50 two-wave total (out of a possible 20) to place Ferreira in a combination situation in the dying minutes.
The next stops on the World Surf League are the Tahiti Pro Teahupo’ o for the Men’s competition, and The Woman’s competition heads to Freshwater Pro at the Surf Ranch Lemoore.