In what has been an incredible year of surfing and stamina, the WSL Final Series has concluded in Lower Trestles with Gabriel Medina & Carissa Moore crowned the 2021 World Champions.
With a solid swell on offer with six to ten-foot surf, the WSL Final Series was called on,
The final five on the men and women sides went head to head in a winner takes all event, Gabriel Medina took out his third world title, and Carissa Moore secured her fifth world title and took home the WSL 2021 World Champions Trophy.
Both entered the WSL Final Series as world number 1, which gave them the advantage of a place in the best of three titles, where the first surfers win two heats would become world champion. Tatiana Weston-Webb and Filipe Toledo had to battle with other finalists for a place in the best of three.
Moore came into the event as the reigning WSL Champion, World No. 1 and Olympic gold medallist, and her victory marks the first time in her career that she has claimed back-to-back World Titles. Moore has been the most consistent surfer on Tour this season and is the only person to reach the Semifinals or better in all seven events. The five-time World Champion has finished 3rd or better at every CT event since the 2019 Margaret River Pro, and 2021 marks the 10th consecutive season that Moore has won more than 20 heats, the longest streak in WSL history. Moore sits behind 11X World Champion Kelly Slater (USA) and 7X World Champions Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) and Layne Beachley in the record books for most world titles.
“It was a long year, and it was a very long day,” said Moore. “Today didn’t start as I expected; I had to fight my way back, so it made it a bit sweeter to win. I was about to have a meltdown after the first heat. I tried my best, surfed from my heart, and it worked out. I’ve never been in the water when winning a world title, so this is extra special. I couldn’t ask for anything more!”
Medina’s win today sees him join surfers such as Tom Curren, Andy Irons and Mick Fanning with three World Titles. With 16 WSL Championship Tour (CT) event wins and 29 Final appearances under his belt, Medina is one of the most experienced surfers when it comes to producing the best surfing under pressure. This season, Medina had the best start in his career, reaching the Final in the opening three events on the men’s CT. He gained a significant lead over the rest of the field when he won the Rip Curl Narrabeen Classic presented by Corona and the Rip Curl Rottnest Search presented by Corona; his first event won in Australia since the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast in 2014. Since winning his first World Title in 2014, Medina has finished in the top 5 every year, including his second World Title in 2018.
“This was my biggest goal in surfing,” said Medina. “It’s not every day you accomplish your dream. This is a special day for me; it’s a day I’ll remember forever and tell my kids about. This year was very intense and mentally challenging; I had to work hard, have patience and let my surf talk. I had to surf a lot to win this title!”
Feature Image: Gabriel Medina (BRA) and Carissa Moore (HAW) win Rip Curl WSL Finals and are the undisputed 2021 WSL Champions. Credit: © WSL