The sixth stop on the WSL Tour saw Jack Robinson and Johanne Defay claim victory after a week of holding periods and waiting; Finals Day was the best of the conditions on offer, with picturesque four to five-foot swell.
With wins at locations including Cloudbreak and Uluwatu, France’s Johanne Defay came into the first-ever Roxy Pro G-Land as a solid favourite. However, after stumbling in the Opening Round, Defay refocused and got her campaign back on track and never looked like turning back, particularly on Finals Day when she overcame seven-time WSL Champion Stephanie Gilmore and event favourite, Bronte Macaulay, to find herself in her eighth CT Final, this time against reigning five-time WSL Champion Carissa Moore. However, Defay saved her best performance for last, posting a two-wave combination of 14.00 (out of a possible 20) to overcome Moore and claim her fifth CT victory and move to third on the Rankings.
”It feels surreal and amazing to win this event,” said Defay. “It has been a long week here in the jungle, and the waves at G-Land are so perfect today that it is really special for me to take the win and defeating Carissa Moore is always so hard.
She came at me late in the Final, and it was really close. Coming from Reunion, the Indian Ocean is my home ocean, and I have had a few victories here in Indonesia. As the first woman to win here at G-Land, it feels so special at such a fantastic location; it’s great.”
The men’s Final looked sure to be another CT victory for current World No. 1 Filipe Toledo as the lightning-fast natural footer chalked up a solid heat lead early in the matchup, leaving Jack Robinson chasing a score for the entire matchup. Robinson had a few attempts but was unable to secure the score needed until with only seconds left, Robinson took off on a medium set wave and jammed three critical backside snaps to post a 7.00 point ride (out of a possible 10) and clinch his second CT victory in as many events.
Robinson is now sitting firmly in second on the rankings behind Toledo, who retains the top spot despite the runner-up finish.
“I thank the ocean for giving me that last wave in the final seconds; it was an unbelievable finish,” Robinson said. “I stayed calm, remained confident, and believed a wave would come to me.
This is such an unpredictable and crazy sport. I’m taking each event as it comes, and remaining focused and taking back-to-back wins feels great.
I dedicate this win to my friend John Dutton from Margaret River, who passed away a few days ago. He travelled to G-Land a lot, and possibly that final wave was from him. Peace and good vibes to the family.”