Gabriel Medina claims second World Title, wins Pipe Masters

Form Guide

BANZAI PIPELINE, Oahu/Hawaii (Monday, December 17, 2018) - Today, Gabriel Medina (BRA) won the 2018 World Surf League (WSL) Title, claiming a final victory at the  Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons. Pipeline delivered epic 12-to-15 foot barrels for the final stop on the 2018 World Surf League (WSL) Men’s Championship Tour (CT) and final jewel of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing (VTCS). Medina made history in 2014 as the first Brasilian to ever win a World Surfing Title and now cements himself in the history books with a second crown. 

“All my heroes have won this contest,” Medina said. “I’m stoked to be a part of everything here. Winning this event is a little different. I really wanted this one, and I worked really hard for this one so I’m so happy. That was a good final. Julian (Wilson) is the toughest competitor to go up against so I’m lucky I got two good waves. He won in a Final against me a few years ago and I got this one, so it feels good. I really appreciate everyone that came down to watch and I’m stoked to put on such a great show. I’m so happy to be part of history - I’ve put in a lot of work.”

Medina’s road to the Title in 2018 was bumpy at first but then the Brasilian switched gears mid-season and claimed back-to-back wins in Tahiti and the inaugural Surf Ranch Pro. He continued to impress as one of the most consistent surfers through the European leg with two equal-third places and arrived in Hawaii with a 4,740-point lead over his direct competition Julian Wilson (AUS). The rest is history as Medina reached the Final to claim his second WSL Title.

“It’s hard to believe, this year was a long and intense year,” Medina continued. “Everyone put in a lot of hard work and this is the day. I’m so happy and thankful. To have the opportunity to travel the world with family and friends and to do what I love...it’s the most fun job in the whole world. This is such a special day for me and I’m so happy to do it again. Julian and I always have great battles. He’s always pushing the limits, and Filipe (Toledo) too - he’s a great surfer who had a great year. I love to watch them surfing and I’m a big fan of both of them. I’m so happy to get this trophy again. I had to put in a lot of work to get here. I like to surf when there is pressure and I think that’s when I do my best. After Jeffreys Bay (South Africa) I just put a bit more of me into each surf and each training. At the beginning of the year it all felt so far away but after Europe, it felt much closer.”

In 2014, the then-20-year-old Medina wrote a new page in surfing’s history books as the first Brasilian to win a World Title, in an exciting year-long race against Mick Fanning (AUS), John John Florence (HAW) and Kelly Slater (USA). It is also the year the phenomenal surfer from Maresias shut down all criticism about his bigger-surf aptitudes by winning two of the most prestigious events in Fiji and Tahiti, finishing off the season with a runner-up at Pipeline.

The emergence of the Brasilian Storm dates back to 2011, when an unprecedented 7-strong group of Brasilian surfers made the Championship Tour roster, the same year 17-year-old Medina first qualified. Only accessing the elite tour halfway through the season, Medina managed to clinch two event victories right away as a preview of what was to come. It took two more years for the phenomenon to find his competitive rhythm, winning his first World Title in 2014. His success inspired compatriot Adriano de Souza (BRA), who went on to win Brasil’s second World Title the following season. In 2018, Italo Ferreira, Filipe Toledo, Willian Cardoso, and Medina were collectively responsible for nine out of 11 CT event wins this year, with Wilson claiming the other two. 

The event’s Final today was a clash of epic proportions between the two strongest surfers in the field Medina and Wilson. Both surfers threaded lefts and rights to put big scores on the board, but ultimately it was Medina who took out the final matchup of the year and claimed the prestigious Billabong Pipe Masters title for the first time in his career.

Wilson capped off an incredibly consistent season where he claimed two event victories in Australia and France, two additional Final appearances and another four strong results to finish second overall for the first time in his career. On Finals day at Pipeline, the Australian needed to make the Final for a shot at bringing the World Title home, and he delivered with inspiring performances, most notably facing the 11x World Champion Slater in the Semifinals. Unfortunately, Medina reaching the Final left no chance for Wilson to lift surfing’s most prestigious trophy.

“I’m so thankful for the incredible waves and the locals for allowing us to surf here," Wilson said. "The hopes and dreams of the World Title were there today and it’s been an emotional one. It came down to the final heat of the year and I’m ready to do it again next year. I put my heart out there and gave it my all, but Medina deservedly took the title and I’m so happy for him. Beating Kelly out here in great conditions is no mean feat and I take a lot of confidence from that. I’m so happy to represent my country and do my very best. It wasn’t enough to get the title but it was enough to share a final with the 2018 Champion. I’ll take some time to rest and come back in 2019 fired up for sure.”

Jesse Mendes (BRA) won the VANS Triple Crown of Surfing title followingJordy Smith's (ZAF) Semifinal loss to Medina. Mendes collected a fifth place at Haleiwa, a runner-up in Sunset and a 9th at the Billabong Pipe Masters. Mendes is only the second surfer from Brasil to claim the prestigious award after Medina in 2015.

"I’ve been coming here for 13 years already," said Mendes. "It was a dream but a far dream. I’m so thankful, so blessed and thank God for making this happen. Going against Joel (Parkinson), one of the best surfers ever, was such an honor. I want to thank my family for always supporting me no matter what, my girlfriend, my coach, WSL, my fans, and the surfers - it couldn’t have been a better Final. I also want to thank the local community for giving us the best waves over the past few weeks.”

The break before the Final saw 3x World Champion Carissa Moore (HAW)take on compatriots Alessa Quizon (HAW), Coco Ho (HAW) and Zoe McDougall (HAW) in a women’s invitational heat. World No. 11 Ho dominated with radical maneuvers on rights at Backdoor and took out the win ahead of Moore in second, Quizon and McDougall placing 3rd and 4th respectfully.

Earlier in the day, Joel Parkinson (AUS) surfed the last heat of his professional career on the Championship Tour, defeated by Yago Dora (BRA) and Wilson in Round 4. The 37-year-old Australian who claimed the World Title in 2012, spent 18 seasons among the world’s best surfers and received many accolades, being regarded as the most stylish surfer on tour.



“I was having such an emotional reception with everyone there,” Parkinson said. “It’s been an honor, I’m proud of what I achieved. It’s given me an amazing lifestyle and so many good moments. The tour has so many hills and valleys, all these emotional rollercoasters. Like any professional sport, it’s just the way it rolls. It’s nice to get to the end of it and finally maybe just run on an even keel for a while. I guess Kelly is the really last one of our generation and I’m sure it will be pretty emotional once he goes and surfing’s in good hands now with the next generation.”

In the second Semifinal, the battle between Wilson and 11x World Champion Slater happened mostly on the rights of Backdoor and the Australian managed to fence off the all-time greatest surfer at Pipe (Slater won the event 7 times) to advance into the Final against newly crowned World Champion Medina. Slater was sidelined for most of the season by a foot injury sustained last year at J-Bay but finished today with an Equal third place result. 



“Even though it had a lot of north in the swell, there are some really really good waves,” Slater said. “It’s been a fun day and yesterday was a blast. I’m pretty excited to come back to competing full-time next year because I had almost a year and a half off, to kind of recharge the batteries and get excited again. I watched all the guys, saw where the level is at, worked on my equipment, worked on my body and got back in good shape.”

Comments

goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot's picture
goofyfoot commented Tuesday, 18 Dec 2018 at 6:12pm

Well done Gabe, he is incredible out there.

Anyone see the women’s heat? I didn’t but read elsewhere that is was bordering on cruel sending them out there.

savanova's picture
savanova's picture
savanova commented Tuesday, 18 Dec 2018 at 7:28pm

awesome surfing by all when it started pumping

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Tuesday, 18 Dec 2018 at 7:35pm

Season ends on a sour note.
JW surfed better on the 2 hugest waves of the final...Replay clearly shows that!
Gabs surfed his midsize bounty every bit as good (Less Big Air)...Replay shows that!
Safe waving no airtime fav' scores [1.64] win...1000 replays will never show that!
WSL Pipe Masters Gift Cards...You're a Pipe Master & You! We're all Pipe Masters!

ron's picture
ron's picture
ron commented Tuesday, 18 Dec 2018 at 9:38pm

Agreed. Heat Analyzer tells the story for both the Jordy semi and the final. Over/ under cooking, how ever you want to look at it. Unless they decided pipe should be approached differently this year the scoring was off. Not a good look for the WSL.

Everyone seems to be falling back on "Medina deserved to win". True or not that's beside the point. If we can all agree the most 'deserving' guy should be given the trophy we can probably just decide 2019 without worrying about any actual competitive scoring.

Giovanni's picture
Giovanni's picture
Giovanni commented Wednesday, 19 Dec 2018 at 4:17pm

Based on the post-win interviews, apparently god now decides the world title and triple crown...

Common Tata's picture
Common Tata's picture
Common Tata commented Wednesday, 19 Dec 2018 at 11:25am

With so many Brazilian fans these days it makes perfectly good sense to over score Madenia, $ $ chiching WSL.

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Tuesday, 18 Dec 2018 at 7:52pm

i thought medina deserved to win the contest BUT im not sure if he beat jules,thought he was over scored but overall through the contest medina seemed to be the better surfer.

simba

Timmy 56's picture
Timmy 56's picture
Timmy 56 commented Wednesday, 19 Dec 2018 at 12:42pm

That doesn't make sense if you thought JW beat fuckhead how could he be deserving of contest win if you thought he lost final.

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Wednesday, 19 Dec 2018 at 2:38pm

I said i wasnt convinced meds beat jules in the final,really close heat,splitting hairs really but medina was the man doing the best surfing through out the contest more so than anyone else.Its only my opinion and would have loved jules to win.

simba

indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming's picture
indo-dreaming commented Tuesday, 18 Dec 2018 at 7:55pm

Maybe should have been a little closer point wise, but i think Gabs deserved the win.

Highlight was seeing Kelly surf pipe/backdoor again though.

Hopefully both Kelly and JJF are fit and healthy next season and they actually gets some good conditions at a few events.

IMHO this year overall was pretty boring without JJF and Kelly and seemed conditions were pretty average for most events.

For further reference and common sense.

General Social issues: Rita Panahi & Lauren Southern
Indigenous issues: Jacinta Price and Anthony Dillion
Gender: Debra Soh.
Islam: Armin Navabi & Brigitte Gabriel
Population: Dick Smith

Westofthelake's picture
Westofthelake's picture
Westofthelake commented Tuesday, 18 Dec 2018 at 9:41pm

Not the result I would have preferred but that Medina sure is the man, and man he sure got lucky today. I'm surprised he didn't get a 10 for that barrel. Congrats Gabe! (ya wanka).

I would like to say that the coverage of the events provided here in the Form Guide along with the Swellnet Live Webcast have been nothing short of excellent. Worth $8.95 right there.

There's a complimentary 10 min video of today's Pipe final - well worth a watch.
https://youtu.be/hDABgdpVJUE

belly's picture
belly's picture
belly commented Tuesday, 18 Dec 2018 at 11:52pm

When do they announce the injury cards? Kelly seemed to be talking as if he's in. Plus JJF. Guess they'll make Ibelli do the QS..

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Wednesday, 19 Dec 2018 at 12:46am

Brutal really, robert thinks he owns surfing.

Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean's picture
Lanky Dean commented Wednesday, 19 Dec 2018 at 1:12am

I didn't see charlie's(in the blue singlet) rides. They chaired him up the beach,then crowd surfed, so they must have been pretty radical.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Wednesday, 19 Dec 2018 at 5:57am

Just wanted to repost something I wrote on the live event page (which has over 450 comments!), from Day 1 when a few people were commenting along the lines of "Why are they running in this rubbish?" etc.

The reality is that the event will (hopefully) be remembered for the Finals, not the First Round.

So whilst each event endeavours to run the entire shebang in great waves, the best planning method involves looking ahead to identify the best surf through the second half of the waiting period - that they can run the Final Day in - and then 'working back' from there, to run the rest of the event.

Of course, curveballs are thrown each and every day, making this quite a challenge. But with a promising outlook ahead, I don't think anyone will dwell on Round 1 conditions.

I think it's fair to assume now that the event has finished, no-one is reflecting on Round 1's tricky surf.

I also think KP and the WSL should get a pat on the back for the way they threaded themselves through a tricky forecast period, and scored excellent waves for the final two days.

savanova's picture
savanova's picture
savanova commented Wednesday, 19 Dec 2018 at 8:24am

No worries Ben it was just an observation of the heat I was watching at the time of commenting. Ill be sure in future to either keep my comments off the comments page or use my power of hindsight prior to thinking out loud.

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Wednesday, 19 Dec 2018 at 8:32am

I wasn't having a dig mate (hence why I didn't quote you specifically - plenty of other people on Swellnet and elsewhere were saying similar things).

I just haven't seen any kudos anywhere on the web given to KP or the WSL for expertly placing the last two days in excellent waves. So, I thought it'd be useful to reiterate how/why their decision happened as it did.

Everyone seems quick to point out the WSL's failings - me too, sometimes - but no-one ever seems to be willing to say congrats when they get it right.

And from personal experience, I can tell you that dialing the Finals of any event, let alone that which decided the World Tour Champion - into fantastic waves is a bloody tricky job.

savanova's picture
savanova's picture
savanova commented Wednesday, 19 Dec 2018 at 9:34am

All good, I try to coordinate a local boardriders and fuk me if I can get a sunday with waves let alone good ones. They def got it right for the last 2 days epic viewing. Cheers for the coverage SN.,

rj-davey's picture
rj-davey's picture
rj-davey commented Thursday, 20 Dec 2018 at 11:55am

very true

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba commented Wednesday, 19 Dec 2018 at 6:42am

yeah they have done this a few times this year and managed to pull it off.....well done to them.

simba

dawnperiscope's picture
dawnperiscope's picture
dawnperiscope commented Wednesday, 19 Dec 2018 at 6:47am

Yep, huge props to the commish, couldn't have timed it any better.
Unfortunately Jordy wasn't able to hold his nerve against Gabe. Could have been such a different story.

redmondo's picture
redmondo's picture
redmondo commented Wednesday, 19 Dec 2018 at 8:57am

Wilson was best all round surfer this year the stand out when it became narly and difficult. Well done to all. I can admire surfing but you are a bit deluded if you see surfers as heros Gabriel. Well done KP and Wozzle captivating stuff. Thank you Swellnet

mattmac's picture
mattmac's picture
mattmac commented Wednesday, 19 Dec 2018 at 9:49am

Bit of a shame JW couldn't pull it off -surfed amazing and great attitude/persona in defeat. Not trying to be bias but have to question some of the judges scores - the barrel JW got in semi against KS was only given an 8.7 which is ridiculous if compared to the 9.57 they gave GM in the final - not saying GM's barrel wasn't great but wasn't clean exit while JW's in semi was bigger wave and clean exit- he couldn't have done anything more on that wave and gets an 8.7 - that was at least a 9.5.

GODS QUAD's picture
GODS QUAD's picture
GODS QUAD commented Wednesday, 19 Dec 2018 at 10:19am

Hats off to Gabby, he surfed like a bloody mad man, all day. That heat against Connor was ridiculous to watch, 2 out of control waves in 3 minutes and the heat lead. Is it fair to put him up there amongst the best to surf Pipe, after that performance?

For me, Joycey was the people's champ though. He gave it everything he had, challenged Medina to the end and was unlucky not to come away with a win. Absolutely stoked to see how calm, humble and gracious that guy is in the face of so much pressure (and eventually defeat) too. Guy is a farken legend!

10/10 surf watching, that comp. So good.

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet commented Wednesday, 19 Dec 2018 at 10:22am

Never mind Gabby, hats off to your username.

GODS QUAD's picture
GODS QUAD's picture
GODS QUAD commented Wednesday, 19 Dec 2018 at 10:38am

haha, gracias stu!

truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher's picture
truebluebasher commented Wednesday, 19 Dec 2018 at 10:21am

Excellent point Ben! I'm putting my hand up...I was one that spoke too soon.
On the back of Ben's telling observation, I detailed JW was 2018 #1 slop surfer.
On that evidence I presumed that Gabs would be more wary of JW in Choppy Pipe.

Eating my own words, I myself awarded final to JW on 2 biggest best waves of comp.
Did I learn a lesson?
No! ...WSL were already 2 points up come Judgement Day. (Fool am I).

redmondo's picture
redmondo's picture
redmondo commented Saturday, 22 Dec 2018 at 10:49am

Love your work t b b fresh, insightful uplifting, enlightning, joyful and triumphant. Thank you, bless you. And sincerest apologies for my carion.

JaM's picture
JaM's picture
JaM commented Wednesday, 19 Dec 2018 at 10:49am

I only saw a few minutes.... the last 15mins of the semi final where Jordy Smith didn’t catch a wave despite having priority and a set rolling through with one minute to go. I thought if he was going for the title he would take one of these waves..... instead he just handed the title to Medina.

evosurfer's picture
evosurfer's picture
evosurfer commented Wednesday, 19 Dec 2018 at 9:54pm

Well IMO Medina won the final but Jordy won the semi
against Medina. Jordy was definitely underscored.

IF im not surfing im racing

MidWestMonger's picture
MidWestMonger's picture
MidWestMonger commented Thursday, 20 Dec 2018 at 10:18am

Totally agree. The only thing was GM doing massive claims after lesser rides and a huge crowd of brazilnuts going mad. Judges got it wrong

Legrope's picture
Legrope's picture
Legrope commented Thursday, 20 Dec 2018 at 3:08am

Gabs 9.10 was a 7.5 in the semi. Cooked.

MidWestMonger's picture
MidWestMonger's picture
MidWestMonger commented Thursday, 20 Dec 2018 at 9:24pm

Dead right there. Few hundred thou Aussies and South African fans burnt, millions of brazos appeased