Owen Wright wins the Tahiti Pro

Form Guide

TEAHUPO’O, Tahiti (Wednesday, August 28, 2019) - Today, Owen Wright (AUS) won the Tahiti Pro Teahupo’o presented by Hurley Stop No. 7 of 11 on the World Surf League (WSL) Men’s Championship Tour, in six-to-eight foot waves at Teahupo’o. The rematch of the 2018 Tahiti Pro Final with Gabriel Medina (BRA) was one for the books with some of the best conditions since 2014. 

Owen Wright (AUS) claimed his first event win in Tahiti after defeating Gabriel Medina (BRA), the two-time WSL Champion and defending Tahiti Pro winner. This is Wright’s first CT victory since the 2017 Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast when the Australian inspired the world with his incredible comeback from a traumatic brain injury he suffered at Pipeline in 2015.

“I can’t be happier,” said Wright. “Gabby (Medina) was always going to be the toughest matchup and I had no priority and I snuck into those few on the inside. I tried to get as deep as possible and still make it. I teared up out there when the hooter went. I’ve been working hard and I am stoked to win.” 

In a rematch of last year's Tahiti Pro Final, goofyfoots Wright and Medina battled once again at Teahupo'o but this time in heavy barrels. After a slow start, the heat turned into a barrel shoot-out at the twenty-minute mark and saw both surfers go wave for wave. Medina broke away with a 7.83 (out of a possible 10) and backed it up with a second 7-point ride, but Wright fought back with his own 7.73, only needing a 7.21 to win with eight minutes left. Under priority, Wright scored a near-perfect 9.17 to steal the title from Medina. 

“I said I really wanted Gabby in the Final just to have that rematch and it was such a special time last year,” continued Wright. “The waves were just so perfect and to share that with a great mate was really special. When you come out here and in your first heat you get a 10, it makes things feel like things are coming. I haven’t won since Snapper and it has been so long. I won so early back then in my recovery and it has been so up-and-down and it has finally felt up and up and up in the last few months. I’ve tried to win this event a lot of times and it is amazing to finally get that today.”

Medina was not able to defend his title in Tahiti but still has the opportunity to defend his win at the Freshwater Pro pres. by Outerknown, the next stop on the WSL Championship Tour. The second-place finish vaults him up to fourth on the Jeep Leaderboard and another step closer to a third World Title. 

“Owen (Wright) really deserved that one,” said Medina. “He started the day off with a 10-point ride and when someone starts like that, I think you feel like it is going to go your way. I am happy for him and stoked to be in the Final against him again. Last year it was me and today he got me. I love to compete against him, he is one of the best so it was good to get second to Owen.” 

“I have to enjoy the momentum,” continued Medina. “It is hard to get the rhythm but now I feel like I am there. The win in J-Bay felt good and I think that will help me at the end of the year. Now I am just thinking about the wave pool. I cannot wait. I just want to thank God for the opportunity to have another Final with my great friend. This contest was unbelievable.”

Rookie Seth Moniz (HAW) captured his career-best performance today after making the Semifinals. Although the 22-year-old fell to runner-up Medina, he showcased his talents in heavy-water conditions in his freshman year on the elite CT. Moniz eliminated injury replacement Caio Ibelli (BRA), who sat right on the requalification cut-line before this event. Ibelli now moves up to 18th on the Jeep Leaderboard and betters his chances of qualifying for the 2020 CT next season after falling short last year. 

Jordy Smith (ZAF) lost to Wright in the Semifinals. Earlier today Smith dispatched 2015 WSL Champion Adriano de Souza (BRA) to claim a third-place result, which moves him up to World No. 2 on the Jeep Leaderboard. The earlier eliminations of Top 5 competitors Kolohe Andino (USA), Filipe Toledo (BRA), Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) and Italo Ferreira (BRA) opened the door for Smith to strengthen his World Title campaign.

Tahiti Pro Teahupo’o pres. by Hurley Final Results:
1 - Owen Wright (AUS) 17.07
2 - Gabriel Medina (BRA) 14.93

Tahiti Pro Teahupo’o pres. by Hurley Quarterfinal Results:
SF 1: Owen Wright (AUS) 15.67 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 10.66
SF 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 11.16 def. Seth Moniz (HAW) 7.43

Tahiti Pro Teahupo’o pres. by Hurley Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Owen Wright (AUS) 19.07 def. Jadson Andre (BRA) 16.67
QF 2: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.06 def. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 8.67 
QF 3: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 11.77 def. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 2.50
QF 4: Seth Moniz (HAW) 15.60 def. Caio Ibelli (BRA) 12.83

Current WSL Jeep Leaderboard Top 10 (after Tahiti Pro Teahupo’o pres. by Hurley)
Filipe Toledo (BRA) 36,600 pts
Jordy Smith (ZAF) 35,450 pts
Kolohe Andino (USA) 35,175 pts
Gabriel Medina (BRA) 34,695
John John Florence (HAW) 32,690 pts
Italo Ferreira (BRA) 31,280 pts
Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 30,780 pts
Owen Wright (AUS) 27,365 pts
Seth Moniz (HAW) 22,885 pts
Kelly Slater (USA) 22,385 pts

Comments

thermalben's picture
thermalben's picture
thermalben commented Thursday, 29 Aug 2019 at 11:55am

Good on ya Owen. A great final to watch, and well deserved.

spuddyjack's picture
spuddyjack's picture
spuddyjack commented Thursday, 29 Aug 2019 at 12:38pm

Congrats Owen - great stuff!

Stay salty

Major kong's picture
Major kong's picture
Major kong commented Thursday, 29 Aug 2019 at 1:08pm

Yep don't normally comment, but good on ya Owen! I had a tear in my eye watching that clock count down.. and good on Medina for being gracious in defeat. Cracker final.

Major kong

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Thursday, 29 Aug 2019 at 2:14pm

Lucky Owen won, because that event was a disaster for the Australian contingent. Surfing Aus gets bucket loads of taxpayer dollars and the results in terms of top tier pro surfing are very poor.
There's not one Australian surfer who you could legitimately put in the "on the way up" column. Our two highest ranked surfers (Owen and Julian) are great blokes but mid-tier and ageing. Maybe a shakeup at Surfing Aus is needed?

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Thursday, 29 Aug 2019 at 5:49pm

Some of the taxpayer dollars go to some pretty schmick Surfgroms backpacks, pencil cases and gear! (As well as a very well planned junior development program) We'll see the result of this in about 10 years... If you had a backpack VL you might be a bit more sanguine :) I'd love one but they're for the kids...

Point being the very beginning is well catered to (in design anyway), where do we need to improve after competency to talent identification and junior development?

I know Slater's path, he had the talent, realised he had to travel the world to achieve mastery in all forms of wave and competition. If the Brassos can charter planes to take their surfers to Indo...

Eugene Green's picture
Eugene Green's picture
Eugene Green commented Thursday, 29 Aug 2019 at 6:13pm

Maybe if the whole thing was shut down completely, most of the surfing population would be better off in general and we’d see more dynamic young surfers rising to the top, naturally. A few industry bro’s would lose their cushy jobs but they’ll be just fine. They might even end up working in another job that actually contributes to society in a positive way.

Blowin's picture
Blowin's picture
Blowin commented Friday, 30 Aug 2019 at 7:56am

Eugene Green for Mayor.

dastasha's picture
dastasha's picture
dastasha commented Friday, 30 Aug 2019 at 8:55am

Came here to support Mr Green

Vic Local's picture
Vic Local's picture
Vic Local commented Friday, 30 Aug 2019 at 11:24am

I reckon Eugene might have a pretty good point re dynamic surfers coming from outside the Surfing Australia umbrella.
I get the feeling that surfing is evolving way faster than Surfing Australia can. Currently the Brazzos have that x-factor on tour, and I suggest the next generation of "freaks" won't come through the traditional pathways to the top of the WCT. 5 years form now the World Champ will probably have training in gymnastics / trampolining and can surf switchfoot without even noticing. A good man-hack will be "meh" at best.

"angry online, smiley in the brine"

pcrisp's picture
pcrisp's picture
pcrisp commented Friday, 30 Aug 2019 at 8:12am

thats because the best surfers for (proper) waves like this are not always wanting to grovel the lives away in 1-2 foot contests

peterb's picture
peterb's picture
peterb commented Thursday, 29 Aug 2019 at 2:20pm

Somebody ask Wright to give Steve Smith a call - tell him he can still win wearing a (claustrophobic) helmet.

velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno's picture
velocityjohnno commented Thursday, 29 Aug 2019 at 5:53pm

The colours & helmet reminded me of some TC footage at pipe back in the day?

Well done Owen, deserving winner.

adambol1's picture
adambol1's picture
adambol1 commented Thursday, 29 Aug 2019 at 8:10pm

A really great heat as it swung from Owen exercising priority without a ride as Medina stacked on the points, Owen loosing priority and having to go seek rides close in to the reef and finally snagging a couple of gems under Medina's nose. Last few minutes with Medina waiting for an opportunity that never came topped off a nerve wracking close out.

If it was easy eveyone would do it.

jayet-010's picture
jayet-010's picture
jayet-010 commented Thursday, 29 Aug 2019 at 9:20pm

Well done Owen. Stoked for ya!

PeteWebb's picture
PeteWebb's picture
PeteWebb commented Friday, 30 Aug 2019 at 7:22am

Medina thanks God for his second place. The Devil must rule over the pits of Chopes.

batfink's picture
batfink's picture
batfink commented Friday, 30 Aug 2019 at 1:27pm

I'm not a big fan of Medina, but he can surf, and it was a humble display by him on taking second.

Big fan of Owen though, and think he and Medina are the best tube-threaders on the planet, in a crowded field, so was pleased to see it go down to them both in the final. Wacky that they both fought each other on non-priority waves in the final.

Finntim's picture
Finntim's picture
Finntim commented Friday, 30 Aug 2019 at 5:04pm

Heard him on abc local radio this morning, he's such a low key humble charging legend. He spoke in detail about the helmet too, really interesting stuff. Onya Owen!

Nathan Hendriks's picture
Nathan Hendriks's picture
Nathan Hendriks commented Sunday, 1 Sep 2019 at 6:15pm

Good on you blokes and gals