Carissa Moore and Gabriel Medina Claim Surfing World Titles

LOWER TRESTLES, San Clemente, California (Tuesday, September 14, 2021) -  Carissa Moore (HAW) and Gabriel Medina (BRA) are the undisputed 2021 World Surf League (WSL) Champions after defeating Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) and Filipe Toledo (BRA) today in their respective Title Matches at the Rip Curl WSL Finals. It was an exhilarating day of surfing at the first-ever, one-day winner-take-all event in pumping, six-to-eight foot south swell at Lower Trestles.

Medina and Moore both entered the Rip Curl WSL Finals as World No.1, which gave them the advantage of a place in the best-of-three Title Match where the first surfer to win two out of three heats becomes the undisputed 2021 World Champion.

Carissa Moore Wins 5th World Title
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!”

Gabriel Medina Clinches Third World Title
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 wins 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 everyday 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!”

WSL Final 5 Put on a Show With Solid Conditions at Lower Trestles
Seven-time WSL Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) had the opening ride of the historic Rip Curl WSL Finals but was defeated by Johanne Defay (FRA) in Match 1. Defay then advanced on to Match 2 where she was eliminated by Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS). 

“I feel super happy to be here today,” said Defay. “This is already the best result of my whole career, so I’m just focused on surfing Lowers one more time and see where the day will take me.”

Rookie of the Year, Morgan Cibilic (AUS) had his Title shot against Conner Coffin (USA) in men’s Match 1. Cibilic had a good run at it, but Coffin's rail work and power were simply too much to handle. Coffin advanced to Match 2 against Filipe Toledo (BRA), and the Brazilian started the Match by dropping the first air maneuver of the day. With a combined score of 16.57 (out of a possible 20), Toledo advanced to Match 3 where he faced fellow Brazilian, Olympic gold medalist and 2019 WSL Champion, Italo Ferreira (BRA). With the hope of winning his maiden World Title, Toledo came into Match 3 as the underdog, but delivered a dynamic performance and took the win against Ferreira. 

“I feel ready to go and I’m super happy that my surfing is good today,” said Toledo. “I’ve been really working on the process of waiting for the perfect wave. I’ve been trying to be patient, choose right, and have the confidence to go for it.”

Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) entered the Title Match with plenty of momentum after winning women’s Match 3 against Fitzgibbons and won her opening heat against Moore. In the end though, Weston-Webb couldn’t match the 5X WSL Champion’s power and fell short of claiming her maiden World Title, finishing the season as World No. 2. 

Rip Curl WSL Finals Results:

  • Women’s Match 1: Johanne Defay (FRA) 12.17 DEF. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 6.70 
  • Men’s Match 1: Conner Coffin (USA) 15.00 DEF.  Morgan Cibilic (AUS) 9.84
  • Women’s Match 2: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 11.33 DEF. Johanne Defay (FRA) 6.66
  • Men’s Match 2: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 16.57 DEF. Conner Coffin (USA) 14.33
  • Women’s Match 3: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 13.17 DEF. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 11.73
  • Men’s Match 3: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 15.97 DEF. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 12.44
  • Women’s Title Match, Heat 1: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 15.20 DEF. Carissa Moore (HAW) 14.06
  • Men’s Title Match, Heat 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 16.30 DEF. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 15.70
  • Women’s Title Match, Heat 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) 17.26 DEF. Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 15.60
  • Men’s Title Match, Heat 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 17.53 DEF. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 16.36
  • Women’s Title Match, Heat 3: Carissa Moore (HAW) 16.60 DEF. Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 14.20

Watch every heat of the Final's Series

Comments

stunet's picture
stunet's picture
stunet Wednesday, 15 Sep 2021 at 12:42pm

Quick little skirt of the stats:

Including today's title, there's been just three different winners in the last fourteen years of women surfing.

By comparison, the men have had seven in the same time.

Going even further back, in the last 27 years of women's surfing, there's been just seven winners - the men had eleven in the same time.

Save for Sofia and Chelsea - who had one apiece - women's surfing always flows in long reigns.

garry-weed's picture
garry-weed's picture
garry-weed Wednesday, 15 Sep 2021 at 1:05pm

Maybe for Trestles Steph should have talked to Matt Biolos. She looked real skittery

Surfalot67's picture
Surfalot67's picture
Surfalot67 Wednesday, 15 Sep 2021 at 1:14pm

So let me get this straight, after all the Wozzle bullshit and E-Lo hype, with the exception of Toledo who gained one position and Italo who dropped one, 8/10 finals surfers finished in the same position they ended the season proper? Utterly pointless.

lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy's picture
lostdoggy Wednesday, 15 Sep 2021 at 1:34pm

I think Defay went up a position over Gilmore as well.

Tati was one end section snap away from an upset world title too but hesitated with the realisation and kooked it.

Surfalot67's picture
Surfalot67's picture
Surfalot67 Wednesday, 15 Sep 2021 at 2:37pm

They were equal on 32035 so I guess that’s right

jasper99's picture
jasper99's picture
jasper99 Friday, 17 Sep 2021 at 4:40pm

Could not agree more.....seems like a waste of time and let's be honest if anyone else had won there would be an asterisk next to their name especially after a short competitive season (6 comps I think). I prefer the regular way but that's just my opinion

simba's picture
simba's picture
simba Wednesday, 15 Sep 2021 at 5:13pm

imo Stephs surfing has suffered a lot in the last couple of years by surfing so many alternate boards...you can see her style has changed a bit and she seems to me to get caught between trying to style on a fish or rip on a thruster.....just saying

McQuartzie's picture
McQuartzie's picture
McQuartzie Wednesday, 15 Sep 2021 at 7:40pm

six to eight foot?

maddogmorley's picture
maddogmorley's picture
maddogmorley Wednesday, 15 Sep 2021 at 7:58pm

That's what i thought. Not 8ft. Depends on ya scale I guess

ringmaster's picture
ringmaster's picture
ringmaster Wednesday, 15 Sep 2021 at 7:47pm

I recorded the whole thing and watched it in bits and pieces today without knowing the results.

Gotta say I was impressed with the format and they picked a great day.

The surfing definitely got more rad with each heat and the finals (men's especially) were ball tearers.

Medina's from another planet!

Good move having Slats & Fanning on expert commentary too. Just mute Turpell and that Cote cunt and I give it a high 9.

Surfalot67's picture
Surfalot67's picture
Surfalot67 Wednesday, 15 Sep 2021 at 7:59pm

Haha! Nailed it

sean killen's picture
sean killen's picture
sean killen Thursday, 16 Sep 2021 at 5:31am

Absolutely ringmaster.. totally agree.. it’s painfully listening to Chris/ joe dribbling shit .. refreshing to have Kelly and Mick both legends telling stories and comments that made fuckn scents for a change

Bustard's picture
Bustard's picture
Bustard Thursday, 16 Sep 2021 at 5:53am

I agree Sean...Kelly and Mick smelt quite homely in the com box, give me more of that aroma

barreldogs's picture
barreldogs's picture
barreldogs Thursday, 16 Sep 2021 at 11:02am

What happened to my "ït's ON!" emails from the WOZ so I knew to tune in?

c735293's picture
c735293's picture
c735293 Friday, 17 Sep 2021 at 1:52pm

I sooo wish there was someone better than Medina. He's such an egotistical prick.

mickseq's picture
mickseq's picture
mickseq Friday, 17 Sep 2021 at 4:52pm

sounds like your all upset cause no Aussie won, in time your pain will subside