HOSSEGOR, France (Saturday, October 14, 2017) – Gabriel Medina (BRA) and Carissa Moore (HAW) claimed victory today at the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro France, respectively, in excellent three-to-five foot (1 – 1.5 metre) rippable peaks at Stop No. 9 of the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT).
2014 WSL Champion Medina built momentum all week to peak at the perfect time in the final series and put together two massive heats in the Semifinals and Final to win the Quiksilver Pro France. His final bout against Sebastian Zietz (HAW), held in picture-perfect conditions at La Graviere, was the third French win of his young career.
Three-time WSL Champion Moore claimed back-to-back wins at the Roxy Pro France today, elevating her game to a whole new level and putting herself back in the World Title conversation by dispatching Lakey Peterson (USA) in the Final.
Stop No. 9 of 10 on the 2017 World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), the Roxy Pro France, was equally graced with incredible conditions for the world’s best female surfers, culminating with Moore’s victory.
“It has been a crazy year and just to come out with a win is amazing,” said Moore. “This one means so much because it has been a tricky year. I’ve been going through some growth personally and it was just nice to see it all fall into place. I was just really happy this event. I had such a great support crew here and at home. The vibes were really good this week.”
The three-time WSL Champion claimed her first event win of 2017, putting an end to an unusually victory-poor season. The Hawaiian started building momentum in Portugal last week where she placed runner-up and took one step further today to claim back-to-back titles at the Roxy Pro France. Today also marks the Hawaiian’s nineteenth Championship Tour win.
“I’m so stoked, we couldn’t ask for better conditions here and it’s been a long time since I won an event,” Moore said. “Coming up against Lakey (Peterson), I was a little nervous but I knew I just had to let everything go and just have fun. All the girls have really raised the level each event. I am grateful to be here and I am really inspired by my peers. Life can’t get much better.”
Moore’s path to her back-to-back win at the Roxy Pro France was the longest it could have been as she surfed in all seven possible heats of the event. Despite being relegated to the difficult elimination rounds early on, Moore’s determination paid off with wins over current World No. 1 Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Silvana Lima (BRA), Pauline Ado (FRA), and eventually Peterson in the Final.
In a slow start of the Final, only Moore was able to build a little momentum with a couple of small scores while Peterson struggled to find a good wave. Moore stepped up ten minutes in with an incredible ride to post a 9.20 (out of a possible 10) on a combination of carves for a strong lead over the Californian. Peterson fought back with an excellent ride of her own, an 8.27 to get back in the heat. A final opportunity came for both surfers in the dying moments of the final, but Peterson failed to capitalize and Moore walked away for the win.
Peterson’s second place result in France equals her best finish in 2017 as she also earned the runner-up spot at the Roxy Pro Gold Coast earlier this year. The Californian shined through a difficult draw to earn 8,000 points, which advance her up to 6th place on the Jeep Leaderboard. The 23-year old has posted impressive results this year but will look to Honolua Bay for a strong finish to the season.
“It is great to be back up here on the podium,” said Peterson. “Gold Coast seems like ages ago, so it is nice to know I’ve still got it. It has been a really fun year for me. It has been a lot of ups-and-downs. The highs have been really high and the lows have been pretty low. I am glad to be up here once again and hopefully next time I’ll be taking home the bigger trophy. I was super stoked to finish in such beautiful conditions. Thank you, everyone and all the locals in Hossegor for giving us waves for this event. I really felt blessed to be out there.”
World No. 1 coming into Hossegor, Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), could not match Moore’s flair in their Semifinal clash and claimed an equal third place for the fifth time this season. This excellent result further solidifies the Australian’s position on top of the Women’s Jeep Leaderboard heading into the final event of the season in Maui, Hawaii.
“It’s been great to use the week we had to kind of better myself away from competition and keep surfing,” Fitzgibbons said. “Carissa (Moore) got the jump with that first 8.67 and it was tough to find one, in the end I needed that 9 point wave. I feel like my surfing was there, I really just didn’t bump into the opportunity. It’s good to be consistent throughout the year, but you know I have the desire, I want to win events and be on that podium.”
The reigning World Champion and finalist last year in France, Tyler Wright (AUS) brought her A-game to the Semifinals but found a massive hurdle on her road to the final as Peterson posted a near-perfect 9.43 opener. With a third Semifinal finish in 2017, Wright will move up to second on the Jeep Leaderboard with a shot at defending her maiden World Title in Hawaii.
Coming off a difficult week in Portugal where Wright sustained a knee injury prior to the event start, a hard-working road to recovery with her entourage saw the powerful regular-foot come back to form just in time to compete in France.
“I’ve actually enjoyed the journey of this injury,” Wright said. “It’s actually pushed me forward at an accelerated rate. I have such a deep appreciation for all the time and efforts that everyone around me have put in, especially this week. It makes competing incredibly enjoyable and I’m so lucky to have them on my side.”