- Women Make History With First CT Finals Day at Pipeline
- Florence Captures Long-Sought Pipe Masters Win
- More Available at WorldSurfLeague.com
In a historic day for surfing, Tyler Wright (AUS) won the Maui Pro presented by ROXY, the first women’s World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT) competition to ever take place at the legendary Banzai Pipeline on Oahu’s North Shore. John John Florence (HAW) fulfilled his lifelong dream of winning the Billabong Pipe Masters presented by Hydro Flask at his home break in the esteemed competition’s 50th edition.
Two-time WSL Champion Wright made history today alongside four-time WSL Champion Carissa Moore (HAW), Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA), Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), and Sage Erickson (USA) after competing in the first-ever women’s CT Finals Day at the world-renowned Banzai Pipeline.
“I feel incredibly lucky to be here,” said Wright. “I think we wouldn’t be here without the women that came before us to pave the way, and today we are really standing on the shoulders of giants, I feel incredibly privileged to be here in the position that I am in.”
Wright secured her 14th CT win today after defeating Moore in the Finals and Fitzgibbons in the Semifinals. The 26-year old showcased committed surfing in the Final, defeating Moore by only 1.11 points. At the beginning of the competition, Wright paddled out for her opening heat wearing an updated jersey showcasing the Progress Pride flag and wore it proudly through her final heat win today. Wright will continue to wear the updated jersey throughout the 2021 CT season.
“As a proud bisexual woman of the LGBTQ+ community, as well as an Australian, I’m delighted to be able to represent both this year on my competition jersey,” said Wright. “The Progress Pride flag represents a love that opened my eyes more to who I really am.”
In the men’s Final for the Billabong Pipe Masters, two-time WSL Champion Florence went head-to-head with fellow two-time WSL Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA), beating him out by 0.67 points with a combined score of 11.77 (out of a possible 20).
“I feel really good, especially just after the last couple of years and everything I’ve gone through with injuries and everything,” said Florence. “To be here at the first event of the year, winning in my home break, I can’t picture it going any better. It’s an amazing way to end 2020 and start the new year as well.”
Florence’s victory marks his first win at the Billabong Pipe Masters presented by Hydro Flask. He was the runner-up in 2017 and 2013, and did not compete in 2018 due to an injury that kept him out for much of the CT.
“The Pipe Masters for me is the biggest event on the Tour,” said Florence. “I’ve grown up watching my heroes surf this event and win the world titles out there. Everyone who surfs pipe has their own little relationship with that wave, and so to be able to win a competition out there is a big feat. For me, it’s one of my biggest goals.”
Billabong Pipe Masters and Maui Pro Competition Recap
The day began with Heat 4 in the Round of 16 for the Billabong Pipe Masters presented by Hydro Flask, 11-time WSL Champion Kelly Slater (USA) earned a combined 13.67, the high score in the Round of 16 against Jack Robinson(AUS), advancing to the Quarterfinals despite suffering an injury.
“I hurt myself mountain biking last week, then I did something to my heel three nights ago at Pipeline,” said Slater, after Heat 4 in the Round of 16, “I’m having a little trouble walking, but I can surf okay, I didn’t notice it too much when I surfed.”
Defending WSL Champion Italo Ferreira (BRA), two-time WSL Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA), Kanoa Igarashi (JPN), and Jeremy Flores (FRA) also advanced to the Quarterfinals after winning their heats in the Round of 16.
In Quarterfinal 1, Florence scored a combined 17.67 (out of a possible 20), the highest score of the Quarterfinal, after earning a 9.07 and 8.60 on two rides against Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA), winner of the Injury Wildcard surf-off. Defending champion Italo Ferreira won Quarterfinal 3 against Jeremy Flores (FRA) despite suffering an injury after hitting the reef on one of his rides. Slater and Medina also won their heats to advance to the Semifinals, with match-ups between the top two surfers in the United States and Brazil.
“It feels good to make it through, I look forward to surfing against Italo in the semifinals, which is going to be a good heat,” said Medina, after winning Heat 4 in the Quarterfinals, “it’s heat-by-heat, can’t wait for the next one.”
After the men’s Quarterfinal, it was time for the women’s competition, the first to ever take place at Banzai Pipeline during the Women’s CT. Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) won Heat 4 of the Quarterfinal against Sage Erickson(USA) with a combined score of 8.60 and advanced to the Semifinal to Moore.
“I’m so stoked to have this opportunity and I just want to represent women’s surfing the best I can,” said Weston-Webb, after winning Heat 4 in the Quarterfinal. “I’m really excited to get more time out there and get some amazing waves.”
In Semifinal 1, Wright won with a combined score of 10.50 against fellow Australian Sally Fitzgibbons. During Semifinal 2, Moore earned a combined score 16.60, including a 9.60 (out of a possible 10) on one of her rides against Weston-Webb.
“I’m just really proud to be competing in my hometown,” said Moore, after Semifinal 2. “I just feel all the support here, especially from my family watching at home on the other side of the island.”
In the men’s competition, Florence scored a combined 18.16, with a 9.23 on his first wave and 8.93 on his second in Semifinal 1 against Slater. Medina defeated Ferreira in Semifinal 2.
The Road to The WSL Finals
The Road to The WSL Finals has officially started in Hawaii. For the first time, the men’s and women’s World Titles will be decided in a single-day event, ‘The WSL Finals’. The top five women and top five men following the CT season will battle for their respective titles in a new surf-off format at one of the world’s best waves. The WSL Finals will take place at Lower Trestles, California from September 8 – 17, 2021.
The opening leg of the Championship Tour will resume in January at the Sunset Open from January 19 – 28, 2021.
Maui Pro presented by ROXY Final Results:
1 – Tyler Wright (AUS) 8.34
2 – Carissa Moore (HAW) 7.23
Maui Pro presented by ROXY Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Tyler Wright (AUS) 10.50 DEF. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 2.87
SF 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) 16.60 DEF. Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 2.47
Maui Pro presented by ROXY Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Tyler Wright (AUS) 18.33 DEF. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 12.40
QF 2: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 14.37 DEF. Lakey Peterson (USA) 11.30
QF 3: Carissa Moore (HAW) 15.04 DEF. Malia Manuel (HAW) 11.27
QF 4: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 8.60 DEF. Sage Erickson (USA) 6.30
Billabong Pipe Masters presented by Hydro Flask Final Results:
1 – John John Florence (HAW) 11.77
2 – Gabriel Medina (BRA) 11.10
Billabong Pipe Masters presented by Hydro Flask Semifinal Results:
SF 1: John John Florence (HAW) 18.16 DEF. Kelly Slater (USA) INT
SF 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 12.60 DEF. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 8.57
Billabong Pipe Masters presented by Hydro Flask Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: John John Florence (HAW) 17.67 DEF. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 10.17
QF 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 6.23 DEF. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 1.90
QF 3: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 13.34 DEF. Jeremy Flores (FRA) 10.53
QF 4: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 9.13 vs. Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 7.06
Billabong Pipe Masters presented by Hydro Flask Round of 16 Results:
Heat 1: Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 10.33 DEF. Peterson Crisanto (BRA) 6.73
Heat 2: John John Florence (HAW) 8.50 DEF. Matthew McGillivray (ZAF) 5.73
Heat 3: Jordy Smith (ZAF) 11.67 DEF. Caio Ibelli (BRA) 1.63
Heat 4: Kelly Slater (USA) 13.67 DEF. Jack Robinson (AUS) 11.67
Heat 5: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 13.00 DEF. Ryan Callinan (AUS) 5.27
Heat 6: Jeremy Flores (FRA) 8.80 DEF. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 4.83
Heat 7: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 11.56 DEF. Jack Freestone (AUS) 6.67
Heat 8: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 12.33 DEF. Jadson Andre (BRA) 11.54
For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.
About the WSL
Established in 1976, the World Surf League (WSL) is the home of the world’s best surfing.
A global sports, media and entertainment company, the WSL oversees international tours and competitions, a studios division creating over 500+ hours of live and on-demand content, and via affiliate WaveCo, the home of the world’s largest high performance, human-made wave. Headquartered in Santa Monica, California, the WSL has regional offices in North America, Latin America, Asia Pacific, and EMEA.
The WSL annually crowns the men’s and women’s surfing World Champions. The global Tours and Competition division oversees and operates more than 180 global contests each year across the Championship Tour, the development tiers, including the Challenger, Qualifying and Junior Series, as well as longboard and big wave properties.
Launched in 2019, WSL Studios is an independent producer of unscripted television projects, including documentaries and series, which provide unprecedented access to athletes, events, and locations around the world. WSL events and content are distributed on linear television in over 743M+ homes worldwide and across digital and social media platforms around the world, including WorldSurfLeague.com.
WaveCo includes the Surf Ranch Lemoore facility and the utilizing and licensing of the Kelly Slater Wave System.
The WSL is dedicated to changing the world through the inspirational power of surfing by creating authentic events, experiences, and storytelling to inspire a growing, global community to live with purpose, originality, and stoke.
For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.