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It happens in an instant, doesn’t it?
One moment, the world’s best are dreaming of getting barreled and starting the Championship Tour in earnest. The next, it’s over, the waves subsiding and the sun setting on another season. And so it is now that the Lululemon Maui Pro—the tenth and final stop on the WSL women’s tour—has wrapped.
Of course, as the froth from the waves is whisked away by the December wind, there can be only one.
This year, that one is Carissa Moore.
It was the Australian, Stephanie Gilmore, that earned the event title at Lululemon Maui Pro after two days in Honolulu Bay (she defeated fellow Aussie, Tyler Wright, in the final with a score of 14.16 to 9.67), but make no mistake: the scene on those sands belonged to Carissa Moore.
Following the Maui Pro, the 27-year-old from Honolulu joined the elite ranks of only Lisa Andersen (USA), Wendy Botha (ZAF), Freida Zamba (USA), Layne Beachley (AUS), and Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) as a four-time WSL Women’s World Title recipient. Moore is also now Hawaii’s most successful professional surfer ever.
“I dreamed of this moment for a really long time,” continued Moore. “Each world title has been a little different and this one was definitely the hardest. Being in the Title race with Caroline and Lakey has been incredible and they’ve both really pushed me. I wouldn’t be here without my amazing support team. I felt so much love on this journey this year and it really pushed me through. This year I wanted to do things a little differently and my non-profit Moore Aloha has really given me that sense of purpose. It feels like things have come full circle and following in Duke’s footsteps in the Olympics gives me chills just to think about it. I hope to go to Tokyo and spread the aloha spirit and I’m really proud and honored to represent the USA and in particular Hawaii.”
It’s been an incredible ride for Moore and we feel it’s a smart bet that this won’t be the last time she owns the title.
2019 WSL Championship Tour Results:
1 – Carissa Moore (HAW) 59,940 points
2 – Caroline Marks (USA) 55,454 points
3 – Lakey Peterson (USA) 55,125 points
4 – Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 49,810 points
5 – Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 48,950 points
6 – Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 41,560 points
7 – Courtney Conlogue (USA) 41,080 points
8 – Johanne Defay (FRA) 38,085 points
9 – Malia Manuel (HAW) 35,155 points
10 – Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 28,625 points
It didn’t quite end how Lakey Peterson had envisioned it.
The 25-year-old Santa Barbara, CA-born pro and Blenders ambassador went into the 2019 WSL Championship Tour with her eyes on the top prize following a sensational second-place finish in 2018. And going into the Maui Pro, she was within close striking distance of first place.
A defeat in the Round of 16 to Tyler Wright (11.60 to 12.67), however, put an end to her 2019 World Title dream.
Still, Lakey landed on the CT podium for the year off the back of stellar mid-season performances. It began at Margaret River Pro in Western Australia in June, where she conquered her fear of the sharks and nabbed her first event title of the year—at a place she had never won previously.
"This event has been a hard one for me to overcome," said Peterson following her Margaret River win. "After beating Stephanie and Carissa and making it through the quarterfinals, I found some extra momentum and fire and had definitely figured it out at Main Break. Tatiana was surfing so well so a big congratulations to her.”
Her scintillating performance at Freshwater Pro at Lemoore (Cali’s Surf Ranch) in September rocketed her up the rankings—her clutch air-reverse in the Bonus Run earned her the event title over France’s Johanne Defay.
“I just can’t believe it, I feel like God was just with me on that one and I gave it everything I had,” Lakey said at Freshwater Pro. “It all just came together today and it’s super special. I want to dedicate this win to everyone who was a part of the climate strike after watching everything on TV yesterday and how much our Earth needs our help right now.”
While Lakey entered the Lululemon Maui Pro as the world’s #2, she finishes third on the podium for the year. Still, her two WSL event titles this season—including her personal breakthrough in Western Australia—gives Lakey plenty to build on in her 2020 campaign.
And damn, we can’t wait to see it all unfold. Here’s to 2020, Lakey!
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