Surfing-Medina and Moore master Margaret River

(Reuters) – Brazil’s three-times world champion Gabriel Medina won his first World Surf League event since 2021 after taking out Californian Griffin Colapinto with a display of radical, sure-footed surfing at the Western Australia Margaret River Pro on Friday.

Carissa Moore, Hawaii’s five-times world champion and Olympic gold medallist, held her nerve in deteriorating conditions to claim the win over Australian Tyler Wright.


The victory was Medina’s 17th world tour event victory, his first at Margaret River, and came after he sat out half the 2022 season dealing with depression and injury.

“I’m back in competition mode and it fells amazing,” Medina said. “As I said, I’ve always struggled to make heats here but this year I changed it up a bit, I’ve been training a lot and to have my friends here from home is amazing.”

Medina got off to a devastating start in the final, scoring an 8.00 and a 9.50 out of 10 in the first 10 minutes, refusing to be bucked off the solid, overhead waves even as they detonated on the shallow inside reef.

Colapinto scored an 8.17 of his own on his first wave but could not find another big score after beating perennial event favourite John John Florence in the semi-finals.

In their 12th final together, Moore triumphed over new 2023 ratings leader Wright in a low-scoring affair as rising winds made conditions tricky.

“I think it’s been nine years since my last win here and I was starting to wonder whether I could do it again,” Moore said.

The win was Moore’s 27th on the women’s tour, taking her to second on the all-time list behind Australia’s eight-times world champion Stephanie Gilmore.

Earlier in the event, 11-times world champion Kelly Slater was one of 12 men and six women cut from the second half of the world tour but was granted a wildcard for the 2023 and 2024 seasons, keeping alive his slim hopes of making the Rip Curl WSL Finals and qualifying for the 2024 Paris Olympics.

(Reporting by Lincoln Feast; Editing by Peter Rutherford)