The surfing world looked on in amazement last month as Stephanie Gilmore just pipped Tyler Wright to the post to take the ASP women's World Championship crown, but Wright didn't go down without a fight. It was drama till the last at the Target Maui Pro, with the ASP women's World Championship Tour title up for grabs right up until the very last surf off of the tour's last event.
As the tour arrived in Hawaii Gilmore had to make the semis to ensure that her Championship title was safe. Unsurprisingly she tied up the early rounds easily, scoring a few sevens and eights here and there. Meanwhile Wright, who needed to win the Maui Pro to stand a chance of taking the title, was really tearing it up with a generous scattering of solid nines throughout her heats.
Things came to the boil when Gilmore came up against another player who'd really found her form in Maui; American, Courtney Conlogue. This was the last obstacle standing between Gilmore and a safe WCT crown. Unfortunately Conlogue's form held on less than brilliant surf while Gilmore failed to find the all important seven pointer that would get her through.
In the semis Wright hammered Bianca Buitendag, nearly doubling her score with a pair of high eights. Meanwhile Carissa Moore made the finals with a more humble but still impressive performance to stand against Wright.
So it all came down to the final round of the season. A win for Wright would mean she took the world title, whereas a win for Moore would mean that Wright missed it by 2000 points to let Gilmore take the glory. Both women are amazing surfers and we know that both can pull it out when needed, but at the time Wright was a favourite to win, her consistently brilliant surfing in the comp comparing favourably to Moore's above average work with flashes of brilliance.
Moore opened with a good wave off the right turn, weaving carves and pull-backs together to get a score of 8.5. Meanwhile, with the pressure well and truly on Wright got off to a slow start with throw-away scores while Moore backed up her opener with a solid 5.5. Wright knew she had work to do and seemed to be pulling it off, scoring an 8.93 while an anxious Gilmore looked on. Any questions of a turnaround were quickly answered by Moore who replied quickly, using the whole height of the wave to kiss the rim five times and secure a competition winning score of 9.73, third place in the championship and a round of cheers from a relieved Gilmore.
So the WCT podium featured Gilmore on top, then Wright, then Moore.
Writer: Jamie Smith