Finals day anticipation lent itself to many possible outcomes for the Hawaii surf faithful at J-Bay. In the end, possibly the most rewarding ending capped the competition in South Africa: Carissa Moore won her first event of the season and became the new world number one.
Oahu’s Moore beat Lakey Peterson, 15.47-14.60 in the women’s final at Jeffreys Bay.
Moore had finished runner up twice on tour this year entering the J-Bay. The third time was the charm as she tallied top scores of 8.5 and 6.97 to seal the victory.
The last day of surfing at the Corona Open J-Bay did not disappoint, albeit with no all-Hawaii women’s final. Kauai’s Malia Manuel lost in a tight semifinal heat to Peterson by a 15.27-11.00 score. It’s Manuel’s third top three this season. Moore made it past the semis by beating Caroline Marks.
Previous Jeep Points Leader Sally Fitzgibbons was bounced by Manuel two days prior in the quarterfinals. Moore would have slid from number two into the top spot even with a final heat loss.
Moore now has 41.175 points in the race for her fourth world title, to Fitzgibbons’ 37,325.
For the men, Gabriel Medina took home the win, beating countryman Italo Ferreira with a 19.5 final heat score.
Next up on the Championship Tour for the women is the Freshwater Pro in Lemoore, California from September 19-21, where Moore is the defending champion.