Hawaii’s Carissa Moore looks for fifth world title as WSL will crown 2021 champs at First-Ever Rip Curl WSL Finals

Sports

BARRA DE LA CRUZ, OAXACA, MEXICO – AUGUST 12: Four-time WSL Champion Carissa Moore of Hawaii after surfing in Heat 3 of the quarterfinal of the Corona Open Mexico presented by Quiksilver on August 12, 2021 Barra de la Cruz, Oaxaca, Mexico. (Photo by Tony Heff/World Surf League)

The first-ever Rip Curl WSL Finals, a one-day winner-take-all event to decide the undisputed World Champions, will run on the best day of waves between September 9 – 17 at Lower Trestles, San Clemente, CA.

For the first time in history the men’s and women’s World Titles will be decided on the same day with reigning four-time WSL Champion Carissa Moore (HAW) and two-time WSL Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA) leading the WSL Final 5.

The WSL Final 5 were determined based on points accrued during the seven 2021 regular-season CT events, with each surfer’s top five of seven results counting toward their year-end ranking and the top five men and women on the WSL leaderboard earning their place at the Rip Curl WSL Finals.

“All eyes are on the Rip Curl WSL Finals, and we’re very excited to finish the 2021 season by crowning the World Champions at Lower Trestles,” said Jessi Miley-Dyer, SVP of Tours and Head of Competition.

“This is set to be the biggest day in surfing history with the men’s and women’s world titles being decided on the same day. We have the top surfers in the world in this event and I can’t wait to see who will take it all home.”
Olympic gold medalist Moore comes into the event as World No. 1, giving her the advantage and a place in the best-of-three Title Match where the first surfer to win two out of three heats becomes the undisputed 2021 World Champion.

Men’s World No. 1 Medina is chasing his third title and looking to cement his place as the best surfer in the world. A win for Medina would make him only the sixth surfer ever to claim three world titles.

World No. 2, Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) is fighting to become the first Brazilian woman to win a World Title, while reigning WSL Champion and Olympic gold medalist, Italo Ferreira (BRA), who is also the second seed, has a chance of winning back-to-back World Titles and making history by winning Olympic gold and becoming World Champion in the same season. 

Sitting as men’s and women’s World No. 3 respectively, Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) and Filipe Toledo (BRA) are both hunting their long-awaited first title. Fitzgibbons has never finished a CT event placed below 8th in her 12-year career while Toledo, who won the last CT event at Lower Trestles, has 10 CT victories under his belt since his debut in the surfing’s elite in 2013.

Men’s World No. 4, Californian Conner Coffin (USA) looks to lock his first World Title, which would make him the first American men’s champion since 2011, and the first Californian champion since 1990. Ranked in 4th place, the seven-time WSL Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) is coming into the Rip Curl WSL Finals with the chance to make history by setting a new record and becoming the first woman to ever win eight World Titles. 

With the win, men’s World No. 5 Morgan Cibilic (AUS) would become the first-ever men’s rookie to win a World Title and solidify his position as the new face of Australian surfing. On the women’s side, Johanne Defay (FRA) is sitting on the fifth spot and, if she wins it all, would be the first European women’s World Champion.
BARRA DE LA CRUZ, OAXACA, MEXICO – AUGUST 12: Tatiana Weston-Webb of Brazil prior to surfing in Heat 7 of the Round of 16 of the Corona Open Mexico presented by Quiksilver on August 12, 2021 Barra de la Cruz, Oaxaca, Mexico. (Photo by Thiago Diz/World Surf League)
The top-ranked male and female surfers Medina and Moore will have a major advantage over the other WSL Final 5 contenders as they will be seeded directly into the Title Match, a best-of-three showdown to determine the World Champion. The remaining surfers will enter the Rip Curl WSL Finals bracket based on their year-end rankings. The women will be the first to take the water with Match 1 and will alternate with the men for the remainder of the day.Match 1 will see Defay take on Gilmore, followed by Cibilic and Coffin. Both matches will have a traditional heat format, in a head-to-head competition. Whoever wins each heat will then face world No. 3 on the WSL Leaderboard: Fitzgibbons for the women’s Match 2, and Toledo for the men’s. The winner of Match 2 will then face-off against the number two ranked surfer in a head-to-head competition with a traditional heat format. The Brazilian duo dominating the rankings’ second spot are Weston-Webb and Ferreira. The winner of Match 3 will move on to the best-of-three Title Match, where they will face the World Number 1 Moore and Medina in a head-to-head competition with a traditional heat format. The first surfer to win two out of three heats becomes the undisputed 2021 World Champion.

More information available at WorldSurfLeague.com.
FILE – In this July 27, 2021, file photo, Carissa Moore, of the United States, celebrates winning the gold medal in the women’s surfing competition at the 2020 Summer Olympics at Tsurigasaki beach in Ichinomiya, Japan. The first Olympic gold medalist for surfing, Moore, is the only Native Hawaiian surfer at the Games. (AP Photo/Francisco Seco, File)
The event window for the one-day Rip Curl WSL Finals runs September 9 – September 17. The event will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com and YouTube, as well as the free WSL app. Check local listings for coverage from the WSL’s broadcast partners.

COVID-19 Updates
The health and safety of athletes, staff, and the local community are of the utmost importance and the WSL has been working closely with local authorities to put a robust set of procedures in place. This includes testing and advance screening protocols, physical distancing and limited personnel on-site.
NEWCASTLE, AUS – APRIL 10: Four-time WSL Champion Carissa Moore of Hawaii winning the final of the Rip Curl Newcastle Cup presented by Corona on April 10, 2021 in Newcastle, Australia. (Photo by Cait Miers/World Surf League via Getty Images)
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.

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