Hawaiian surfer Carissa Moore, 18, set new records at the Roxy Pro Biarritz in becoming the youngest ever ASP World Champion, beating Sally Fitzgibbons en route to facing Stephanie Gilmore in the final in Biarritz, France.
With her first world title under her belt, Carissa then faced four-time champion Stephanie Gilmore in the final, leading for 15 minutes but her consistency, technique and mental strength weren't quite enough to carry her all the way to glory as the Australian took the win by 1.77 points.
“It’s been a great event and I was just smiling during the whole final,” an ecstatic Moore said. “It’s probably the heat I’ve spoken about the most in my career and we were just enjoying our time out there with Stephanie. The waves were fun and I am just super stoked to be here in Biarritz.”
'Just to be here right now and being world champ is pretty crazy' – Carissa Moore
Surfing a sixth final in six events, another one for the ASP record books, Moore is also the first Hawaiian to win a world title since Margo Oberg in 1981.
“It feels amazing to make all these finals and win the title,” Moore said. “I've been thinking about this since I was a little girl. Just to be here right now and being world champ is pretty crazy, and Roxy put-up a great event. I dreamed of surfing at this level my whole life since I was a little kid and I don’t think you can ever expect or anticipate the feeling."
Moore clinched the title by edging out her last remaining rival for the crown, Sally Fitzgibbons, in their semi-final bout. Clarissa then progressed to a final showdown with last year’s world champion Stephanie Gilmore but the four-time ASP champion was too strong on the day.
“Today was unbelievable because so much has gone down,” said Gilmore. “In my perfect world somebody would be crowned world champ and I would take the win and that is what I dreamt about. It feels so good. I missed it so much this year. I am so happy right now.”
The Australian also sang the praises of the new world champion. “It feels good to beat her and she has definitely raised the bar for all the girls this year. She is definitely the strongest of everyone this whole year and she has been in every single final and that is a new record. To beat the freshly crowned world champ is pretty cool.”
It was also a strong year for the runner-up, Sally Fitzgibbons. “It’s been a fantastic year, I’ve enjoyed the highs and lows but it’s a bit devastating to lose the world title,” said Fitzgibbons. “I am stoked to see my good friend Carissa win the title and it was a great finish to see Stephanie take down the event win. There is still another event and I’ll try and finish there with a strong result.”
- Carissa Moore’s official site
- Gallery: Carissa Moore and Maya Gabeira
- Visit the official ASP World Tour site
- Go to RedBull.com’s surfing section