Italo Ferreira (BRA) and Caroline Marks (USA) won the Quiksilver Pro and Boost Mobile Pro Gold Coast, the opening stop on the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT).
The Final Series took place at Duranbah Beach, the event’s backup site, in two-to-four foot (0.6 – 1.2 metre) waves to determine the first winners of the season.
In addition to the year’s first elite surfing event, the event marked the first CT event to award equal prize money to the female and male competitors following WSL’s commitment in September last year.
Each stop on the Championship Tour, in 2019 and beyond, will award equal prize money and continue to host the Rising Tides – WSL Girls Program, the beachside engagement program aimed to inspire the next generation of young girls to take to the surf.
The 2019 CT is also the first opportunity for the world’s best surfers to qualify for the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, where surfing will make its Olympic debut. The Championship Tour rankings at the end of this season will determine 18 of the 40 available places (10 men and 8 women). After today’s results, the surfers are one step closer to both qualifying for the Olympics and winning the prestigious WSL World Title.
17-year-old Marks earned her career-first event win and vaults to No. 1 on the World Rankings. With only one year on the CT to her name, the young competitor is off to a phenomenal start in her career, already reaching the very top to set the tone for the year ahead.
“I’m really emotional right now,” Marks said. “I can’t believe it. I’m speechless. It’s incredible to be a part of this sport. I just want to thank everyone at WSL, I’m so grateful. It’s so amazing to be a part of women’s surfing. Carissa (Moore) has always been my hero and she still is. To have my first win over her is incredible. I was actually laughing because the first time I came to this event I was in the Trials and I just lost in the first heat every single time, so to now win the event is amazing. This has been the best event and best week of my life. There’s still a lot of work to do for the rest of the year, but I’m definitely going to enjoy this moment.”
In 2018, Ferreira proved himself to be one of the most exciting surfers, winning three CT events and finishing the year in fourth place on the Jeep Leaderboard. Today, the 24-year-old got his World Title campaign off to a perfect start with a come-from-behind victory over Californian Kolohe Andino (USA). Ferreira will now sport the Jeep Leader Jersey and focus his attention to Stop No. 2 of 11 on the men’s CT.
“Winning this event at the start of the year is unbelievable, ” Ferreira said. “I knew it would be so hard to beat Kolohe (Andino). I feel really lucky to have beaten him and especially in waves like this. The support on the beach is so unreal. I love all of the Brasilians on the beach. They are incredible cheering us all on. I’m excited to be in the Jeep Leader Jersey again, but it is a long year and I don’t want to get too far ahead of myself. I have a lot of other events to focus on, starting with Bells next week. I’ve trained a lot in the last three months and I got the win in the first event of the year. Let’s do this!”
Boost Mobile Pro Gold Coast Final Results:
1 – Caroline Marks (USA) 13.83
2 – Carissa Moore (HAW) 11.67
Boost Mobile Pro Gold Coast Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Caroline Marks (USA) 12.67 DEF. Malia Manuel (HAW) 11.50
SF 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) 11.90 DEF. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 9.87
Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Final Results:
1 – Italo Ferreira (BRA) 12.57
2 – Kolohe Andino (USA) 12.43
2019 WSL Women’s CT Jeep Leaderboard (after Gold Coast):
1 -Caroline Marks (USA) 10,000 points
2 – Carissa Moore (HAW) 7,800 points
3 – Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 6,085 points
3 – Malia Manuel (HAW) 6,085 points
5 – Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 4,745 points
5 – Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 4,745 points
5 – Johanne Defay (FRA) 4,745 points
5 – Sage Erickson (USA) 4,745 points
2019 WSL Men’s CT Jeep Leaderboard (after Gold Coast):
1 – Italo Ferreira (BRA) 10,000 points
2 – Kolohe Andino (USA) 7,800 points
3 – Jordy Smith (ZAF) 6,085 points
3 – John John Florence (HAW) 6,085 points
5 – Gabriel Medina (BRA) 4,745 points
5 – Conner Coffin (USA) 4,745 points
5 – Wade Carmichael (AUS) 4,745
5 – Seth Moniz (HAW) 4,745 points
For more information, please visit www.WorldSurfLeague.com
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