Champion Tweed surfer Mick Fanning clinched a historic fourth win at the Quiksilver Pro in France on Friday, making him the most decorated surfer of the event’s 12-year history, while Lennox Head surfer Tyler Wright became Women’s World No 2 after her event in Portugal.
The 32-year-old won the event in an action-packed final over younger rival, Brazil’s Gabriel Medina, 19, in one-metre waves at the backup venue of Le Penon in Seignosse, France.
The Quiksilver Pro France, stop No 8 of 10 on the ASP World Championship Tour, showcased the world’s best surfers in quality waves over the two iconic spots of La Graviere and Le Penon.
The result marks the first event win for Fanning this season and cements him in the pole position on the rankings.
‘I’m pretty emotional. I never really got into rhythm until this morning so it feels great,’ an ecstatic Fanning stated. ‘It just feels so good. Gabi is such an incredible kid; even with 20 seconds to go I was still under pressure. It just feels so good.’
Fanning consecutively out-surfed Hawaiian phenomenon John John Florence, 20, and fellow Tweed surfer Joel Parkinson on his way to the final, where he found himself backed up against the wall with Medina in the lead.
The two-time World Champion stuck to his game plan and attacked a bumpy righthander with all his power to scalp an excellent 8.83 and steal the show.
Parkinson, in the semifinal against his longtime friend and competition foe Fanning, fell short of finding the high score he needed to hinder Fanning’s road to victory. Parkinson placed equal third and stays in striking distance of the World Title.
Wright just misses out
Meanwhile, Lennox Head surfer Tyler Wright is the Women’s World No 2 after one of the closest battles for the world surfing crown that the ASP has ever witnessed.
Hawaiian Carissa Moore, 21, took out the 2013 ASP Women’s World Title on the final day of the final event, the EDP Cascais Girls Pro in Portugal, presented by Billabong.
The freshly crowned champion then capped off a banner day at Guincho Beach by claiming the season-closing Portugal event over in-form Aussie Sally Fitzgibbons, 22.
Moore secured her second world surfing crown after her sole remaining rival, Tyler Wright, 19, was eliminated by compatriot Fitzgibbons in the quarterfinals of the event.
The Hawaiian and Australian went blow-for-blow in 2013, collecting six victories of the eight events between them.
Wright claimed the opener on the Gold Coast, Moore bested Wright in the finals of the following two events, and the battle for this year’s title was on.
The Australian teenager won in Brazil and the Hawaiian answered back with a win at the US Open of Surfing to reclaim the World No 1 ranking and then capped off the year with her win in Portugal at the weekend.
World No 2 Wright was gracious in defeat and will remain a threat for years to come.
The talented teenager, who posted her first world tour victory as a 14-year-old wildcard in 2008, said she was happy with the runner-up result.
Wright added that Moore was a deserving champion.
Fitzgibbons, perennial threat to the ASP Women’s World Title, played a vital role in this season’s end-game, eliminating Wright in the quarter finals before making her way to the podium.
World No 3 Fitzgibbons, who prematurely popped two bottles of champagne on the podium today, said it wasn’t her best stage moment.
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