Ranked number one in the world, Lennox Heads surfer Tyler Wright is just one step away from being crowned World Champion after winning half of this year’s contests.
At the Roxy Pro France, her nearest rival Courtney Conlogue had to keep winning her heats, as losing just one would mean watching Tyler being crowned the World Champion.
And so, the world title is at stake every time Courtney paddles out. She can’t win it here, but can lose it.
When the Tyler put Courtney back on her heels with an 8.6, Conlogue responded in kind, with a 9.17.
With a backside bottom turn that resembles a racing line on a downhill corner – starting wide, hovering diagonally before exiting with even more speed – Conlogue once again kept any champagne corks from popping at her expense delivering an emphatic payback to Australian Nikki Van Dijk.
Wright meanwhile had something of a walk through against fellow Aussie Laura Enever, who found herself starved of waves and never posted anything of significance in an awkward, between banks stage of the tide.
Wright appeared the very picture of measured energy in preparation for her heats, but in the post heat interviews, seemed to be holding back the emotions, realising that every heat made is another step closer to a monumental moment in her life.
Wright comes in to finals day with her destiny in her own hands. If Courtney loses her semi against Carissa Moore – who scored 18.24 in a demolition of Stephanie Gilmore today – Tyler is the World champion. But even if not, Tyler herself is two heat wins away from realizing her ultimate dream.