Medina claims ASP World Surfing Title :: Wilson wins Billabong Pipe Masters and Triple Crown of Surfing
BANZAI PIPELINE, Oahu/Hawaii (Friday, December 19, 2014) – In one of the most dramatic days in the history of the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP), 20-year-old Gabriel Medina brought joy to millions of his Brazilian compatriots by claiming his and the country’s first ASP men’s world surfing title in Hawaii yesterday (Friday).
Medina was in superb form throughout the five heats he contested in the powerful 2.5 metre waves, progressing from Round 3 to the Final of the Billabong Pipe Masters in memory of Andy Irons, where he posted the only perfect 10 point ride of the event.
He clinched the World Title after his nearest rivals, 11-time World Champion Kelly Slater, 42, (USA) and defending three-time World Champion Mick Fanning, 34, (AUS) were eliminated from the season ending event in the third and fifth rounds respectively
“Winning the World Title was my dream and now it’s reality – I’m seriously shocked,” Medina said. “Brazil is partying right now I think. I’m so thankful to be part of this, a lot of guys have tried to do this and I feel honored to be the one. I don’t know why it’s me but I’m really happy it is and I’m so proud to be Brazilian.”
“I always look up to Kelly and Mick,” Medina added. “Kelly won his first world title when I was born maybe, I don’t know. Mick is an inspiration for me, I always look up to him. How he is so focused, just how he is. Kelly is a great guy as well. I don’t know man, I don’t know what to say, it’s my best day ever!”
Medina was pipped for the Pipe Masters event title by Julian Wilson (AUS) who marked his first event victory on the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour (WCT) and the second CT win of his career after a six-heat marathon session on the final day.
It all came down to pure, deep, committed tube riding in the closest Pipe Final on record as Medina and Wilson opened their accounts by going different directions on the same wave for tube rides and ended it with a brilliant exchange. Final score-lines showed 19.63 (9.93 and 9.70) for Wilson, to Medina’s 19.20 (10, 9.20).
“It was an incredible day and I’m honestly speechless,” said Wilson. “Words can’t describe. I don’t even know how to feel yet. To win the Pipe Masters in good waves and having been out in the water for three heats in a row is amazing. I just found a groove and me and Gabriel got to duel it out — that’s what it’s all about.
Wilson was further rewarded for his tenacity when his last minute victory in the Pipe Masters saw the Australian clinch the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, the second most prestigious award in surfing after the ASP World Title, overtaking rankings leader Dusty Payne (HAW), who had been ousted by Medina in Round 3. Wilson pocketed $100,000 for the event win and a bonus $50,000 for the Triple Crown series.
Brazilian Alejo Muniz played a pivotal role in Medina’s World Title success, eliminating both rival contenders Mick Fanning (AUS) and Kelly Slater (USA) from the competition. Muniz was eventually defeated in the Quarterfinals by Adrian Buchan (AUS), who took equal third place alongside compatriot Josh Kerr.
Fanning’s Round 5 loss ended his hopes of claiming a fourth World Title and saw him leave with a 9th place finish and end the year in second place on the WCT rankings.
The Billabong Pipe Masters marks the final Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) event in history, as the governing body of professional surfing has been named since 1983. The ASP will become the World Surf League (WSL) in 2015, delivering the athleticism, adventure and competitive drama of the world’s best surfing to fans from around the world.
For more information, log onto aspworldtour.com.
Billabong Pipe Masters Final Results:
1 – Julian Wilson (AUS) 19.63
2 – Gabriel Medina (BRA) 19.20
Billabong Pipe Masters Semi final Results (1st to Final, 2nd = 3rd):
Semifinal 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.60 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 9.43
Semifinal 2: Julian Wilson (AUS) 13.16 def. Adrian Buchan (AUS) 3.17
Billabong Pipe Masters Quarterfinal Results (1st to SF, 2nd = 5th):
Quarterfinal 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 4.30 def. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 3.27
Quarterfinal 2: Josh Kerr (AUS) 6.00 def. John John Florence (HAW) 4.04
Quarterfinal 3: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 12.17 def. Alejo Muniz (BRA) 3.77
Quarterfinal 4: Julian Wilson (AUS) 17.83 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 2.77
2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP World Tour Rankings (Final – after Pipe Masters)
1. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 62800 points
2. Mick Fanning (AUS) 55350
3. John John Florence (HAW) 51400
4. Kelly Slater (USA) 50050
5. Michel Bourez (PYF) 46000
6. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 43100
7. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 42900
8. Adriano De Souza (BRA) 42250
9. Taj Burrow (AUS) 41700
9. Josh Kerr (AUS) 41700
32. Travis Logie (ZAF) 10500 (Retired)
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