Hawaiian surfer Carissa Moore set new records at the Roxy Pro Biarritz by becoming the youngest-ever ASP World Champion as reigning world champ Stephanie Gilmore dispatched Moore's only title rival, Sally Fitzgibbons, in the Semifinal round.
With her first world title under her belt, the 18-year-old Carissa then faced four-time champion 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 just 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.”
"I've been thinking about this since I was a little girl." –Carissa Moore
Reaching her 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."
Former champ Gilmore sang the praises of the new world champion. “It feels good to beat her [here]; she has definitely raised the bar for all the girls this year. She is definitely the strongest of everyone this whole year; 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 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,” she said. “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 to finish there with a strong result.”
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