Carissa and Colapinto Conquer Chlorine Walls
In a (kind of) warmup for the metronomic rhythms of Supertubes in JBay, Carissa Moore (HAW) and Griffin Colapinto (USA) conquered the chlorine walls of the Surf Ranch Pro in Lemoore yesterday.
Moore and Colapinto took the rankings leads, while Caroline Marks (USA) and Italo Ferreira (BRA) were runners-up. The tour now turns its attention to Central America from 9 to 18 June for the Surf City El Salvador Pro Presented by Corona - the seventh stop on the 2023 Championship Tour. JBay is coming up from the 13 to 22 July, one of only four more events before the Rip Curl WSL Finals. As you can imagine, aside from the tropes trotted out in the WSL press release, the surfers are "starting to feel the pressure of clinching a spot in the WSL Final 5".
Moore claimed her second Surf Ranch Pro win and third win of the season, an exceptional year to be sure, and hot favourite to slay the salty open-sea walls of Supers to set up a super season of scintillating surfing. She will be back in the yellow Leader jersey when she goes to El Salvador. Her win caps a Gold Medal at the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo and this, her 28th CT victory. She is well on her way to qualify again for the upcoming Olympic Games in Paris. As one of the most fearless females in the water, French outpost Chopes should be a cynch.
“You can’t wipe the smile off my face right now and to be sharing the podium with these amazing humans is an honor,” said Moore, fingers crossed behind her back as she winked at a random photographer. Just kidding!
“I think all of us as athletes just want to perform to the best of our potential and I definitely think there was more for me to give out here. But, I felt happy and present, and that’s what matters most to me. I didn't really imagine it would go quite this good and I'm just really happy. I have a lot of family and friends here, and watching all over the world, so I really appreciate all the love. It's a perfect wave, but it's really difficult to ride. It took a couple surfs to figure out the timing again and get to calm the nerves, but I just felt really good.”
Meanwhile, Griffin Colapinto (USA) left everything out in the water to take down 2019 World Champion Italo Ferreira (BRA), who was on fire at the Ranch, flipping and sliding and ripping and shooting into the air throughout the day like a man possessed: Hack Hack Hack Barrel Air Claim.
Ferreira and Colapinto went wave-for-wave during the Final, keeping the crowd running to the beer tent to top up. Colapinto started strong, posting an excellent 8.70 and backup 7.83. Ferreira was able to take the lead after earning an 8.70 himself and backup of 8.13. Colapinto was left needing a big score and delivered just that, turning in a near-perfect 9.70.
Colapinto’s flawless day had him starting with a jaw-dropping win over Surf Ranch standout Yago Dora before he eliminated World Champion and defending event winner Filipe Toledo (BRA) in the Semifinals
Back to the women and special mention must be made to runner up Caroline Marks (USA) who made her second finals appearance of the season. Already a veteran at the age of 21, she looked composed and confident as she overcame big names such as past event winner Lakey Peterson (USA) and Molly Picklum (AUS). Mark stays in the top 5 on the rankings and looks set to make her first WSL Final 5 appearance later this year.
Brazil's world champ Ferreira thrived under the pressure of the cheering crowd yesterday, pulling off his trademark pocket rocket moves with explosive spurts of athleticism. He looked a sure bet for the win, but fell at the final hurdle:
“It was a long day and I’m so happy with my performance the last couple of days,” said Ferreira. “I came here with a lot of confidence and congratulations to Griffin (Colapinto), Caroline (Marks), and Carissa (Moore), you all put everything out there in your performance today. I’m happy to be a part of this and thank you to all the fans for the support.”
Ferreira beat current World No. 1 Joao Chianca (BRA) in the Quarterfinals, and an in-form Ethan Ewing (AUS) in the Semifinals, who had just eliminated Gabriel Medina (BRA), a near impossible feat - the first Medina has not made the final here. See highlights and results at www.WorldSurfLeague.com.