Reigning four-time World Surf League (WSL) champion Carissa Moore is in celebration mode this evening after taking out the Rip Curl Newcastle Cup presented by Corona at Merewether Beach today.
She built momentum through the tournament, most notably with her game-changing air reverse in the quarter-final and her event topping 17.74 heat total (out of a possible 20) in the semi.
Although a slower heat, Moore dominated the final against Championship Tour (CT) rookie Isabella Nichols (AUS) to mark her 24th CT win, tying Wendy Botha for the most CT victories.
“I really want to dedicate this triumph to my family, and in particular, to my grandma,” she said.
“She passed away just before we came to Australia, so this one is for her.
“This just feels amazing to be standing number one at the end of this event.
“I really didn’t expect it.
“It was a really fun final with Isabella (Nichols).
“I want to congratulate her on such an awesome result in her rookie season.
“I’m looking forward to the next event and, hopefully, keep some momentum.”
Looking unstoppable in the first of four CT events on the Australian leg, Moore now wears the yellow leader’s jersey heading into the Rip Curl Narrabeen Classic presented by Corona.
Although Nichols struggled to find a rhythm in the final, her performances all through the event were admirable and finishing second in a CT event in only her second appearance is a massive statement and a shot over the bow of the rest of the competitors.
She heads to the Rip Curl Narrabeen Classic sitting at World No. 3 on the rankings.
“This is crazy, I really didn’t expect to make it this far,” Nichols said.
“Every heat I made was a bonus and to have a heat against not only Steph (Gilmore) but Carissa (Moore), my two idols, has been so surreal.
“This is the best job ever.
“I felt like I didn’t get a decent opportunity, which was a bummer, but only so many things can go your way.
“Carissa definitely outsmarted me tactically and it was really cool to see how she went about that heat.
“We were out there having a chat and a laugh so it was really fun.
“I’m looking forward to the next three events now.”
Teammates Moore and Caroline Marks went head-to-head in the second semi with Moore dominating the match-up with the highest two-wave combination of the entire event.
Although Marks wasn’t able to put Moore under too much pressure, she leaves Newcastle in third place and fifth on the rankings.
The next stop on the 2021 WSL CT will be the Rip Curl Narrabeen Classic presented by Corona, which starts from 16 April.
Rip Curl Newcastle Cup pres. by Corona Women’s final results:
- 1 – Carissa Moore (HAW) 15.73
- 2 – Isabella Nichols (AUS) 8.34
Rip Curl Newcastle Cup pres. by Corona Women’s semi-final results:
- HEAT 1: Isabella Nichols (AUS) 13.20 DEF. Keely Andrew (AUS) 12.13
- HEAT 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) 17.74 DEF. Caroline Marks (USA) 10.17
2021 WSL Women’s CT Leaderboard Top 5:
- 1 – Carissa Moore (HAW) 17,800 pts
- 2 – Tyler Wright (AUS) 12,610 pts
- 3 – Isabella Nichols (AUS) 10,410 pts
- 4 – Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 9,490 pts
- 5 – Caroline Marks (USA) 8,695 pts
- 5 – Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 8,695 pts
- 5 – Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 8,695 pts