Four-time World Surf League (WSL) champion Carissa Moore pushed the progression of surfing another level higher today by landing a massive air-reverse in the Rip Curl Newcastle Cup presented by Corona.
The feat earned the Hawaiian the highest single-wave score of the event so far, a near-perfect 9.90 (out of a possible 100) – and allowed her to regain the No. 1 spot.
But, she was under pressure on Friday 9 April with her opponent Johanne Defay (FRA) in complete control of the heat.
That was until Moore took off on a medium set and went off the lip and into an air-reverse, possibly the biggest landed by a female in competition.
She was almost shocked when she landed and is eager to continue to innovate her surfing throughout the road to the Rip Curl WSL Finals.
“You have to keep reinventing yourself when you’re among this field,” Moore said.
“All of these girls are so good and constantly pushing the level of surfing.
“I never land those things let alone in a 30-minute heat.
“The waves are so incredible out there right now.
“I’m so glad WSL waited for the tide.
“There is so much on offer – turns, barrels, airs – there is just so much opportunity.
“I’m just so excited at the moment, I can’t believe it.”
Championship Tour rookie Isabella Nichols (AUS) upset the competition today with a big win over seven-time WSL titleholder Stephanie Gilmore in the opening section of the women’s quarter-final.
Nichols got to work early in a slow heat, securing a 6.67 (out of a possible 10) and 7.23, to Gilmore’s 5.40 and 6.00.
Gilmore was unable to overcome the freshman in the 30-minute heat and exits in equal fifth place.
“I’m pretty speechless at the moment, to be honest,” Nichols said.
“Steph (Gilmore) is my idol, she always was and always will be someone I look up to.
“So, to have a heat against her was pretty surreal.
“When I saw we were matching up, I was pretty stoked but that’s not how I thought that heat was going to go, but I’ll take it.
“Having that heat was so special and the outcome was just a bonus.”
A humble Gilmore praised her opponent.
“Isabella (Nichols) is a rookie who is on fire at the moment,” she said.
“I watched her grow up on the Gold Coast and have seen her improve so much.
“It wasn’t my afternoon though.
“I was letting waves go that I should have gone on and just had poor wave choice.
“It’s such a nice afternoon though, it’s really fun out there, the waves are awesome with good conditions.
“It was a bummer to go down.”
After disappointing finishes at the first CT event, Caroline Marks (USA) and Keely Andrew (AUS) have come back stronger than ever with entries to the semi-finals.
Rip Curl Newcastle Cup pres. by Corona Women’s quarter-finals results:
- HEAT 1: Isabella Nichols (AUS) 13.90 DEF. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 11.40
- HEAT 2: Keely Andrew (AUS) 13.70 DEF. Courtney Conlogue (USA) 12.90
- HEAT 3: Carissa Moore (HAW) 17.33 DEF. Johanne Defay (FRA) 14.10
- HEAT 4: Caroline Marks (USA) 16.26 DEF. Bronte Macaulay (AUS) 12.97
Rip Curl Newcastle Cup pres. by Corona Women’s semi-final match-ups:
- HEAT 1: Isabella Nichols (AUS) vs. Keely Andrew (AUS)
- HEAT 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Caroline Marks (USA)
Rip Curl Newcastle Cup pres. by Corona Men’s round of 16 results:
- HEAT 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 12.93 DEF. Frederico Morais (PRT) 8.33
- HEAT 2: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 8.40 DEF. Julian Wilson (AUS) 7.10
- HEAT 3: Morgan Cibilic (AUS) 16.00 DEF. Wade Carmichael (AUS) 10.33
- HEAT 4: Ryan Callinan (AUS) 13.87 DEF. Owen Wright (AUS) 12.07
- HEAT 5: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 16.93 DEF. Griffin Colapinto (USA) 9.83
- HEAT 6: Deivid Silva (BRA) 11.93 DEF. Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 11.80
- HEAT 7: Conner Coffin (USA) 12.73 DEF. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 12.34
- HEAT 8: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 13.07 DEF. Yago Dora (BRA) 9.14
Rip Curl Newcastle Cup pres. by Corona Men’s quarter-final match-ups:
- HEAT 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Adriano de Souza (BRA)
- HEAT 2: Morgan Cibilic (AUS) vs. Ryan Callinan (AUS)
- HEAT 3: Italo Ferreira (BRA) vs. Deivid Silva (BRA)
- HEAT 4: Conner Coffin (USA) vs. Filipe Toledo (BRA)