Reigning World Surf League (WSL) champion Italo Ferreira moved up the men’s rankings to No. 1 after beating two-time WSL titleholder Gabriel Medina in a heated final of the Rip Curl Newcastle Cup presented by Corona this afternoon.
After losing to countryman Medina at the Billabong Pipe Masters, Ferreira got one back on his compatriot to claim the event win at Merewether Beach.
This victory also marked the 26-year old’s seventh Championship Tour (CT) triumph.
“Wow what an event,” Ferriera said.
“It’s been such a good few weeks competing here with all of these guys.
“I love to surf heats with Gabriel (Medina).
“He is a machine and he pushes me so much, so it’s always fun to compete against him.
“I know I’m number one now but that doesn’t matter, as long as I have a spot for the Rip Curl WSL Finals at Trestles, then I have a shot at another title.”
En route to his decider, Ferreira took down Brazilians Filipe Toledo in the semi and Deivid Silva in the quarter-final.
Medina, who has historically struggled with his Australian leg campaign, is now one to watch in the next three events with an extended lead over current World No. 3 John John Florence (HAW).
Heading into a predominantly left-hand beach break, he will again be in conditions that’ll showcase his surfing capabilities and no doubt display the type of aerial antics that earned him a near-perfect 9.70 in the semi against Merewether young gun Morgan Cibilic.
“This was a fun event and another fun final with Italo (Ferreira),”Medina said.
“I felt good this whole event and had such a great time here in Newcastle.
“It was the first time I have been here and It has been great.
“The people are so friendly and the waves have been fun.
“I’m happy with my performance and can’t wait to compete again next week.”
In the closest heat of the day, local hero Ryan Callinan fell out of the draw during the second quarter-final to Cibilic.
The competitors tied with 10.37 two-wave totals (out of a possible 20), but the tiebreaker went to Cibilic with the highest single-wave score, a 5.70.
It was a bittersweet result for the Merewether locals as it meant one of the hometown favourites was out of the event.
Eventually, Cibilic went down to Medina and another major WSL event was run in Newcastle without a local winner.
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 Men’s final results:
- 1 – Italo Ferreira (BRA) 14.94
- 2 – Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.27
Rip Curl Newcastle Cup pres. by Corona Men’s semi-final results:
- HEAT 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 15.77 DEF. Morgan Cibilic (AUS) 14.07
- HEAT 2: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 16.10 DEF. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 11.57
- Rip Curl Newcastle Cup pres. by Corona Men’s quarter-final results:
- HEAT 1: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 10.27 DEF. Adriano de Souza (BRA) 10.07
- HEAT 2: Morgan Cibilic (AUS) 10.37 DEF. Ryan Callinan (AUS) 10.37
- HEAT 3: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 12.67 DEF. Deivid Silva (BRA) 12.40
- HEAT 4: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 13.83 DEF. Conner Coffin (USA) 13.0
2021 WSL Men’s CT Leaderboard Top 5:
- 1 – Italo Ferreira (BRA) 16,085 pts
- 2 – Gabriel Medina (BRA) 15,600 pts
- 3 – John John Florence (HAW) 11,330 pts
- 4 – Jordy Smith (ZAF) 8,065 pts
- 4 – Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 8,065 pts
- 4 – Ryan Callinan (AUS) 8,065 pts