Tyler Wright Wins Swatch Women’s Pro at Trestles
Tyler Wright (AUS) claimed her fourth Championship Tour victory of the season in an all-Australian Final against six-time WSL Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS). The win sees Wright retain the Jeep Leader Jersey, increase her lead on the rankings and move her even closer to claiming her first World Title. The result puts her more than 7,000 points ahead of her closest rival Courtney Conlogue (USA) heading into the next event on the CT, the Cascais Women’s Pro. Wright dispatched Laura Enever (AUS) in the Quarterfinals, Sage Erickson (USA) in the Semifinals before facing Gilmore and taking her 9th career CT win.
“It’s been quite a journey from this point last year and a lot has changed this season,”said Wright. “It’s all come together and I’m absolutely loving it. I knew I had to get on the better waves facing Steph [Gilmore] in the Final. Surfing against her as someone I look up to is great, she’s still one of my surfing idols and inspires me to go after things my way.”
The two finalists have shared nineteen head-to-head CT match-ups, with Wright taking her 8th win over Gilmore. Wright opened her account with an excellent 8.50 and 6.37 to put the heat on the six-time WSL Champion. Gilmore charged with a progressive grab-rail attempt to combat Wright, but was not scored high enough to escape the combination situation. With time winding down, Gilmore locked in a 6.00, but still needed an excellent 8.87. With two minutes left in the Final, a set provided Wright and Gilmore one last opportunity. Wright was able to improve her 6.37 with an excellent 8.63 and take the win over Gilmore, despite her near-perfect 9.13.
“I set out with a goal this year and that’s to win every heat and win every final and I’ll go into the next events with that same goal and that same attitude,” Wright continued. “I’ve put a lot of work in and have probably the best team in the world right now. I’m really looking forward to the next event but I’m going to stick with my game plan.”
“It’s the World Title and I think I just decided that I wanted to go for it,” Wright said. “As soon as I decided that, I’ve done everything I know how and I went out and learned what I didn’t know. I’ve been in World Title races before but it feels so much different, I feel so much more comfortable and confident. It’s just flowing for me and I just feel good. I’ve got so much love behind me.”
Gilmore, who posted the highest heat total of the Swatch Women’s Pro in Round 4, previously defeated reigning three-time WSL Champion Carissa Moore (HAW) in the Quarterfinals, Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) in the Semifinals before taking on Wright in the Final. Today marks a return to form for Gilmore and is the first time since April last year that she has made it out of the Quarterfinals. The runner-up finish sees the 2014 event winner move up from 7th to 5th place on the Jeep Leaderboard.
“I love this place and this wave so it’s really nice to come here and get a good result,” said Gilmore. “The World Title race is really heating up and it’s great to watch. Congrats to Tyler [Wright]! It’s so rippable here and such a fun wave. My goal is just to win an event this season. Since my injury I haven’t really put together a complete performance so we’ll see what happens heading into Europe and in Hawaii, which is a favorite.
“I was feeling really good, felt like my surfing was really good and Tyler was always going to be the toughest opponent in this event so of course it stings,” continued Gilmore. “I think any loss stings but it’s a great result. I’m happy about it and glad to move up the rankings a bit. I think this is great confidence building for me and I’ll move into Portugal feeling pretty good.”
The next event on the 2016 Samsung Galaxy WSL Championship Tour will be the Cascais Women’s Pro, which will see the world’s best female surfers head to Portugal from September 24th to October 2nd.
For more information, check out WorldSurfLeague.com
Rip Curl Surfer Tyler Wright