26 August, 2014 26 August, 2014

Gabriel Medina Wins Billabong Pro Tahiti

Gabriel Medina took another giant leap towards becoming Brazil’s first ASP world champ at the Billabong Pro Tahiti, where he has defeated Kelly Slater in one of the most remarkable surf contests in history.


A couple of years ago the solid conditions on the final day would’ve been called “unridable” and the tow teams would have been revving their skis and motoring out to go and charge some ridiculous waves. But this is 2014 and that’s no longer the case, although watching Michel Bourez’s opening ride might have changed everyone’s mind. The Tahitian charger free fell for what seemed like eternity on a massive wave and took one of the most serious poundings ever seen on a LIVE webcast.

With the waves at their brutal best, most surf fans had pencilled in John John Florence (HAW) or Kelly Slater (USA) to take the Billabong Pro Tahiti title considering their barrel riding prowess. That wasn’t the case though, as the pair met in the Semi-Finals instead and a tube riding duel was eventually won by the 11-time world champ after the second count-back of the event. Kelly’s Perfect 10 opening ride gave him the edge over JJF, who locked in a 9.90 and 9.87 to match Kelly’s 19.77 heat total.

John John matched Kelly tube for tube, but lost on a count-back.

In Semi-Final 1, Gabriel Medina easily out-pointed Bede Durbidge (AUS), who could only muster a 4.17 heat total to Gabriel’s 18.67 after taking a heavy wipeout halfway through the match-up. The Brazilian was through to his second final of the year in barrelling Pacific island lefts following his victory at the Volcom Fiji Pro in June.

Kelly might have been exhausted after his titanic battle with John John in the Semi-Finals, but he wasn’t showing it as he battled to the end against Gabriel who started stronger. The Brazilian had locked in a 7.90 and a 9.07 before Kelly had even caught a wave though.

Kelly is the master, but lost by just 0,03 in the end to Gabriel Medina.

The Floridian was then really put on the back foot after making a priority mistake then failed to make it out of his opening tube, while Gabriel locked in a 9.43 on a wave behind. Kelly rallied back with a 9.63 halfway through the heat, before Gabriel scored a solid 9.53 to put the 4-time Tahiti champ on the ropes. Kelly caught three more waves before Gabriel allowed him to go on a potentially heat-winning wave with just over 30 seconds to go. Perhaps a heavy wipeout on his last ride had the Brazilian rattled as he let Slater slip in, and it nearly proved costly as Kelly scored a 9.30 to fall just 0.03 points short of winning the Final.

Gabriel showed plenty of commitment by pulling into tubes like this all event.

With a further 10,000 points added to his world rankings lead after claiming victory at Chopes, Gabriel is now in a commanding position to claim his maiden world title with four events to go and 7,800 points ahead of Kelly Slater. Next up is Lower Trestles, where Gabriel will no doubt be one of the favourites to win.

“I went and spoke to my mom and the words she said inspired me,” said a tearful Gabriel after the final, before crediting his victory to God.

Check out heat reviews, results and highlights on aspworldtour.com

1 Comment

  1. Sexy eat ur bum waves
    26 August, 2014 at 6:46 am · Reply

    This was a mind warping event….waves were like a porno flick on repeat.

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