In a historic moment for surfing, Gabriel Medina (BRA) has won the inaugural Surf Ranch Pro event, stop No. 8 on the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT) and the world’s first CT wave pool event in competitive surfing history.
Gabriel takes home his second CT win of 2018 with victory at the Surf Ranch Pro, now earning back-to-back wins against the world’s best. The 2014 WSL Champion narrowed the gap between him and Jeep Rankings Leader Filipe Toledo (BRA) with his 11th career CT win.
“It was amazing to win again, especially here at the Surf Ranch, and it feels good to get a little closer to Filipe (Toledo), Filipe is so dangerous, he’s probably the best at the Surf Ranch, so it’s special to win. - Gabriel said.
“There are no words. I am so happy right now. I surfed the way I wanted to. It’s totally different from surfing in the ocean, but I’ll take it! It’s the most high-performance wave I think we’ve ever surfed and it’s good to feel we are on level ground with the other guys. There are three more events so they should be fun ones.”
Medina’s win today looked to be in jeopardy after an uncharacteristic fall on his opening left, but he was quick to bounce back and posted an excellent 8.73 on the right run. Medina then went on to take advantage of the makeup left granted to competitors due to the infrequency of wave quality and soared his signature, ending air manoeuvre to earn a near-perfect 9.13.
Looking towards the final few events of the 2018 CT season, Gabriel is in a great position to continue his campaign for the 2018 World Title. Just 4,100 points behind Filipe on the rankings, it is set to be an exciting race all the way to the final event at Pipeline, Oahu, Hawaii. The 2018 World Title race will be a showdown to remember, and after a nearly missed victory in 2017, Gabriel has never been more ready.