The WSL title race opened up even further this morning, as South Africa's Jordy Smith took out the Hurley Pro at Lower Trestles in dominant style.
Smith, who won at Trestles in 2014, narrowly defeated fellow ex-winner and Australian legend Joel Parkinson in a hotly contested final. Smith earlier overcame the red-hot Filipe Toledo in a commanding semi-final display, highlighted by a 9.23 ride to confirm the win.
"I just came into this event with a really open mind", Smith said following her victory.
"I've watched Joel throughout my career and he's one of my favorite surfers of all time. It's also has been a sad event after losing 'Woody' (David Wood, Head of WSL Security). I'd like to dedicate this event to him".
It was an all-Aussie affair in the women's final, where Tyler Wright came up trumps over compatriot Steph Gilmore, despite a late scare. Gilmore rattled off a heat-high 9.13 on her final wave, but it wasn't enough to stop the in-form Wright from claiming her 4th win of the season and going over 7,000 points clear in the world title hunt.
"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 said following the event.
"I've put a lot of work in and I've got probably the best team in the world right now."
Gilmore moved to 5th in the overall rankings with her runner-up result, but it's Wright who looks to be Australia's only hope at another women's world title this year. In the men's rankings, Matt Wilkinson dropped further to 3rd overall, leapfrogged by Gabriel Medina, while Ace Buchan finds himself in 7th, one spot behind Parkinson and three spots behind Jordy Smith. John John Florence remains at the top in his hunt for a maiden world title.
The Quiksilver Pro France kicks off on October 4th.
1st: Jordy Smith (ZAF)
2nd: Joel Parkinson (AUS)
3rd: Tanner Gudauskas (USA)
3rd: Filipe Toledo (BRA)
5th: Brett Simpson (USA)
5th: Stuart Kennedy (AUS)
5th: Alex Ribeiro (BRA)
5th: Kelly Slater (USA)
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