- 25 October 2016 | Surfing
John John Florence has won the 2016 World Surf League Championship Tour (CT).
The Hawaiian won his maiden world surfing title. Florence qualified for the final of the Meo Rip Curl Pro Portugal, and saw Jordy Smith failing to win his semifinal heat.
He is the surfers' surfer. John John has been dreaming of becoming a world surfing champion since he was eight years old. But this is a huge moment for Hawaii, too. Florence is the fourth Hawaiian to win a world surfing title.
"I honestly can't believe it right now. It's obviously not sunk in just yet. I am so stoked. I have so many people to thank: my mom, family, and friends. It's been a long year, but one of the best years in my life, so many fun events and just having a really good time all together," expressed John John Florence.
"I can't believe I won the world title. I was expecting it to go to Hawaii and I was just trying to keep surfing through heats. My whole life has gone into this, everything I've done but just this year especially, learning so much about competitive surfing, focusing completely on it and having so much help and support, it's been amazing."
John John Florence also ended up winning the Portuguese event in Peniche. The new champion beat Conner Coffin in the final, and added extra celebrations to his moment of glory.
The first Hawaiian surfer to win a world title was Derek Ho in 1993. The last Hawaiian to raise the most prestigious trophy in professional surfing was Andy Irons in 2004.
"To win it here and not having the stress of going to Pipe is great. The waves have been super fun. Thank you for having us here in Portugal. The biggest challenge was holding on to the lead. But I learned a lot about myself," added Florence.
John Alexander Florence was born on the 18th October 1992, in Honolulu, Hawaii. He is considered one of the best tube riders in the world. The 2016 World Surf League champion is the youngest surfer ever to win the Triple Crown of Surfing.
John John joined the elite of surfing in 2011. In 2016, he won the Quiksilver Big Wave Invitational In Memory of Eddie Aikau, the Oi Rio Pro, and the Meo Rip Curl Pro Portugal.
Hawaiian Surfers Who Won World Titles
Derek Ho (1993)
Sunny Garcia (2000)
Andy Irons (2002)
Andy Irons (2003)
Andy Irons (2004)
John John Florence (2016)
Meo Rip Curl Pro Portugal 2016 | Final
John John Florence (HAW) 16.67 def. Conner Coffin (USA) 9.93
Meo Rip Curl Pro Portugal 2016 | Semifinal Results
John John Florence (HAW) 13.84 def. Kolohe Andino (USA) 8.47
Conner Coffin (USA) 15.00 def. Jordy Smith (ZAF) 14.37