Gabriel Medina: getting used to success

Gabriel Medina has conquered the 2011 Rip Curl Pro Search San Francisco, after defeating Joel Parkinson in firing three-to-five foot waves, at Ocean Beach. The Brazilian secured his second elite ASP World Tour victory this season.

Medina joined the ASP Top 34 after the midyear rotation and has been in amazing form thus far. The highly-touted Brazilian wasted little time in his Final campaign against Parkinson, belting a 7.50 and a 9.00, both out of 10, in the opening minutes with critical backhand blasts and controlled the heat throughout its entirety.

“This has been incredible,” Medina said. “This is my second World Tour win and it has been great. I’m having fun on the Tour. I don’t know what I did out there, I just try to go big and it was great to have a final with Parko (Joel Parkinson). He is one of my favorite surfers.”

Medina’s run on the Final day of competition was nothing short of amazing, as he took the day’s highest heat total of 17.33, out of 20, while defeating freshly crowned 11-Time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater (USA), 39, and Taylor Knox (USA), 40, before topping the Stylish Australian in the Final.

“I feel good and confident and I’m really happy,” Medina said after his Semifinals heat win. “It was hard with Taylor (Knox) and Kelly (Slater) and I’m just stoked. That was a tough heat and I knew it’d be hard. I just got my last wave and it saved me. Conditions are kind of fun, it’s cold, but it’s really fun and I just tried my best.”

Parkinson quietly navigated through the opening rounds of competition, but lit up the high-performance beachbreak conditions on the final day, threading several technical barrels and unloading his patented carves en route to the Final, but was unable to put a stop to Medina and finished runner-up overall.

“It would have been nice to have won that won but I couldn’t find a wave out there,” Parkinson said. “Gabriel (Medina) has been absolutely ripping this whole event and congratulations to him. He’s got a huge future and I’m excited to watch him over the next few years. I just want to thank everyone here in San Francisco, it’s been amazing.”

Taylor Knox was impressive in the powerful beachbreak conditions on offer at Ocean Beach, besting high-flying Brazilian Miguel Pupo, veteran Australian Kieren Perrow and Bede Durbidge, to match his season-best result of an equal 3rd place finish after he fell to Medina in the Semifinals.

“I’m happy to be in the Semifinals and be one of the last four standing,” Knox said. “I’ve really felt like my consistency finally came around, at age 40. I’ve been finding my zone and having fun and been enjoying the city and surfing as well and enjoying the culture a little.”

RIP CURL PRO SEARCH SAN FRANCISCO FINAL RESULTS:
1 – Gabriel Medina (BRA) 16.50
2 – Joel Parkinson (AUS) 10.90