Gabriel Medina wins the 2017 MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal
- 25 October 2017 | Surfing
Gabriel Medina defeated Julian Wilson and claimed the 2017 MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal, in Peniche.
The finals got underway in excellent six-to-eight foot surf at the iconic beach break of Supertubos.
The World Surf League (WSL) title was on the line for the reigning champion and defending event champion John John Florence. The Hawaiian could clinch his second WSL title with a win in Supertubos.
However, Kolohe Andino defeated the Hawaiian in the quarterfinals, and the world title race was immediately sent to Banzai Pipeline, in Oahu, where everything will be decided. But there was still an important final to be surfed.
After a few early failed air attempts, both finalists focused on completing a few rides and putting high scores on the board. You could feel the tension in the lineup. Medina and Wilson have a tense history behind them.
The Brazilian caught a lot of waves and, with 10 minutes on the clock, he was sitting on an unstable two-wave score of 10.84 points. Wilson woke up late but found a small and long barrel that put him on top of the heat.
Gabriel answered back quickly, and his last two waves proved to be decisive. He had finally beat his longtime rival. In the end, Medina rode 14 waves, including a strange new switch-foot air, and ended up taking the trophy home.
"I had a goal: I wanted to win an event in Europe. I won France, and then here. I feel tired, but it feels good. When Julian got the score with five minutes to go, I couldn't believe it.I said 'oh no, not again.' Now I have to think about the world title. John John has an advantage, but anything can happen," said Medina.
The campaign for the world title this season has been tighter than ever before and, as a result, Florence, Jordy Smith, Gabriel Medina and Julian Wilson are still in contention to win the most coveted trophy in professional surfing.
The 2017 Pipeline Masters, the last event of the 2017 Championship Tour, runs from December 8-20, in Oahu.
2017 MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal
1. Gabriel Medina (BRA), 13.26
2. Julian Wilson (AUS), 10.94