Gabriel Medina: a back-to-back win at the Surf Ranch | Photo: Van Kirk/WSL

Gabriel Medina and Lakey Peterson claimed the 2019 Freshwater Pro, at Surf Ranch, in Lemoore, California.

The only event in the Championship Tour (CT) that is not held in ocean waves relaunched the world title race for both men's and women's division.

Medina was able to secure a back-to-back victory in the wave pool as he, once again beat Filipe Toledo in the final.

The two-time world champion unleashed his aerial antics to earn a nearly perfect two-wave total of 18.86 points.

"It's been a long three days for me, but it's amazing to win against these guys like Julian, Filipe, Owen, and Griffin," expressed Gabriel Medina.

The Brazilian won two of the last three events, and he is currently leading the rankings.

"Hopefully, I can keep up my results to the end. I'm really happy with my performance here, and these are really important points."

In the women's competition, an in-form Lakey Peterson won her second event this season and jumped into second place in the rankings.

The surfer from Santa Barbara beat Johanne Defay, Carissa Moore, and Caroline Marks in the final with an impressive score of 18.03 points.

"I feel like God was just with me. I dedicate this win to those who were a part of the climate strike. Our Earth needs our help right now," stressed Peterson.

"The year's been so up and down with so many different emotions. For the world title, this was a huge win, and with Caroline and Carissa right there for the Olympics, there's a lot going on."

Lakey Peterson: a powerful performance in California's ultimate wave pool | Photo: Miers/WSL

First Anniversary of Equal Prize Money

The Freshwater Pro marks the WSL's one-year anniversary of announcing equal prize money across all WSL owned and controlled events.

To celebrate, the event hosted two editions of WSL's Rising Tides program, a women's roundtable and a celebration of 1982 World Champion Debbie Beacham.

Rising Tides, which is set to expand in 2020, is a global beachside engagement program for girls that kicked off in Australia at the start of this season in an effort to inspire the next generation to take to the surf.

Before the event started, Rising Tides hosted the women's Freshwater Pro Trials and saw seven of the best up-and-coming American surfers compete at the Surf Ranch to battle for the event wildcard.

Today, as part of Rising Tides, the next generation of young Californian talents were first to take to the water, and Sierra Kerr, Kirra Pinkerton, Caity Simmers, Sawyer Lindblad, Samantha Sibley, and Alyssa Spencer had the opportunity to surf the wave while wearing the jersey of their favorite CT surfers.

"When I heard that they were going to pay men and women equally, I was so excited," said Sibley.

"As a young girl, it's just so much more inspiring to see the men and women being on an equal platform. It's so exciting that we are the only sport that is equal like that and I'm stoked that I chose surfing, and to be a part of the community is awesome."

To kick off the event, the six female CT event winners so far this season, who are the beneficiaries of equal prize money, gathered together to discuss the impact of the change.

Last night Debbie Beacham, 1982 World Champion, was honored as one of 10 WSL Founder's and awarded the World Title trophy that she didn't receive at the time.

2019 Freshwater Pro | Finals

1. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 18.86
2. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 17.33

1. Lakey Peterson (USA) 18.03
2. Johanne Defay (FRA) 17.60
3. Carissa Moore (HAW) 15.43
4. Caroline Marks (USA) 13.94

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