"No resurf": WSL explains Medina's interference call

October 22, 2019 | Surfing
Medina and Ibelli: WSL analyzed the footage and stuck to their initial decision

One day after the dramatic interference call, the World Surf League (WSL) released an official explanation regarding the wave that sent the world title discussion to Hawaii.

After watching the footage from the tower, the WSL judges say that the "initial rule stands - no resurf."

"Caio was in the lineup first, further down the beach, and was rightfully awarded priority. We can clearly hear the beach announcer say: 'priority is with blue,'" the WSL notes.

Two minutes later, Gabriel Medina received an interference for paddling into Caio without priority.

"The time-coded replay from the judges' replay booth shows Caio sitting with priority, while Gabriel is still paddling. You see both surfers finish their waves."

"Caio paddles back out to the lineup, sits on his board, and gains priority. We can see simultaneously still paddling out to the peak."

"What was shown on the broadcast during the post-show was not Caio paddling into the lineup, but him paddling north toward Gabriel from his position in the lineup after Caio had already established priority," concludes WSL.

Here's how priority works in surfing.

Gabriel Medina: he will fight for his third world title in Pipeline | Photo: Masurel/WSL

Who Reached the Peak First?

Immediately after the end of the controversial heat, Medina stormed the judges' tower and demanded explanations.

A few hours later, he released his version of the facts.

"Caio and I caught the same wave, and each went our way. My wave was shorter, and his was longer. While I was paddling out the back, he was still riding his wave," explained Medina.

"When I got to the peak, I was so sure the priority was mine that I didn't look at the priority sign. To my surprise, when the next wave came, I ended up going for it because I was holding priority."

" When I got out of the water, I went to talk to the judges. We looked at footage of the two of us paddling back to the peak with an open camera angle. And it was clear that I arrived well before him."

On the other hand, Ibelli says he reached the lineup before Medina but further down the beach.

"I saw that I had priority, so I paddled hard for that wave. I know Gabriel doesn't do that kind of mistake, so when I stood up on that wave, I started to question myself," revealed Ibelli.

The WSL, it's case closed. The 2019 Championship Tour title will be discussed at the Billabong Pipeline Masters on the North Shore of Oahu.

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