Olympic gold medalist and defending champion Carissa Moore of Honolulu won her fifth world title and Gabriel Medina of Brazil claimed his third during high surf at the Rip Curl World Surf League finals on Tuesday at Lower Trestles.
It was the first time the WSL decided its world champions in a one-day, winner-take-all format involving the top five women’s and men’s surfers based on the season points standings.
Moore was seeded directly into the final match, where she beat Australia’s Tatiana Weston-Webb to defend her world title.
Medina, who ended the regular season with a huge points lead, beat third-seeded Filipe Toledo of Brazil in the men’s final. Toledo had eliminated Olympic gold medalist and defending world champion Italo Ferreira of Brazil, the second seed.
Moore and Medina each won $200,000 out of the identical $470,000 purses.
Australia’s Stephanie Gilmore lost the day’s first match, ending her shot at a record eighth women’s world title.
The narrow stretch of beach, featuring cobblestones that create some of the best waves in California, was packed with a large crowd.
After a weather delay on Monday, the WSL finals were set for a southern swell bringing in six- to eight-foot waves.
A reported shark sighting during the second heat and again before the women’s final heat put the competition on a brief hold.
Photojournalist Allen J. Schaben began his career at the Los Angeles Times shortly after he earned his bachelor’s degree in journalism with minors in art and psychology at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln in 1994.