Caroline Marks Closes In On Jeep Leader with Portugal Victory
Caroline Marks, the 17-year-old surfing phenomenon, showed once again that she is a major threat to the world’s best surfers and now has a shot at a maiden World Title in only her second year on the elite Tour heading into the Hawaii Pro in Maui, starting November 25.
“That was incredible. I’ve been dreaming of making a Final against Lakey (Peterson) and we’ve been talking about it since I started working with Mike (Parsons),” said Marks. “I just want to say thanks to her for pushing me so much, I wouldn’t be here without her. That was super fun, I’m so stoked, this is the best year of my life and I can’t believe it!”
Marks claimed a second event win this season (after the Boost Mobile Pro Gold Coast) in only her second season on the Championship Tour to get even closer in the World Title race conversation. The young sophomore eclipsed seven-time WSL Champion Stephanie Gilmore in the Quarters before eliminating Tatiana Weston-Webb in the Semis and Peterson in the Final. The Floridian came in ranked fourth on the Jeep Leaderboard and will leave Europe in third position after a runner-up in France and the win in Peniche.
“I’m just trying to live in the moment but staying in the Title Race is the goal,” she added. “I want to go all the way for sure, that’s so exciting. I’m not going to change anything, I’m just going to surf all day and have fun.”
Marks got the nod in the first half of the women’s Final, nailing a couple of good turns on her lethal backhand to build a healthy 12 point total and push Peterson against the ropes early on. The 17-year-old stayed patient in the lineup while Peterson scoured the beach for opportunities and once again Marks got the better of the next exchange to improve her lead and put Peterson in a combination situation.
Women's World Title Race Scenarios Heading into Final Stops
Three Women's World Title Contenders – Carissa Moore, Lakey Peterson & Caroline Marks
- If Carissa Moore wins Maui she clinches the World Title;
- If Moore gets a 2nd Lakey Peterson needs a 1st to take the World Title from Moore;
- If Moore gets a 3rd Peterson needs a 2nd & Caroline Marks a 1st;
- If Moore gets a 5th/9th/17th Peterson needs 3rd & Marks a 2nd to force a 3 way Tie Surf Off for World Title decision in Maui;
The 2019 Women's CT season will culminate in Hawaii with the Hawaii Pro from November 25 - December 6
Photo © WSL / Poullenot