Gabriel Medina Wins Corona Open J-Bay
Gabriel Medina has won the Corona Open J-Bay in four-to-six foot waves at Jeffreys Bay, South Africa. The win marked Medina's first CT win this season, putting him back in the 2019 World Title hunt.
The action-packed Finals Day at the Corona Open J-Bay saw no shortage of drama and with six near-perfect 9-point rides and extremely close heats to complete the CT's halfway marker.
“That felt so good!” said Medina. “This is a hard contest to win. I had a lot of fun this week, it was amazing and I wasn’t expecting that. I’m really happy right now. Something clicked in that heat that was really special. I knew I could match up with Italo (Ferreira) or Filipe (Toledo), both of them were ripping. I just want to thank God for giving me the waves and I’m so happy I did the job.”
Kolohe Andino Jumps to World No. 1
It was a close matchup between Medina and Andino with only 0.30 points separating them in the end. Andino tried to use the blustery offshore to his advantage and launched into a big aerial manoeuvre for a 7.50, but the score fell short of what was required to get into first place. He continued looking for opportunities, leaving Medina out the back, but unfortunately could not complete his aerial attempts. His third-place finish marks his best result in Jeffreys Bay and now vaults him to World No. 1 on the Jeep Leaderboard for the first time in his career and he will be wearing the Jeep Leader Jersey in Tahiti.
Filipe Toledo Falls Short of Three-peat at Corona Open J-Bay
Two-time, defending event winner Filipe Toledo was eliminated in the second Semifinal by compatriot Ferreira. Toledo looked set for another Finals appearance in Jeffreys Bay when he scored a near-perfect 9.00 for his opening ride, but Ferreira was unfazed and answered back with a 9.50. Toledo only managed a 5.00 on his second wave, and Ferreira scored an 8.00 to send Toledo home. Toledo is only 565 points behind Andino heading into the Tahiti Pro Teahupo’o.
“Italo (Ferreira) has been in-form the whole event, and he’s probably my favourite backhand surfing this wave,” said Toledo. “He’s really fun to watch and I was really inspired by him trying the most vertical and fastest turns on this wave. I knew it was going to be really tough, that’s why I waited for the bombs. I got that first one and it felt pretty good. I was just waiting on another one and it didn’t happen, but he actually had priority so it just wasn’t my day. Besides that, I’m stoked with the Semifinal, another keeper, and I’m in a good position for the World Title right now. I’m happy to be part of the Brazilian generation that’s once again making history here in J-Bay.”
The next stop on the 2019 Men’s WSL Championship Tour is the Tahiti Pro Teahupo’o, which holds a competition window from August 21 - September 1, 2019.
Photo © WSL / Tostee