Gabriel Medina has given himself a chance of taking out another world surfing title, after taking out the Rip Curl Pro in a dramatic final against Australian Julian Wilson.
The Brazilian champ capitalized on average waves to build his scoreline and apply pressure to Wilson early on, catching an incredible fourteen waves.
Wilson was slightly more patient, turning up the heat with a good little backhand barrel with five minutes on the clock, but Medina stayed active and posted two new scores to finally claim an event title in Peniche.
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The victory is the eighth of Medina’s career and comes just ten days after he took out the event in France.
“I’m really happy right now, I had a goal to just win an event in Europe so to win those two is incredible,” Medina said.
“Now I feel tired, that was a lot of work! Julian (Wilson) got me so many times so it feels good to get one back over him. When he got the score at five minutes I thought ‘Oh My God’ not again, but I kept going and I’m so stoked I won in the end.”
Coming into Europe ranked eighth on the Jeep Leaderboard, Medina is now in second spot behind leader John John Florence, with only one event left in Hawaii in December.
If Florence fails to advance to the Final at Pipe, Medina could clinch his second WSL Title with a win there.
“Before I wasn’t but now I’m definitely thinking about the title,” Medina added.
“He (Florence) has an advantage with more points but you know anything can happen. I want to surf Pipe so bad, I love that wave and I got some good results there in the past, and nothing’s impossible!”
Julian Wilson’s second place finish has also seen him move up to fourth in the rankings.
“It was an awesome few days here, we had great challenging conditions before and cute smaller conditions today,” Wilson stated.
“We always get a good test coming here to Peniche, it can be intimidating, or super exciting going for big airs. I’m glad we got a couple of exchanges in that heat and congratulations to Gabriel!”
Four surfers remain in contention heading into the final event: Florence who leads the rankings, Jordy Smith (ZAF), Medina and Wilson. Florence will win his second WSL Title if he makes the final at Pipeline.
World Title Scenarios going into the Billabong Pipe Masters
– If Florence gets 1st or 2nd at Pipe he will clinch the World Title;
– If Florence gets a 3rd, Medina will need a 1st at Pipe to win the World Title;
– If Florence gets a 5th, Medina will need a 1st at Pipe to win the World Title;
– If Florence gets a 9th, Medina will need a 2nd, Smith a 1st;
– If Florence, gets a 13th or 25th, Medina will need a 5th, Smith a 2nd and Wilson a 1st
WSL Jeep Leaderboard Top 5
1 – John John Florence (HAW) 53,350 pts
2 – Gabriel Medina (BRA) 50,250 pts
3 – Jordy Smith (ZAF) 47,600 pts
4 – Julian Wilson (AUS) 45,200 pts
5 – Owen Wright (AUS) 39,850 pts