HONOLUA BAY, Maui/Hawaii (Wednesday, December 2, 2015) - The Target Maui Pro came to a phenomenal close today with the world-class Honolua Bay delivering perfect four-to-six foot (1.5 - 2 metre) plus waves to close the season for the world’s best surfers.
Action was incendiary from the start with the 2015 WSL Title clinched for now three-time World Champion Carissa Moore (HAW) as underdog Coco Ho (HAW) eliminated title challenger Courtney Conlogue (USA) in this morning’s Round 4 heat.
Moore’s historic day didn’t end there as the Hawaiian powerhouse took full advantage of pristine conditions and building swell, rampaging her way through the rounds and into the Final where she posted an astonishing 19.50 (out of a possible 20) - earning a unanimous 10 (out of a possible 10) - to claim her second, consecutive Target Maui Pro victory.
“You can never feel it til the end and this is definitely the moment,” Moore said. “Courtney’s been surfing so well, she’s worked so hard and I never counted her out for a moment. It’s crazy being in a title race. There’s so many ups and downs and just to keep that confidence up when you lose. I’ve enjoyed the whole ride and to see it pay off, it was just nice to finish off the season strong last year here. It’s a place I love to surf and it just lit a fire underneath me and got me excited for this season. That was the biggest barrel I’ve ever gotten in competition and I’m just so thankful for everything.”
Caption: Carissa Moore (HAW), the three-time WSL Champion, all smiles after capping off an incredible 2015 season with a Target Maui Pro win.
Image: WSL / Poullenot
After a season-long battle with Conlogue which saw the Jeep Leader Jersey switch back and forth multiple times, Moore was filled with immense respect for her Californian contemporary.
“I look at Courtney and just see that she’s a fierce competitor, she’s ready, she’s on and was going to go to the final and so I realized I had to go to the final too,” Moore said. “I had no idea or thought that she was going to go out in Round 4 and well done to Coco - she was surfing so well. It’s really special to be here at home having the local support and support of my family. This morning I had a rattled morning, feeling a little disorganized in my morning surf I just tried to regroup and just had to work through these thoughts. I’m really proud.”
2015 WSL Runner-Up Courtney Conlogue (USA) is coming off her best Championship Tour (CT) performance in her five years on tour, but couldn’t find the scores she needed to top Coco Ho (HAW).
“I think it’s kind of a roller coaster,” Conlogue said. “This whole season has been that way. I put everything out there and gave it my all and today just wasn’t my day. This is my best season so far and I’m going to look back at it and know I could’ve done better - you always can. It’s a bummer and devastating but now that I am where I’m at at the end of the season I just have to move forward and keeping grinding it out to get ready for next year.”
Earning runner-up at the Target Maui Pro, an in-form Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) dropped the event’s second-highest score with a 9.83. The Australian looked unstoppable until meeting the 2015 WSL World Champion Carissa Moore (HAW) in the Final. Earning her own incredible barrel ride, Fitzgibbons was still in the combination situation, meaning she needed two new scores to overcome the difference, with a 9.23.
“Just sitting in the lineup and having those perfect conditions, trading waves with Carissa was amazing,” Fitzgibbons said. “It was tough being on the flipside of hearing those tens, the competitor in me was just saying give me a break but it was her time to shine and she’s certainly a deserved champion. I definitely felt like I was surfing with a lot of freedom coming into this event with some fire and surf freely on the forehand. Still a little disappointing but I feel like I’m gaining some momentum for next year.”
Charging her way through to the Semifinals, eliminating Conlogue in the process, Coco Ho (HAW) couldn’t find the scores necessary to overtake Fitzgibbons to meet Moore in the Final but was elated with her performance at Honolua Bay.
“I knew going into the heat what was on the line, I knew I could win it for Carissa,” Ho said. “Also I knew it was important for me. I just wanted to go in and surf and get waves so I was stoked to do that. Hearing the final horn blow and the crowd start cheering I just started crying and so stoked for Carissa and myself making a heat. But then looking over at Courtney I was just feeling all sorts of emotions.”
A standout at the Target Maui Pro, Alessa Quizon (HAW) ended her campaign with a Semifinal appearance against the new World Champion, Moore. Closing the 2015 season with her best performance of the year, Quizon will take everything she’s learned this year and apply it to 2016.
“I’ve really had to sit back and evaluate every mistake I was doing and just not do them again,” Quizon said. “The past two years has been a struggle to try and catch up with everyone trying to figure out the right boards, but now I feel like I’m finding my place. I just want to keep my momentum into next year and just look at everything in a positive way - it’s all about having fun and sometimes I’m too hard on myself, so I just need to learn to take a breath and enjoy it more.”
Moore’s 2015 Samsung Galaxy WSL CT Results:
Roxy Pro Gold Coast: WINNER
Rip Curl Women’s Pro Bells Beach: WINNER
Women’s Drug Aware Margaret River Pro: 2nd
Oi Rio Women’s Pro: 3rd
Fiji Women’s Pro: 9th
Vans US Open of Surfing: 5th
Swatch Women’s Pro Trestles: WINNER
Cascais Women’s Pro: 9th
Roxy Pro France: 3rd
Target Maui Pro: WINNER
The 2015 men’s WSL Champion will be decided at the upcoming Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons, taking place on Oahu. Six contenders from two nations -- Mick Fanning (AUS), Filipe Toledo (BRA), Adriano de Souza (BRA), Gabriel Medina (BRA), Owen Wright (AUS) and Julian Wilson (AUS) -- are all within striking distance for the world surfing crown.
For more information, log onto www.WorldSurfLeague.com
TARGET MAUI PRO FINAL RESULTS:
1 - Carissa Moore (HAW) 19.50
2 - Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 17.90
TARGET MAUI PRO SEMIFINAL RESULTS:
SF 1: Carissa Moore (HAW) 17.90 def. Alessa Quizon (HAW) 15.20
SF 2: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 18.20 def. Coco Ho (HAW) 14.40
TARGET MAUI PRO QUARTERFINAL RESULTS:
QF 1: Alessa Quizon (HAW) 13.04 def. Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 11.50
QF 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) 17.47 def. Tyler Wright (AUS) 14.94
QF 3: Coco Ho (HAW) 16.90 def. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 16.20
QF 4: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 18.07 def. Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 18.04
TARGET MAUI PRO ROUND 4 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 13.56 def. Lakey Peterson (USA) 12.13
Heat 2: Tyler Wright (AUS) 11.27 def.Malia Manuel (HAW) 10.67
Heat 3: Coco Ho (HAW) 16.50 def. Courtney Conlogue (USA) 14.26
Heat 4: Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 16.07 def. Johanne Defay (FRA) 14.34
2015 SAMSUNG GALAXY WSL CHAMPIONSHIP TOUR TOP 5:
Carissa Moore (HAW) 66,200 pts
Courtney Conlogue (USA) 58,600 pts
Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 55, 900 pts
Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 47,500 pts
Tyler Wright (AUS) 47,100 pts