The best rivalry on the Championship Tour was renewed today at the Quiksilver Pro France.
Gabriel Medina vs. John John Florence remains surfing's marquee matchup in this era. Aesthetically and professionally, of course, the chasm between the two is nearly imperceptible, both surfers at the top of the game technically and tactically, not to mention their otherworldly talent. And with Florence's position as the reigning World Champ, popular perception might put the Hawaiian out front.
But dive deeper and you'll find Medina has owned Florence in head-to-head matches since their Championship Tour arrival in 2011. Medina came firing out of the gate that year, earning the first of his three Quiksilver Pro wins as a rookie. Only three years later he was World Champion. And while John earned his first World Title last year heading into the 2017 season, Medina's owned Florence on paper with a 10-4 record. In France, Medina was 2-0 against John heading into their Semifinal match on Saturday.
Medina had extra motivation today, trying to keep John from running away with another World Title. Florence, after all, just took over the lead on the Jeep Leaderboard. Medina proved once again that he's the favorite in France, taking the win over John, and marching on to victory for his third Quiksilver Pro championship.
With his win, Medina moves into No. 3 on the Jeep Leaderboard, just in time for the final stretch of what's looking to be a great World Title race.