Finals Day at the Target Maui Pro saw the crowning of a 2015 World Champion, make-or-break heats and down-to-the wire scores -- not to mention incredible waves at Maui's Honolua Bay. Here are the Top 4 things you missed:
1. Carissa Moore Is Back on Top with a Third World Title, Back-to-Back Maui Wins
After something of a comeback year, Carissa Moore (HAW) clinched her third World Title early in the day, winning it when Coco Ho (HAW) defeated Courtney Conlogue (USA) in Round 4. And before the day was over, she won the Target Maui Pro for the second consecutive year.
"It's crazy being in a Title race," Moore said. "There's so many ups and downs and trying to keep a level head the whole time -- just to keep that confidence up when you lose and I've enjoyed the whole ride and to see it pay off."
The critical role that Ho and Conlogue's heat had in the Title race made their 35-minute faceoff the cornerstone of the contest. Making the matchup even more intense were the neck-and-neck scores throughout that saw Ho and Conlogue trade wave after wave. With one camera on Moore and another on the heat, the final 10 seconds were the most intense in women's surfing this season. As the heat-ending horn blew, Moore hugged her friends and cried -- and then got ready for the rest of the contest.
2. Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) was Mind-Blowing
The Target Maui Pro Final was one of the best heat of the year. Moore opened with a 9.50, while Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) kicked off her scores with an 8.33. They went blow for blow, each one upping the ante on every wave. But the pinnacle of the battle was Moore's massive barrel that earned her a perfect 10. Fitzgibbons needed two new scores to catch up and Moore's event win was all but imminent.
3. Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) is going to be formidable on Tour, for a long time
Barring a major professional curveball, the sole rookie on the 2015 women's CT is going to be a big presence on Tour for a long time. If you hadn't already seen Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) take down some of the heavyweights on Tour -- including the newly crowned World Champ and World No. 3 Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) -- in Maui Wednesday she took down World No. 4 Lakey Peterson (USA).
One of the best parts about Weston-Webb's presence on Tour is that her no-holds-barred approach in the water is matched only by her no-holds-barred comments on land. At just 18, she's already too refined in her media training to become the women's answer to Freddy Patacchia Jr. (HAW). But on the spectrum of typical post-heat interviews, in which politeness rules, Weston-Webb's competitive attitude is welcome change.
In an interview with the WSL earlier this year, for example, she said that beating Moore in Fiji was almost as good as winning the event. This time, in Maui, her glee after defeating Peterson was palpable. "Lakey's gotten me twice," Weston-Webb said, "so it was her turn." Not that anyone's counting.
4. Alessa Quizon (HAW) is finally in the game
It has to be tough having a three-time World Champion for a best friend when your own seasons have been a little less stellar. Both of Alessa Quizon's (HAW) years on Tour so far have been characterized by a string of ninth- and 13th-place finishes, punctuated by moments of brilliance.
But seemingly out of nowhere, Quizon is starting to shine in competition. She made it to the Quarterfinals at the Cascais Women's Pro in October, which she followed up with a win at the Maui and Sons Pichilemu Woman's Pro, a Qualifying Series event in Chile. And in Maui, she carried that momentum all the way to the Quarterfinals, where she eliminated Weston-Webb and earned a season-best finish.
Now that the women have wrapped their 2015 season, stay tuned for interviews with the new faces on Tour for 2016, plus sneak peeks into what the Top 17 are doing with their time off.