On her way to the top of the podium of the Roxy Pro Gold Coast, Tyler Wright faced two World Champs -- Stephanie Gilmore and reigning World Champion Carissa Moore -- and confronted last year's runner-up to the Title, Courtney Conlogue, in the Final. Through it all, a new Tyler emerged, confident, poised and dangerous to her opponents.
Perhaps her most daunting challenge was in the Semifinals when she came up against Carissa who had won 11 of their 13 previous matchups. Plus, Snapper has always been good to Carissa: In the two years she won here she went on to win the World Title.
In the heat's early stages she seemed hungrier as well. Moore jumped on three waves within the first 10 minutes and by the late stages of the heat, she had forced Wright into the difficult position of finding a high-eight-pointer in challenging conditions.
But there's a big difference between hesitation and patience and ultimately Wright's patience paid off: Finding a long, open face to work with in the final moments, she strung together a succession of powerful carves for an 8.50.
Tyler carried that momentum into the Final where she met up with Conlogue. Similar to her start with Carissa, Tyler started by merely keeping pace -- matching the midrange scores her opponent tacked on early. But from there she grew, competing more against herself than against Courtney and ultimately it paid off.
According to the stats, the winner at Snapper wins the World Title 60 percent of the time. But Moore has three World Titles and only two wins at Snapper so do the math. The year is still wide open, especially looking ahead to another event where she's had success (she's a two-time event champ at Bells Beach). But Wright's confidence could spell danger for all of the Title hopefuls.