The Corona Open Mexico presented by Quiksilver ran for four straight days in pristine conditions at Barra de la Cruz. The swell on offer allowed for outstanding performances from the world's best surfers in the world's best waves, including stand-out performances from underdogs like 2021 rookie Jack Robinson and event wildcard Mateus Herdy.
The WSL Final 5 spots for the upcoming Rip Curl WSL Finals were locked in. Top seeds, Gabriel Medina and Carissa Moore held onto the No. 1 spots. With nail-biting heats and progressive surfing, here are some of our favorite images from the crack WSL Photo Department.
The Dream Location
Barra de la Cruz is a world-class wave that's near the top of most surfers' bucket list. With perfect right-handers, playful barrel sections and warm water, it made for an exciting last stop on the 2021 Championship Tour. The conditions and swell on offer allowed the event to run four consecutive days ... and left the Championship Tour surfers wanting more.
"Keep making heats you know, I just want to keep making heats so I can keep surfing these waves," said rooki Morgan Cibilic, who nabbed the fifth seed for the Rip Curl WSL Finals. "It would be sick to get some good surf in the next couple of days. It's unbelievable. I am always thinking of what I need to do better and what I am trying to achieve."
The Progressive Surfing
Twenty-year-old wildcard Mateus Herdy showed everyone what he was capable of during the Corona Open Mexico presented by Quiksilver with his strong surfing and diverse aerial maneuvers. Herdy took out the reigning World Champion Italo Ferreira in the Quarterfinals in the very last moments of the heat, solidifying a spot on finals day of competition. The young Brazilian had nothing to loose but proved that he is one to keep an eye out for in the coming years.
The Passing Of The Torch
The Corona Open Mexico was former World Champ Adriano de Souza's final event on the Championship Tour. De Souza largely ushered in the Brazilian Storm on Tour by showing the younger Brazilian surfers that anything is possible with hard work and dedication to your dreams.
Growing up in a favela in Sao Paulo, Brazil, he learned to surf on a seven-dollar board and would later go on to win the World Title in 2015. He's a beacon of light to all the up and coming surfers in Brazil to achieve their goals. After 16 years on the tour competing against the world's best, he will now retire back in his home country with his wife Patricia.
The First Woman To Win At Barra
Stephanie Gilmore took home the first-ever women's Championship Tour event win at Barra de la Cruz. Another first to add to her long list of record-breaking achievements, she slowly built momentum throughout the event, saving the best for last. Showcasing her mastery of surfing at right-hand pointbreaks, her style, grace and flow was poetry in motion. For the effort Gilmore locked in the No. 4 seed for the Rip Curl WSL Finals.
"Yeah, once we heard Tahiti was canceled I was like, this is it, this is the event, don't mess up, don't let your foot off the gas, wow I'm so stoked" said Stephanie in a post heat interview. "All I wanted was to make sure I had a shot at the final. At the starting line. That's all I need, a little opportunity."
The Rookie Who Defied All Odds
2021 Championship Tour rookie, Jack Robinson showed the world what he is made of at the Corona Open Mexico presented by Quiksilver. Doing his best to stay in the zone and let his surfing do the talking, he didn't say much until after he won.
"Just gotta carry the energy. When I am in a certain zone, I never really say too much or talk to much and I was in the zone this week" said Jack Robinson after winning the event. "Just being able to rise up to the incredible surfing of everyone and rise above it."
The Australian Takeover
It's been a minute since two Australians took out a competition in full force. Robinson and Gilmore walked away with the first place trophies at the Corona Open Mexico presented by Quiksilver this past weekend with smiles for days. The two surfers made their mark on the dreamy right-hander with their own unique and impeccable styles.
The Last Stop Of The Season
Barra de la Cruz ended up being the last stop of the 2021 Season due to the cancellation of the Outerknown Tahiti Pro Presented by Shiseido for both the men and the women. This meant that the stakes were high and that the athletes had to adapt to the changing competitive field in front of them. With requalification and the Rip Curl WSL Finals on the line, each of the surfers stepped up their performances and made every wave count.