- WSL / Ed Sloane

As the start of the 2022 Championship Tour season gets set to kick off with the Billabong Pro Pipeline, we're counting down the most memorable championship moments from the past 10 years.

When the pressure is cranked up, no one rises to the occasion quite like Gabriel Medina.

In 2018, on his way to a second World Title at Pipeline, he ran into an unexpected hurdle on Finals Day. During the quarterfinal, fellow Rip Curl teammate California's Conner Coffin had the steely Brazilian in an unfamiliar combination situation.

Being comboed at Pipe, with Coffin's two scores higher than both of his own top scores in a clutch heat was new territory for Medina, who has built a reputation as one of the most unflappable, methodical and ruthless competitors surfing has ever seen.

Gabriel Medina's Perfect 10 At Backdoor Helps Secure His Second World Title
Nobody rides a backside barrel quite like Gabriel Medina, and he reminded everyone of this fact in a clutch Finals Day performance.

This would have been game over for most other surfers, but it's often when he's up against the wall that Medina performs the best; he thrives on the pressure.

With just under half of the heat left to run, Medina turned the table with a big Pipe barrel, milking every decimal point out of his 9.43 score by punctuating it with a lofty air over the almost-dry end section.

But that was just the beginning. Rather than consolidate his position with safe surfing, chipping away at the score requirement, Medina quickly motored back out to take off on a Backdoor wave that looked like a guaranteed closeout.

Gabriel Medina of Brazil won Heat 6 of Round 3 at the Billabong Pipe Masters at Pipeline, Oahu, Hawaii. No one rides a barrel at Backdoor quite like Gabriel Medina. Besides locking in a perfect ride going right on his way to winning the 2018 Billabong Pipe Masters and a second World Title, he also went near perfect at Pipe - WSL / Ed Sloane

Medina, dropping in under a technical section, made a subtle correction to his line and then threaded a long, deep tube on one of the heaviest, largest waves that had come through during the heat, exiting with both hands up in an ecstatic claim. He earned a 10.00, a perfect score.

"I'm stoked to have found that right," Medina said in his post heat interview. "That was the best ride I've had at Backdoor. That was really good when I came out. I had to pump a little bit when I was in the tube. When I was inside my board was shaking because the foam ball wanted to get me, but I escaped."

From this point on, it looked like his second World Title was all but guaranteed. Though Jordy Smith was still in the running - and gave Medina a solid fight in their Semifinal - which Medina won by less than a point.

Once Medina defeated Australia's Julian Wilson in the Final, he'd become a two-time World Champion and a champion of the Pipeline on the very same day.

The waiting period for the Billabong Pro Pipeline gets underway on January 29. Keep it locked right here at WorldSurfLeague.com for the latest news and info as we countdown the start of the 2022 Championship Tour.

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