- WSL / Diz

PRAIA DE ITAƚNA, Saquarema, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil (Saturday, July 1, 2023) - Today, Yago Dora (BRA) and Caitlin Simmers (USA) won the 2023 VIVO Rio Pro Presented by Corona, Stop No. 8 on the 2023 World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), in beautiful conditions, in front of a massive crowd at Praia de Itauna. Tyler Wright (AUS) and Ethan Ewing (AUS) earned runner-up finishes in an exciting close-to competition here in Brazil.

The rankings have been significantly shaken following this event. With their big wins today, Simmers and Dora now sit within the Top 5. Wright's runner-up finish means she will remain at No. 2, and has become the second competitor to clinch a spot in the WSL Final 5. Ewing's runner-up performance elevated him to No. 3 on the rankings. Carissa Moore (HAW) will maintain the rankings lead going into stop No. 9 at J-Bay. Filipe Toledo (BRA) will take the yellow Leader jersey from Griffin Colapinto (USA), who is now at No. 2.

Yago Dora Delivers Perfection On Home Soil For Maiden CT Win, Final 5 Within Grasp
Courtesy of a Perfect 10, Yago Dora kept the Brazilian flag flying in Rio with his first-ever CT victory in stunning fashion over an in-form Ethan Ewing.

Yago Dora Earns Maiden CT Win in Front of Home Crowd

Yago Dora (BRA) earned his maiden CT event win today in front of a massive, cheering crowd. This is Dora's fifth year on Tour and the win couldn't have come at a better time or location. Dora overcame the likes of World Champions Gabriel Medina (BRA) and John John Florence (HAW) on his way to victory. With his big win, Dora has moved all the way from No. 12 to No. 5 on the rankings and is within World Title contention.

"It hasn't even sunk in yet, it's amazing," said Dora. "This week was something special. It was the best week of my life. Even on the flat days, I had so much fun, and every day was special here. I just had a feeling something special was going to happen, and it did. It took a long time, but that first win came at the right time and the right place. I'm beyond happy. Nowhere else better to win my first event; I'm so excited."

Yago Dora Gives Brazilian Masses What They Want, Moves Into First-Ever CT Final
The electric performances of Yago Dora continue, besting 2x World Champion John John Florence on the way to his first-ever CT Final appearance.

The men's Final witnessed a tactical battle between Dora and Ewing. Dora held a slim lead heading into the halfway mark before throwing caution to the wind and launching himself into a full-rotation air to earn a perfect 10-point ride (out of possible 10). The crowd cheered Dora on the entire match and erupted in the final seconds as he claimed his first-ever CT victory.

On his way to the Final, Dora overcame event threat and injury replacement Jadson Andre (BRA) in the Quarterfinals. Andre had established himself as the one to beat after eliminating defending event winner Filipe Toledo (BRA) in the Round of 16. Dora then took down two-time World Champion John John Florence (HAW) in the Semifinals. Florence had put on an exceptional performance in the Quarterfinals, but could not find a score of significance during his match with Dora.

Caitlin Simmers Wins Vivo Rio Pro, Surges Back Into Final 5 Fight
The 2023 rookie Caitlin Simmers delivered another masterful performance for her second CT victory, overpowering 2x World Champion Tyler Wright with a 14.66 heat total and placing herself back into the Top 5 conversation.

Rookie Caitlin Simmers Earns Second CT Victory

Rookie sensation Caitlin Simmers (USA) added an impressive second CT win to her name today here in Brazil. Simmers has had an outstanding year and came to this event ranked No. 7. The 17-year-old has now positioned herself within the Top 5 going into the last two events of the season, and it is possible she could win a World Title her first year on Tour.

Simmers started the Final by putting two-time World Champion Tyler Wright (AUS) on notice early with an excellent 8.33 for a lip-line floater. Simmers then found a backup of a 6.33 to put Wright in a combination situation, needing two scores to match her heat total as the halfway point approached. Wright's efforts took her out of the combination situation, but she still needed a near-perfect score as time expired.

"Tyler (Wright) is really good and the ocean was kinda on my side that one," said Simmers. "I just want to thank all of my friends, all of my sponsors, my dad, my coach, and my brother. This is probably the craziest moment of my life. Looking in from out there in the water and just seeing everything and everyone on the beach. You can't even see a spot of sand. It's crazy. I'm just really happy right now."

Rookie Phenom Caitlin Simmers Takes Down 5x World Champion, Earns Second CT Finals Showing
The Final 5 threat Caitlin Simmers continues to show the world what she's capable of and delivered a massive blow to the former event victor, 5x World Champ Carissa Moore.

Simmers caused one of the biggest upsets of the day on her way to the Final, eliminating defending event winner and five-time World Champion Carissa Moore (HAW) in the Semifinals. The match was the first time the CT rookie and five-time World Champion have competed head-to-head. Halfway through the heat, Simmers whipped several turns on a well-overhead left to earn a solid 7.50. Simmers then attacked another big section, posting a 6.17 and raising the requirement on Moore. Moore answered back under priority but her two final attempts were not enough to reclaim the lead.

Tyler Wright Clinches Spot In WSL Final 5
It's official, Tyler Wright will now fight for her third World Title at the Rip Curl WSL Finals. See you at Trestles, Tyler!

Current No. 2 Tyler Wright Clinches Spot in WSL Final 5

Tyler Wright (AUS) became the second competitor to clinch a spot in the WSL Final 5 today, after securing herself a place in the Final. This will be Wright's first appearance at the Rip Curl WSL Finals. This is also the first time she has been in contention for a World Title in the last five years.

"It's been a long time since I've been in World Title contention so the main thing for me is to stay in my process," said Wright. "I have ideas and thoughts about what I want to do. I think that's where the joy is going to come back into it for me. I haven't finished a year in five years so that would be pretty cool. I'm just going to keep putting one foot in front of the other."

Wright's road to the Final started with overcoming season standout Caroline Marks (USA) in the Semifinals. Marks struck first, earning a 4.83, but couldn't find a backup score until the last minutes of the heat. Wright was in tune with the ocean and capitalized on two lefts to post a 6.90 and 6.83.

Ethan Ewing Rises To The Pressure, Elevates His Final 5 Hopes With Runner-Up FInish
The now No. 3 Ethan Ewing carried his great form into another Final toward his 2023 campaign and pushed himself that much closer to locking in a Final 5 position.

Ethan Ewing Moves to No. 3 on the Rankings

Ethan Ewing (AUS) moved from fourth to third on the rankings today with his clutch runner-up finish. This marks his second Final appearance of the year. He made it all the way to the Rip Curl WSL Finals last year and is close to doing so again with only two events left to go.

Ewing started his day by overcoming an in-form Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) in the Quarterfinals. He then met fellow Australian Ryan Callinan in the Semifinals for a rematch of their Bells Beach Final earlier this year. Ewing emerged victorious once again by landing a tail-slide maneuver and posting an excellent 8.00. Callinan responded with a beautiful grab-rail carve but the wave didn't offer any further opportunity and his great run in Brazil came to a close.

"It was pretty amazing here," said Ewing. "This crowd here is unlike any other event we get to surf in, it's been an amazing week. I have my dad here with me and I've been staying with a good crew, and I'm really happy. I want to say a huge thank you to the fans for being so nice to me this week, thank you."

VIVO Rio Pro Presented by Corona Men's Quarterfinal Results:
HEAT 1: Ryan Callinan (AUS) 13.83 DEF. Samuel Pupo (BRA) 9.40
HEAT 2: Ethan Ewing (AUS) 12.77 DEF. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) 9.33
HEAT 3: Yago Dora (BRA) 14.00 DEF. Jadson Andre (BRA) 8.13
HEAT 4: John John Florence (HAW) 15.43 DEF. Barron Mamiya (HAW) 15.34

VIVO Rio Pro Presented by Corona Women's Semifinal Results:
HEAT 1: Tyler Wright (AUS) 13.73 DEF. Caroline Marks (USA) 10.50
HEAT 2: Caitlin Simmers (USA) 13.67 DEF. Carissa Moore (HAW) 9.56

VIVO Rio Pro Presented by Corona Men's Semifinal Results:
HEAT 1: Ethan Ewing (AUS) 15.50 DEF. Ryan Callinan (AUS) 12.00
HEAT 2: Yago Dora (BRA) 10.60 DEF. John John Florence (HAW) 6.50

VIVO Rio Pro Presented by Corona Women's Final Results:
1- Caitlin Simmers (USA) 14.66
2 - Tyler Wright (AUS) 9.80

VIVO Rio Pro Presented by Corona Men's Final Results:
1 - Yago Dora (BRA) 14.83
2 - Ethan Ewing (AUS) 10.83

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

Next Stop: Corona Open J-Bay
The Corona Open J-Bay holds a competition window from July 13 through July 22, 2023. Once called on, the competition will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com, the WSL's YouTube channel, and the free WSL app. Check out more ways to watch from the WSL's broadcast partners. For fans watching in Brazil, coverage of the competition's Quarterfinals and beyond will continue exclusively on WorldSurfLeague.com and SporTV.

The Vivo Rio Pro presented by Corona is supported by VIVO, Corona, Secretaria de Esporte e Lazer do Governo do Estado do Rio de Janeiro, Prefeitura Municipal de Saquarema, Banco do Brasil, Red Bull, TikTok, Australian Gold, Oakberry, Kaiak, EY, YETI, and True Surf.

For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.

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