GUINCHO, Portugal -- Carissa Moore was chaired up Praia do Guincho not once but twice on Saturday, as she claimed both her second ASP Women's World Championship Title and the maiden EDP Cascais Girls' Pro.
To say the title race was close this year would be an understatement. Moore ultimately beat out Tyler Wright by just 3,800 points. That being said, Moore enjoyed an astonishing four wins on the ASP Tour in 2013, and there were moments where her surfing vastly transcended the competition's. With this second title, the 21-year-old Hawaiian joins the ranks of multiple title holders, which includes Steph Gilmore, Layne Beachley, Lisa Andersen and now, Moore.
There was plenty of tension on the beach as Moore paddled out for her semifinal against Sage Erickson. Sally Fitzgibbons was still in the process of eliminating Wright, her friend and fellow Australian, from the quarterfinals, but with about nine minutes remaining, nothing was certain.
"I actually didn't know that [Tyler] was behind until Sage said 'Congrats!' with two minutes left and I was like, 'Don't talk to me, don't talk to me!'" Moore laughed. "And then the horn blew and I knew. It was amazing. I put the work in this year, and who knew what was going to happen, but [I thought that] if I could put that energy out into the universe and just be as confident as I could in the things that I could control, that was all I could do… But I was feeling it!"
For her part in one of the tightest races in ASP history, Wright was gracious in defeat. "She is, by far, the best surfer and one of the best humans that I know," Wright said of Moore during the trophy presentation. "It was truly an honor being in this world title race with you."
"This is obviously not the finish that I wanted, but Carissa has surfed amazing all year and I'm so happy for her," Wright added after her quarterfinal loss. "This year was never about numbers or titles. It was only ever about being me and surfing the way I wanted to surf, and I did."
After taking out Wright, Fitzgibbons met Moore in an admittedly anticlimactic final. As the wave quality diminished, the pair traded low-scoring waves until Moore finally took the contest with a relatively unimpressive 10.44 heat total.
"It's always tough when you know that you're in a good rhythm and you paddle back out and ... the tide just came in so fast," Fitzgibbons said. "And the waves kind of disappeared and the wind was up, so it was all of these different things going on. Carissa was on a bit of a roll. It's a great year ending for me."
As for Moore, with the ASP season concluded and her second World Title under her belt, she'll return to her native Hawaii for the winter season on the North Shore.
"Winter in Hawaii's always good, and to go into the season with no pressure, it will be nice to spend the time with friends and family," said Moore. "It's been a long year, and it's always nice to go home and decompress ... but for now I'm going to enjoy this with my dad, boyfriend and friends."
EDP CASCAIS GIRLS' PRO FINAL RESULTS
1. Carissa Moore (HAW) 10.44
2. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 9.70
EDP CASCAIS GIRLS' PRO SEMIFINAL RESULTS
SF 1: Carissa Moore (HAW) 15.33 def. Sage Erickson (USA) 12.33
SF 2: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 16.00 def. Coco Ho (HAW) 13.17
EDP CASCAIS GIRLS' PRO QUARTERFINAL RESULTS
QF 1: Sage Erickson (USA) 14.06 def. Courtney Conlogue (USA) 12.26
QF 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) 16.23 def. Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) vs. 12.66
QF 3: Coco Ho (HAW) 13.34 def. Paige Hareb (NZL) 9.40
QF 4: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 16.33 def. Tyler Wright (AUS) 13.73