Three-time world surfing champion Carissa Moore found herself back on top of the podium on Sunday at the Surf Ranch Pro in Lemoore, California.
The event was the eighth stop on the World Surf League Women’s Championship Tour and the historic first at Kelly Slater’s Surf Ranch, a unique artificial wave pool 100 miles from the ocean.
It was Moore’s 20th win on the championship tour but her first this season. Her previous best finish of 2018 was third place at the Vans US Open of Surfing July 30-Aug. 5. Moore had a score of 17.80, while Australia’s Stephanie Gilmore was second with 16.70.
“I’m totally on a whole other high right now, I’m so stoked,” the Honolulu native said in an interview just after getting out of the water. “It’s been a crazy year so far, so to walk away with a win, especially at the Surf Ranch Pro, is definitely an honor.”
Moore competes for Hawaii, which is its own nation in World Surf League events, though athletes from Hawaii and the United States will be contending for the same spots on the 2020 U.S. Olympic Surfing Team as the sport makes its debut in Tokyo.
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Moore won her last season title in 2015 and won just one event on the tour last season, finishing the year ranked fifth in the world.
Lakey Peterson of the U.S. finished third with a 16.57.
At Slater’s Surf Ranch, a $30 million facility, artificial waves are created in the 2,000-foot-long man-made lake by a large vehicle that runs along tracks and creates perfect, consistent waves that reach up to 6½ feet high.
In the finals, each competitor rode six waves — three lefts and three rights — over three runs. The best left plus the best right scores were combined for each athlete to determine the winners.
Moore’s best left score was 8.60 and her best right was 9.20.
Karen Price is a reporter from Pittsburgh who has covered Olympic sports for various publications. She is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.