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With Olympic Spot In Hand, Surfer Carissa Moore Wins Fourth World Title, Too

By Chrös McDougall | Dec. 02, 2019, 3:30 p.m. (ET)

Carissa Moore looks on at the Maui Pro on Dec. 1, 2019 in Honolua Bay, Hawaii.


The dramatic, all-American battle atop the World Surf League Women’s Championship Tour standings concluded on Monday, and Carissa Moore finished in familiar territory: On top.

When the season-ending Maui Pro kicked off Sunday at Honolua Bay in Hawaii, Americans Moore, Lakey Peterson and Caroline Marks ranked 1-2-3. Two of them would leave with berths to the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, where surfing makes its debut at that level, and one of the three would leave as world champion as well.

On Sunday, Moore clinched her Olympic berth, followed by Marks a few hours later. Then the top-ranked Moore confirmed her fourth world title by reaching the semifinals on Monday while Marks did not.

“I’m so stoked,” Moore said.

Marks, a 17-year-old phenom, was eliminated by seven-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore of Australia in the quarterfinals to end her second CT season ranked second. The world championship is determined by cumulative results over the 10-stop tour.

Moore could still claim the Maui Pro title later in the day. She’ll face Gilmore in the semifinals.

“Anything from here on out is a cherry on top,” she said.

The 27-year-old Moore has been a fixture on the Championship Tour since 2010, and she won her first world title in 2011 by unseating four-time defending world champion Gilmore. Moore, who competes under the Hawaiian flag in the WSL, added additional world titles in 2013 and 2015.

In the following years Moore finished third, fifth and then third again before again finding world championship form in 2019.

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She opened this season with a second-place showing at the Pro Gold Coast tournament in Australia, and after posting two fifth-place finishes she reached the top three in each of the six competitions leading into Maui. That included wins at J-Bay in South Africa and the Pro France.

Moore continued to shine in her home state, winning her seeding round before beating fellow Hawaiian Summer Macedo in the round of 16 on Sunday. When the action picked up on Monday, Moore defeated Australia’s Nikki Van Dijk in the quarterfinals.

She is the first Hawaiian to win four world titles.

“This has not only been a year of work but three years of growing and learning,” Moore said. “It’s been a journey.”

Peterson, who came into the finale ranked second, fell short of both the world title and the Olympic spot when she was eliminated in the round of 16. Because only two surfers per gender from each country can qualify for the Olympics, Peterson will finish the season ranked third but miss out on the Olympics.

“That was a rough blow, but that is the way it goes,” she said, adding, “Great job to Carissa and Caroline. They’ve had an incredible year so whatever happens with them will be exciting."

Chrös McDougall has covered the Olympic and Paralympic movements for TeamUSA.org since 2009 on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc. He is based in Minneapolis-St. Paul.

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Carissa Moore