Three-time world champion Carissa Moore of Hawaii has been one of the most consistent title contenders on the World Surf League’s Women’s Championship Tour this year.
She added a runner-up finish in the Oi Rio Pro on Sunday in Brazil.
Only a few minutes prevented her from capturing her first title of the season in Rio de Janeiro. Ahead of Australia’s Sally Fitzgibbons, a three-time tour runner-up, late in their championship showdown, Moore had to settle for a second-place finish after Fitzgibbons scored 8.67 on a wave to pull out a 14.64 to 12.57 victory.
Fitzgibbons took over the top ranking in the World Surf League points standings with the win, moving up three spots. Moore, a strong contender for the inaugural 2020 U.S. Olympic Surfing Team, is ranked second after jumping one place, trailing Fitzgibbons by just 1,405 points.
Moore, who won her third world championship in 2015, has finished no lower than fifth place in nine consecutive competitions dating back to the 2018 season, when she finished third behind Stephanie Gilmore of Australia and Lakey Peterson of the U.S. She has finished second in two of this year’s first five events after winning two of the last three stops in 2018.
Moore defeated Gilmore, the top-ranked surfer going into Brazil, in the semifinals to reach the title showdown with Fitzgibbons.
In the men’s competition, second-ranked Kolohe Andino had a third-place finish. He reached the semifinals, but lost to Jordy Smith of South Africa, who fell to Brazilian Felipe Toledo in the final. Hawaiian John John Florence, the two-time world champ who’s ranked first this season, made it to the quarterfinals but dropped out after injuring his knee in the previous round.
The next event for both the women and women is the Corona Open J-Bay, which begins July 9 at Jeffreys Bay in South Africa.