"Number five sounds pretty good!"

Olympic surfing gold medallist Carissa Moore wins fifth world title in dramatic Finals Day showdown at California’s Lower Trestles, “Number five sounds pretty good!”

Happy Hawaiian scoops up title five.

The Hawaiian Olympic gold medallist Carissa Moore has won her fifth world title after wasting American-Brazilian Tatiana Weston-Webb in good enough three-to-five foot waves at Lower Trestles, a short electric bike ride from San Clemente. 

The just-turned twenty nine year old Moore raced her Cadillac Mayhems along the smooth walls with the frenetic energy of a man whose nostril hairs are frosted with coke. 

With three heats in the offing, Moore needed all three of ‘em to despatch the ethereal and angelic looking Weston-Webb. 

Tatiana, the world number two coming into Finals Day, beat Australian Sally Fitzgibbons to occupy the surf-off for the world title. 

Described by the WSL commentator Chris Cote as “one of the most high-performance surfers on the planet” and riding “the most high-performance wave in the world”, Weston-Webb was unable to match the electric Moore. 

Johanne Defay and Stephanie Gilmore filled the final two spots. 

“Number five sounds good!” hooted Carissa.

Finals Day analysis coming shortly.

Filipe hugs Medina, post-heat.

Gabriel Medina wins third world surfing title in wild all-Brazilian bacchanal at California’s Lower Trestles, “How do you beat Gabriel Medina twice in one day? It’s very rare… to win, you have to cripple him!”

Unbackable favourite wins third crown.

To the surprise of no one, least of all bookmakers who had him as an almost unbackable favourite, Gabriel Medina has won his third world title in pretty blue-green three-to-five-foot waves at Lower Trestles. 

Medina, twenty-seven and the 2014 and 2018 world champ, marauded the Lowers lineup, attacking his enemy with a ferocious backhand attack jazzed up with lofty airs, including a version of the Flynnstone Flip, invented and popularised by Hawaiian Flynn Novak. 

Medina only needed two of a possible three heats to win the title.

“How do you beat Gabriel Medina twice in one day? It’s very rare,” said Mick Fanning. “He has so many different ways to win.”

“To win, you have to cripple him!” said Kelly Slater. 

“I’m crying I’m so happy,” said Medina.

Heat analysis from Longtom to follow shortly. 

WSL's water safety fend off leviathan.

Breaching eight-foot Great White shark forces temporary hold on world surfing title Finals Day at California’s Lower Trestles!

"I've seen three breaches out here," said Kelly Slater. 

Southern California’s exploding Great White population has forced the temporary suspension of Finals Day at Lower Trestles, a popular wave a little out of San Clemente. 

A Great White shark, six, maybe eight feet, was spotted breaching inthe lineup, where Gabriel Medina and Filipe Toledo were competing in the second of a best-of-three heats for the world title. 

Juvie Great Whites have become a fact of life around Lowers and surrounds.

“I’ve seen three breaches out here,” said Kelly Slater.

In May, drone photographer James Glancy showed just how close the Whites get. 

Glancy has made it his thing to fly his drone along the Californian coast and record what are either “close calls”, which presumes attack is always imminent when Whites are around, or evidence that Whites only go in for the kill when visibility is real low and they think the shredder is a seal or whatever.

“The further south I go (in California) the more sharks seem to enjoy the surf,” says Glancy. “They’re right there next to humans most of the time… the humans sharing their home have no idea. A surfer falls off a board, within reach of the shark, yet the shark shows no interest… as I filmed these encounters I felt that perhaps they’re not the mindless hungry fish I thought they were.”

The contest is expected to resume shortly.

Open Thread: Comment Live on the World Surf League’s inaugural Finals Day at Lower Trestles!

Smoke on the water!

Tanner Brasol, tentative around shark in wave.

Eleven-year-old boy stalked by monster sharks during surf event, “It was like a scene from a movie, two submarines coming up and you see the dorsal fins…you just see him freeze!”

“What was still terrifying though is you could still see in the video one of the sharks was very interested in him and continued to follow him."

A kid from Brevard County, Florida, had the hell scared out of him, twice, during a surf contest at Satellite Beach on Saturday when he was surrounded by a bait ball and two sharks, “submarines”, moved in, 

Tanner Brasol was shredding in the Gnarly Charley’s GROM Surfing Series competition when “my heart stopped,” his mom Kelly Brasol told local TV. 

“It was like a scene from a movie, almost like two submarines coming up and you see the dorsal fins and then the next thing you know it’s like (Kelly makes wild splashing noise) all over right behind Tanner; you just see the thrashing and the dorsal fins and the tails and the fish scattering and Tanner is just sitting there in the middle of it and you just see him freeze.”

The video, here, shows the latter part of the encounter once he’d got out of the bait ball and figured he was okay until a smaller shark came in for a whiff of the kid. 

“What was still terrifying though is you could still see in the video one of the sharks was very interested in him and continued to follow him,” said mom.

Contest organisers got the kids outta the water, waited for the bait ball to clear, checked to see if the sharks had moved on and got the rippers back into their heats. 

Tanner, who’s only been surfing for eighteen months but has pretty wild skills, wasn’t super keen on diving back into the water but figured, life’s short, yeah? 

“If you stay calm around sharks they won’t attack. Keep your feet and hands out of the water,” he said. “I didn’t want to get knocked out and I knew I was not gonna get bit. It’s just not that common to get bit. The sharks they’re not after you; they’re more scared of humans.”

An interesting theory and best not tested, at least in Australian water.