THOUGH Australia had a chance at two winning titles at the weekend’s Margaret River Pro, Hawaii swept in to claim victory over both our Men’s and Women’s surfing finalists.
Carissa Moore and Dusty Payne of Hawaii defeated finalists Tyler Wright and Josh Kerr respectively in solid six-foot-plus surf and unpredictable conditions.
The win is valuable to Moore now the Pro has been added to the ASP Women’s World Championship Tour, and the 2011 ASP World Champion was emotional as she collected her winner’s cheque.
“I felt good out there,” she said.
“It was maybe an anticlimactic final with not a lot of waves but I am really stoked to come away with the win.”
She said the Pro was a great stepping-stone in her goal to claim another world title.
“(The World Title) is a marathon, not a sprint. This result can only build my confidence going into Bells. It looks like it is going to be really tight for the title race.”
Both women had taken a beating by the massive eight-foot-plus set of four waves that appeared in their crucial last minutes.
Wright, who had badly injured her leg on the inside reef earlier in the day, was desperately looking for one more wave to help her stay in the game. However, the pounding swell swept both contestants into the shore, destroying any chance she had of a late upset.
“I got absolutely smoked,” the New South Wales surfer laughed after the final.
“The conditions were trickier than I had ever surfed [at Margaret River].
“The swell could not make up its mind; it was bombing out the back, then inside ones and then bombing again.”
Dusty Payne was the form surfer of the Men’s contest, storming through the draw all the way to his first major ASP event win.
"I've never won anything before, this is sick!" Payne said.
"I'm so glad to win in Western Australia, I love it over here!”
Payne showcased his raw and powerful surfing to seal his win with a near-perfect 9.23 (out of a possible 10) in the final.
“I was in good rhythm at the event, which never happens, lucky I guess,” he said.
“I was injured for half of last year and had to sit on the sidelines and watch my friends surf and win events, and now here I am. It feels great."
The Gold Coast’s Kerr was satisfied with placing runner-up, stating that Payne had put on a better show throughout the competition.
“I'm stoked for Dusty, he's been surfing so good at this event," he said.
“I made some errors out there and was behind in the end, but I'm super stoked to be in the final.”
Kerr said he had experienced a bit of luck throughout his heats to get so far.
“You've got to be happy when that happens," he said.
Final results for the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro:
Women's (stop 2 on the WCT):
Carissa Moore (HAW) 11.00 def. Tyler Wright (AUS) 6.94
Men's (Prime event):
Dusty Payne (HAW) 16.36 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 13.20
For a full wrap of the Margaret River Pro click here.