“I’m really happy right now, I had a goal to just win an event in Europe so to win those two is incredible,” Medina stated. “Now I feel tired, that was a lot of work! Julian (Wilson) got me so many times so it feels good to get one back over him. When he got the score at five minutes I thought ‘Oh My God’ not again, but I kept going and I’m so stoked I won in the end.”
"I had a goal to just win an event in Europe so to win those two is incredible" - Gabriel Medina
Coming into Europe ranked eighth on the Jeep Leaderboard, the 2014 WSL Champion rocketed up to second with his back-to-back wins in Hossegor and Peniche and will be a legitimate threat to John John Florence’s WSL title ambitions when the tour concludes in Hawaii in December. If Florence fails to advance to the Final at Pipe, Medina could clinch his second WSL Title with a win there.
“Before I wasn’t… but now I’m definitely thinking about the Title,” Medina added. “He (Florence) has an advantage with more points but you know anything can happen. I want to surf Pipe so bad, I love that wave and I got some good results there in the past, and nothing’s impossible!”
In the final, Medina capitalized on average waves to build his scoreline and apply pressure to Wilson early on. The Brazilian surfed an incredible fourteen waves and kept scouring the lineup to improve his heat total, while Wilson stayed slightly more patient. The Australian turned the heat with a good little backhand barrel with five minutes on the clock, but Medina stayed active and posted two new scores to finally claim an event title in Peniche.
Congratulations to Gabriel Medina, winner of the 2017 Rip Curl Pro Portugal! We can't wait to see what will come, when the World Title race rolls in to Pipeline...