True to form, the MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal threw the 2019 World Title race into turmoil. Yellow jerseys were chopped and changed at Supertubos, the Jeep Leaderboard was in flux, and we are now heading into the final event of the year with five horses in the race;
Italo Ferreira sitting on 51,070 points, Gabriel Medina sitting on 50,005 points, Jordy Smith on 49,985 points, Filipe Toledo on 49,145 and Kolohe Andino with an outside chance, sitting on 44,665.
With under 2000 points between the four frontrunners, it’s a tight race and the pressure will be on at Pipeline. We’ve done the math, though, and are clear on exactly what Gabriel needs to do in order to win the World Title.
The clear favourite through to Portugal, Gabriel needs to put on one helluva a performance at Pipeline in order to clinch his third World Title. In fact, he might need to win the whole show…
Here are the scenarios according to how Gabriel performs in the event:
If Gabriel Medina wins the 2019 Billabong Pipe Masters, he is World Champion.
If Gabriel places second, Italo must win the event in order to win the Title. Filipe must win the event. Jordy must also win the event.
If Gabriel places third (a semi-final finish), Italo must make the semi-finals in order to win the Title. Filipe must make the Final. Jordy must win.
If Gabriel places quarters (fifth), Italo must make the quarters in order to win the Title. Filipe must make the semi-final. Jordy must make the Final. Kolohe must win.
If Gabriel places ninth, Italo must equal or better this result in order to win the Title. Filipe must make the quarters. Jordy must make the quarters. Kolohe must make the Final.
Summed up, Gabriel is heading into Pipeline with one clear, singular goal – win the 2019 Billabong Pipe Masters. In doing this he will win back-to-back World Titles and will be joining the ranks of a very elite group of surfers who have won three World Titles. His company the likes of Mick Fanning, Andy Irons, Tom Curren and Carissa Moore (although, by the time Pipeline rolls around, Carissa could have added another World Title to her achievements).
So, will Gabriel Medina win his third World Title in 2019? It all comes down to Pipeline.