Did The Judges Get The Gabriel Medina x Caio Ibelli Interference Wrong?
It was the most dramatic wave of Gabriel Medina’s European run and he didn’t even get to his feet. In the Round of 16, facing Caio Ibelli, with 8:51 on the clock, Medina was in firm control of the heat—ahead with world title implications.
Leading 14.77 to 7.17, he made what may have been the worst decision of his 2019 campaign. On a crappy closeout, he rode the shoulder of Caio's wave. Afterward, it appeared that both surfers believed they had priority, each gesturing up to the judges tower immediately following the incident. Gabriel was called for interference.
This was after an exchange, in which the two surfers split a peak with Caio going right and Gabe on the left, the judges awarded priority to Caio. Gabs lost the heat and immediately after the horn he beelined it to the judges’ tower to plead his case.
He explained it as such on a later Instagram post:
Caio and I caught the same wave and each went one way. My wave was shorter and his was longer. So much so that while I was back outside, he was still riding his wave. When I got to the bottom, I was so sure the priority was mine that I didn’t look at the priority sign. To my surprise, when the next wave came, I ended up going because I was sure the priority was mine. That ended up leading to interference.
When I got out of the water I went to talk to the judges. We looked at footage of the two of us paddling back out. It was very clear that I arrived well before him. And even if I had gotten out the back the same time as him the priority would be mine by the rule. Because in the wave we surfed together before, Caio had priority one. I hope my heat will be reevaluated because an error has occurred. I am still very hopeful that my heat will be reviewed.
It's not exactly clear what happens next. There has been a rumor that Gabe and Caio will re-surf the heat, but it's just a rumor at this point. We probably won't find out what happens next until competition resumes, which judging by the forecast could be in a few days. Until then, we want to know what you think.
Review the above post and tell us should Gabe have been called for interference or not?