Stab Magazine | Italo Ferreira Sends The World Title To Hawaii By Winning In Portugal
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Italo Ferreira Sends The World Title To Hawaii By Winning In Portugal

But mostly by rotating Gabs out of the semis. 

news // Oct 21, 2018
Words by Morgan Williamson
Reading Time: 3 minutes

Today’s conditions were more South Side Huntington Beach Pier than tubes coined super. And because of that, Kanoa Igarashi should have won.

Instead, he decided to lose in the quarters to Owen Wright with two two-point rides proving the above statement irrelevant.

Throughout today’s event, the commentators would continue to note using science (charts and graphs) how gross the forecast for the remainder of the waiting period is.

The Facebook commenters, however, weren’t listening. They were outraged. A man named Kenny Wright even went as far as to allow the words, “I have a turtle,” and “Henrique loves farm animals,” slip up the feed.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/jj6zS2KEMxQ

After Kanoa lost with a four-point heat total, and Julian lost to Joan Duru the heat prior, Gabriel Medina had a simple task: Win the contest. Win the world title. And turn Pipeline into a competition of drama relegated to requalifying.

Three things that Every. Single. Surf. Fan. residing anywhere in the world other than Brazil hoped would not become reality. Because winning the title in Portugal is lame. 

Gabriel Medina ran through a cheering crowd before his Semifinal Heat vs Italo Ferreira. He closed his eyes. He spoke directly to the Almighty. The Almighty whispered, “You’re gonna win the Title in shoulder high slop with one punt… do a backflip, bra.”

Gabriel nodded. He never did this backflip – although, one could tell. He really, really wanted to.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/nrf2B3gyt_0

Italo put up a seven on his first wave with a whippy little air-reverse.

Gabby answered Italo’s air rev with a pretty similar air rev, followed by another similar air rev. And with that the commentators exclaimed “Air Show!” Which was fine. If there’s one thing both Gabriel and Italo excel in, it’s making pretty whatever conditions exciting.

The rest of the heat went like this: Italo spent more time in the space above the lip. Gabriel answered with an oop and fist pump that brought a 7 point score to a 7.9.

Comments continued to inundate the Facebook experience with words like, “Toledo is in the fetal position somewhere”; “JJ Florence is missing”; and, a man named Julian Wilson popped in with a “move Italo!”

Italo took Julian’s advice and answered with the first full rotation of the heat. The judges gave him a 9.3 with two minutes left in the final. Gabby answered back with another reverse on a ramp that was all but existent.

And, with that, the title race went to Hawaii.

And, surf fans around the world (in every country but Brazil) breathed a collected sigh of thank fuck… 

And, Julian Wilson’s comment, “That 9.3 was spot on!” drifted up the Facebook live stream.

This man named Julian Wilson then went on to exclaim, “Italo is going to win this.”

Next up was Joan Duru and Owen Wright. Due to the lack of Title implications in this heat, it was much less exciting to watch. Joan Duru put up a few good scores because he came to Portugal to take the WSL off script. With two minutes left, Mr. Duru held the lead using strictly windshield whipping backhand hooks. Owen found a tube. It wasn’t super, but he got deep enough. He exited. He went for the lip. Stabbed! And… fell.

A completed ride would’ve put him in the final, but it didn’t, and Joan moved on with surfing so safe it wore wrist guards. But let’s be honest, Joan Duru’s competitive success has never involved maneuvers that makes the crowd go “ooh”.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/0AI4i_0Sv2Q

The finals came down to Joan’s laser-sharp three-to-five to the beach backhand hacks versus Italo pumping on his forehand looking for big scores with one dramatic dance move.

The juxtaposition of the two made for good watching on a finals day that for the most part underwhelmed.

Italo did two fancy sky dances and held an early lead. He would keep this throughout the final and go on to take his third win of the season.

So… Pipeline’s a-go-go!

MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal Final Results:
1 – Italo Ferreira (BRA) 15.93
2 – Joan Duru (FRA) 10.77

MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 16.47 def. Gabriel Medina (BRA) 14.73
SF 2: Joan Duru (FRA) 13.60 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 12.00

MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 16.10 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 5.20
QF 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 16.16 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 11.03
QF 3: Joan Duru (FRA) 11.57 def. Julian Wilson (AUS) 5.10
QF 4: Owen Wright (AUS) 11.17 def. Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 4.60

2018 WSL Men’s CT Jeep Leaderboard (After MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal):
1 – Gabriel Medina (BRA) 56,190 pts
2 – Julian Wilson (AUS) 51,450 pts
2 – Filipe Toledo (BRA) 51,450 pts
4 – Italo Ferreira (BRA) 43,070 pts
5 – Owen Wright (AUS) 35,570 pts

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