Too good not to. Image: Jamie Krups
Mitch Coleborn Defeats 2x World Champ Gabriel Medina At Pumping Krui Pro
Good thing we didn’t actually bet our house on it!
You can now add Gabriel Medina to the list of World Champion scalps Mitch Coleborn keeps in his closet.
A few days back, we reported that our current World Champ, Gabriel Medina, was flying to Sumatra to compete in a QS 3,000 event. We also asserted that he would likely “slaughter” the field, even claiming that houses should be bet on this (seemingly) foregone conclusion.
Well now we look pretty stupid, don’t we?
This morning, in pumping conditions at Ujung Bocur, one Mitchell Coleborn defeated Gabriel Medina with a score of 13.8 to 12.43. This was in the event's quarterfinals – a round Medina can’t seem to escape in 2019.
As far as action goes, the heat was a pretty humdrum affair, with both surfers catching closeouts for the first third of the match before snagging a few mid-rangers toward the middle. At one point Medina went for a big alleyoop and fell while Mitch connected the dots on another for a high-six. The heat came down to the final two waves, with Mitch sticking three brutal daggers through a down-the-reef left and Medina connecting a longer, flatter set with uncharacteristically clunky turns.
Mitch got a 6.97 for his brief but potent effort, leaving Medina in need of an eight. One commentator said yes, he got it, while myself and Giggsy said hell no. Twenty-first century judges hate long waves with lots of nothing.
The score came in at a 6.6 and the horn sounded shortly after. Last year's best surfer had been defeated in premium conditions by a past-his-prime video star with a nasi goreng gut. How fucking good is that?
The whole of Australia is thrilled with this result, as is the vast diaspora of anti-Brazzites across the surfing world. While we won't lend credence to those who hate surfers on the premise of nationality or race, we can understand why this win is meaningful to Coleborn fans, especially those who suffer from the colloquially termed "tall poppy syndrome".
To some surf fans, it was bad form for Medina to roll up at a QS 3,000 and start smashing guys who are trying to make their World Tour dreams a reality, while Medina is already at the top of that circuit. In Medina's defense, the WSL offered a direct invitation, he was already in Indo, the waves looked fun, and as a surfer who thrives off momentum, Gabe could have used a victory in Krui to regain his confidence after two tough losses on the CT.
Plus, to be brutally honest, had Medina not showed up at this event, it's unlikely that anything that happened at Krui would have ended up on the pages of stabmag.com. As great as the waves and surfing have been, we're not typically in the business of reporting on low-to-mid-level QS events. So in a way, all the surfers in the comp have actually benefitted from Medina's presence.
In other words, there are two sides to every coin.
Following his victory, Coleborn entered the commentator’s booth for a post-heat interview. Right off the bat, they called Mitch the "Jimmy Barnes of surfing". Mitch laughed, then:
“Did you think you were gonna end up coming to Krui and beating Gabriel Medina?” they inquired.
“Well, every contest you enter you’re hoping to win, but when I saw this event on the schedule, I told myself, ‘That’s the contest I want for the year.’ Then I heard Medina was flying in on a helicopter the day before the event...”
The chat meandered until Mitch revealed that he had recently switched to the FCS2 fin system.
“Ah, mate, have you tried the Medina fins?” the interviewer asked. “They’re so good.”
“Nah, I use the Micks,” said Mitch, emitting a pure sense of Aussie pride.
Coleborn will surf in semifinal one against USA’s Cole Houshmand shortly (tune in).
The waves are still cooking. They should probably hold a CT here.
*Update: Lucas Silveira defeated Mitch Coleborn in the final.