No champagne for Gabriel Medina
Bob Dylan once wrote, “The times, they are a-changing.” Gabriel Medina has never heard that song. But he is that change. At 17 years old, Gabs is the youngest surfer on the world tour, having qualified at the mid-year rotation. Based solely on his performance in France and his track record, it’s not stupid to […]
Bob Dylan once wrote, “The times, they are a-changing.” Gabriel Medina has never heard that song. But he is that change. At 17 years old, Gabs is the youngest surfer on the world tour, having qualified at the mid-year rotation. Based solely on his performance in France and his track record, it’s not stupid to assume that he could win a world title in the next two years. If he does, he’ll break Kelly Slater’s record for being youngest-ever world champ (Kelly was 20 when he won his first.) When it’s a cross-shore left with little room for power, Gabs has what the judges want. In his semifinal against Taylor Knox, the Brazilian scooped a 10 and a 9.57. He’d just beaten Kelly in the quarters: “He’s great,” said Kelly aftewards. “The conditions have changed, it’s basically perfect for him. It’s going to be hard for anyone to catch him today. Trying to keep up with Gab’s frontside airs is gonna be tough. It’s pretty hard to score any better than he did in that last heat (against Taylor in the semis).” He then went on to take down an in-form Julian Wilson in the final. Which leads us to this photograph.
From left to right sits Alejo Muniz, Miguel Pupo and Gabriel, with Jadson Andre up top. Otherwise known as The Brazilian Thunder. It was taken at the house where Hurley team-manager and one-half of LifeWithoutAndy Mitch Ross has been staying in Seignosse and it’s only a coupla hours after the final. After a WT victory, most surfers’d be balls-deep in a self-replenishing bottle of Moet, gripping a microphone at a karaoke bar and belting favourite tunes like it’s their birthday.
But not Gabriel. This has nothing to do with drinking age, either – Alejo and Jadson are both 21, Miguel’s 19 and though Gabriel’s 17, drinking in France ain’t forbidden to under-18’s so long as they’re in a private residence (though, don’t directly buy it for minors unless you’ve got a spare 7500 Euros to cover the fine…)
So, what were they doing? “Just before and after this shot was taken they were watching all the Heats-On-Demand,” says Mitch. “Trying to see how Gabriel actually won the event. No alcohol in sight. They’re hungry and already trying to figure out how to win the next event on the calendar.” Of course, Kelly’s been known to dunk a bag of Earl Grey into water during (his own) post-victory parties. Also, Bruce Irons told Stab that in the early days, Andy would win an event and immediately start working out how he was gonna win the next one. But, both those guys took time to learn. Gabs is 17. He is surfing’s odd future. – Elliot Struck
*This just in, from Mitch at 8:51am France time, the following morning: “I just spoke to Miguel – they went out all night, around the clock. Gabs and Jadson had one drink but the others were on water all night long. These little dudes will go around the whole clock too, like, brazzo dancing all night… mental little fuckers!”
One drink? Now that’s self-discipline, especially after winning your first WT event. Yikes. Maybe the older gang could learn a thing or two from the tour’s newest jack…
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