Italo Ferreira (BRA) is the 2019 World Surf League (WSL) Champion after defeating his closest rival, Gabriel Medina (BRA), in a heated Final in six-to-eight foot waves at the 2019 Billabong Pipe Masters, the final stop on the Men’s WSL Championship Tour (CT).
On Ferreira’s path to victory, he overcame Medina, two-time World Champion and formidable competitor, in the Final, and Kelly Slater (USA), 11-time World Champion and seven-time Billabong Pipe Master in the Semifinals.
En route to his second-place finish, Medina also eliminated Caio Ibelli (BRA) in dramatic fashion with an interference to top off his win in Heat 5, R/16.
This heat was a rematch of the MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal Quarterfinals where Medina earned an interference penalty against Ibelli. Ibelli exits with a 9th place result, matching his personal best at the Billabong Pipe Masters.
“Just playing the game,” said Medina. “It was my priority, I knew if I had an interference that I was going to count my big wave.
There was like 20 seconds left so it’s all good. I wasn’t sure [if Caio would have gotten the score], that’s why I went.
He needed a 5, but it was really hard out there. I just had to play the game. Sometimes if it’s in the rules, you gotta play the game.”
Billabong Pipe Masters Final Results:
1 – Italo Ferreira (BRA) 15.56
2 – Gabriel Medina (BRA) 12.94
Billabong Pipe Masters Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 14.77 DEF. Kelly Slater (USA) 2.57
SF 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.00 DEF. Griffin Colapinto (USA) 7.10
Billabong Pipe Masters Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 15.66 DEF. Yago Dora (BRA) 13.50
QF 2: Kelly Slater (USA) 12.94 DEF. Jack Freestone (AUS) 9.26
QF 3: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 17.63 DEF. John John Florence (HAW) 12.33
QF 4: Griffin Colapinto (USA) 9.84 DEF. Michel Bourez (FRA) 8.77
Billabong Pipe Masters Round of 16 Results:
HEAT 1: Italo Ferreira (BRA) 11.84 DEF. Peterson Crisanto (BRA) 4.23
HEAT 2: Yago Dora (BRA) 7.50 DEF. Julian Wilson (AUS) 6.27
HEAT 3: Jack Freestone (AUS) 5.00 DEF. Ricardo Christie (NZL) 4.23
HEAT 4: Kelly Slater (USA) 7.33 DEF. Seth Moniz (HAW) 6.20
HEAT 5: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 4.23 DEF. Caio Ibelli (BRA) 1.13
HEAT 6: John John Florence (HAW) 5.66 DEF. Soli Bailey (AUS) 3.90
HEAT 7: Griffin Colapinto (USA) 10.67 DEF. Jesse Mendes (BRA) 8.50
HEAT 8: Michel Bourez (FRA) 13.43 DEF. Kolohe Andino (USA) 9.50
Men’s 2019 WSL CT Jeep Leaderboard (after Billabong Pipe Masters):
1 – Italo Ferreira (BRA) 59,740 pts
2 – Gabriel Medina (BRA) 56,475 pts
3 – Jordy Smith (ZAF) 49,985 pts
4 – Filipe Toledo (BRA) 49,145 pts
5 – Kolohe Andino (USA) 46,655 pts