Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) and Gabriel Medina (BRA) have won the Rip Curl Rottnest Search, the fifth stop on the 2021 World Surf League Championship Tour and the final event of the Australian leg.
Strickland Bay turned on once again with four-to-six foot waves on offer for what was an epic final day of not only this event but also the four-event Australian leg.
Fitzgibbons earned her 12th Championship Tour victory after defeating Johanne Defay (FRA) in the Final.
The win now puts Fitzgibbons up to World No. 2 on the rankings, behind Carissa Moore (HAW). En route to the Final, Fitzgibbons eliminated two-time WSL Champion Tyler Wright (AUS) in the Semifinals.
Two-time WSL Champion Gabriel Medina continued his blistering form with his second win this season and the 16th CT win of his career.
The Brazilian has made it to four out of five Finals this year and has all but guaranteed himself a spot in the Rip Curl WSL Finals, the new one-day competition to decide the World Champions at the end of the season.
“I’ve loved my time here in Australia and especially Rottnest,” said Medina. “It’s a new place for me to visit and it’s so beautiful. The waves have been great the whole time and we have been so welcomed.
This is a very special place and it’s been such a fun event for me. I made it through a lot of tough heats and am glad to win surfing the way I want to surf. I’m so happy.”
Medina saved one of his best performances for last in the Final against rookie Morgan Cibilic (AUS). The Brazilian’s commitment to rail and above the lip surfing, going both left and right, was a perfect match with the punchy walls on Rottnest.
Medina’s 15.50 two-wave combination (out of a possible 20) was enough to see him clinch his second Rip Curl Search trophy, almost a decade after winning his first at the Rip Curl Search San Francisco.
Rip Curl Rottnest Search Women’s Final Results:
1 – Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 15.24
2 – Johanne Defay (FRA) 11.23
Rip Curl Rottnest Search Men’s Final Results:
1 – Gabriel Medina (BRA) 15.50
2 – Morgan Cibilic (AUS) 7.87
Rip Curl Rottnest Search Women’s Semifinal Results:
HEAT 1: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 15.43 DEF. Tyler Wright (AUS) 7.64
HEAT 2: Johanne Defay (FRA) 13.50 DEF. Carissa Moore (HAW) 12.83
Rip Curl Rottnest Search Men’s Semifinal Results:
HEAT 1: Morgan Cibilic (AUS) 10.67 DEF. Liam O’Brien (AUS) 8.33
HEAT 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 13.70 DEF. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 7.17
WSL Women’s Championship Tour Final 5:
1 – Carissa Moore (HAW) 36,055 pts
2 – Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 28,185 pts
3 – Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 27,540 pts
4 – Tyler Wright (AUS) 26,050 pts
5 – Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 24,645 pts
5 – Johanne Defay (FRA) 24,645 pts
WSL Men’s Championship Tour Final 5:
1 – Gabriel Medina (BRA) 38,920 pts
2 – Italo Ferreira (BRA) 30,325 pts
3 – Jordy Smith (ZAF) 22,505 pts
4 – Filipe Toledo (BRA) 22,065 pts
5 – Morgan Cibilic (AUS) 21,290 pts