In perfect conditions yesterday at Honolua Bay, Carissa Moore won both the Target Maui Open and her third world surfing title. After her main rival Courtney Conlogue was beaten in the fourth round, Moore clinched the title and then added some icing on the cake with an incredible finals win over Sally Fitzgibbons.
At just 23 years of age Moore is now already heading to legendary status and has Layne Beachley’s record seven world titles in her sight. Here we look at eight reasons why the Hawaiian is the 2015 World Champion.
1) She got off to a blistering start…
While Moore wrapped up her title win with a convincing victory at the Target Maui Pro, it was way back in February that her blistering start set up her title run. She won the first two events of the year at Snapper Rocks and Bells Beach, and backed it up with runner-up finishes in Margaret River.
Her main rival Courtney Conlogue came back in the middle of the year, but it was Carissa’s form on the Australian leg that ultimately set up her victory.
2) It’s just about surfing…
“I’m not going to wear the small bikinis. That’s not me. I’m going to take the more athletic approach," Moore wrote in an open letter to Surfer Magazine in 2014.
In a world where women surfers are often forced to spend considerable time maintaining an image away from their surfing, Moore has always focused on her technique and training.
“I love surfing, so I want to inspire people through my surfing. I wear clothes. I’m sexy because I leave stuff to the imagination, and I let my surfing do the talking."
3) Her (tee) totalling focus…
In line with her commitment to her physical fitness and putting surfing first, Moore isn’t exactly known as a party animal. In fact she had just one beer this year, and that was only when Mick Fanning and Steph Gilmore exerted enough peer pressure.
“Sometimes I don't get to hang out with the girls that much and I was stoked to have Steph invite me up to the Snapper surf club," she told the WSL after her win on the Gold Coast.
“And when I was up there Mick Fanning got the whole surf club chanting and I actually had a drink!" We’re not sure if she had another last night after her win, but no doubt the mocktails were flowing in Maui.
4) She was destined for surfing greatness…
Back in 2007, aged just 14, Moore was the youngest ever surfer to reach a final of a WCT event, when she came second in the Roxy Pro. Even by that stage she had won 11 NSSA junior titles.
Four years later at 18 she came third in her rookie year on the elite tour, whilst managing A-grades throughout her final senior year at school. Now at just 23, she has three world titles, and has at least a decade or more to secure a whole heap more.
5) The disappointment of 2014…
Moore wasn’t even in the title race going into Hawaii last year and she took that disappointment very, very hard. “Lowers last year was a turning point for me when I really took myself out of the Title race. I fell apart mentally, I was really freaked out," she told the WSL.
“I had put all this pressure on myself and so this year at Trestles, I could have folded mentally. I didn’t though and came through stronger. Last year, while tough, had made me a much better competitor."
6) Less stress, more fun…
By focusing on the joys of surfing and having more fun, Moore has set up both competitive and personal success. Her big goal the year was to find ways to let go of the pressure and have fun and enjoy her time on tour.
“I needed to work through the thoughts that go through my head. I think a lot of things and sometimes they're negative and self doubting. So it was trying to learn how to process them," she told the WSL. By using meditation and by simply trying to put more joy in her life, she carved a path for success.
7) Behind every good woman...
While Moore has always had immense family support from her parents, her dad for example travels with his daughter to all the events, being settled with her partner Luke Untermann who also accompanies her on tour has been a massive help.
“Watching a sunset with my boyfriend at Margaret River was one of the highlights of my year," she wrote on her blog. “He's someone that makes me really happy and has been a rock and punching bag."
8) She is the best all-round surfer in the world…
“The best surfer should be able to perform in small waves, big waves, barreling waves, high-performance waves, beachbreaks and reef breaks," Moore told Surfer recently.
No other surfer on the woman’s tour can surf all those conditions better than Moore. Her final score yesterday of 19.50, which included a perfect ten, showcased her talents in the powerful waves of Maui, but she is also one of the best aerialists on tour. In any conditions, big or small, Moore always bring her A-game.
9) She doesn’t do runner-ups…
Prior to this year since coming onto the World Championship Tour in 2011 Moore’s end of year results have read 3, 1, 3, 1, 3. She can now add another 1 to that arithmetic sequence. Maybe it’s better not having to endure the bitter pill of coming a close second.
In this we can look to Sally Fitzgibbons, who with her final appearance yesterday secured a record fifth runner up finish. Now that’s gotta hurt. The goal now for Moore is to see if she can defend a world title for the very first time.