and three-time WSL World Champion Gabriel Medina (BRA) defeating Ramzi Boukhiam (MAR) in the men’s Final. The stage is now set for the remaining 2023 Championship Tour (CT) spots to be clinched at the final Challenger Series event of the season in Haleiwa, Hawaii.

Medina Delays Qualifications for Top Ranked Surfers

Medina once again made history, winning the first-ever Challenger Series event in Latin America. The Final between Medina and Boukhiam was a rematch of the 2013 World Pro Junior Championship which took place in Florianópolis, Brazil, where Medina clinched his first title prior to becoming the first Brazilian WSL World Champion in 2014. Medina and Boukhiam have remained friends since then and may potentially be on the 2023 Championship Tour (CT) together.

Three-time WSL Champion Gabriel Medina of Brazil -Photo by Daniel Smorigo/World Surf League

“Ramzi (Boukhiam) is a really good friend of mine, we’ve had a Final together before and he’s someone I admire a lot,” said Medina. “I know he trains hard, surfs incredibly well and I hope he makes it onto the CT because he deserves it. I’m stoked that I got the chance to finally win an event in Brazil, especially during such a challenging week here in Saquarema. I’m also happy that I’m 100% healthy and now we’re only one month away from when the real work begins when I arrive in Hawaii.”

Medina’s path to the Final was not an easy one having to go through Maxime Huscenot (FRA), in the Quarterfinals and local hero João Chianca (BRA), in the Semifinals. Both Huscenot and Chianca had a chance to guarantee their qualification onto the 2023 CT with an event win at the Corona Saquarema Pro, as did Boukhiam. Chianca has now moved up into 8th place on the Challenger Series rankings and Boukhiam now sits in 4th place.

Ramzi Boukhiam of Morocco s – Photo by Daniel Smorigo/World Surf League

“I really like Brazil a lot. I have a great connection with the country, with the people here and I’m really stoked with my result,” declared Boukhiam. “Medina is my favorite surfer and I know I’d have to surf my best to have a chance of beating him. It was a close one and he got the score at the end, but for me, he’s the best surfer in the world. I had a great time here, I think I was able to move up in the rankings and now I’m hopeful to make it onto the CT.”