Carissa Moore Claims Fourth Surfing World Title

Carissa Moore Claims Fourth Surfing World Title,
Stephanie Gilmore Takes Fifth lululemon Maui Pro Event Win

Hawaii’s Carissa Moore celebrates her fourth World Title victory at the lululemon Maui Pro. Credit: © WSL / Cestari

HONOLUA BAY, Maui, Hawaii/USA (Monday, December 2, 2019) – Today, Carissa Moore (HAW) won the 2019 World Surf League (WSL) Title at the lululemon Maui Pro, the final stop on the WSL Women’s Championship Tour (CT). Moore’s victory comes following her provisional qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. Although she defeated her closest opponent, 17-year-old Caroline Marks (USA), to clinch her fourth World Title, the two will represent America together as surfing makes its Olympic debut in Tokyo next year. 

“That was crazy and I was trying to keep my focus and emotions in check,” said Moore. “This is incredible! It’s been years of work and years of growing and learning. It’s been a journey and I’ve been really looking forward to this moment, but it hasn’t sunk in yet. So many of my family and friends are here and I’m so excited to share this with them.”

By clinching a fourth WSL Title, the 27-year-old from Honolulu joins the likes of Lisa Andersen (USA), Wendy Botha (ZAF) and Freida Zamba (USA), Layne Beachley (AUS), and Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), further cementing her name in professional surfing’s history books. Moore also becomes Hawaii’s most-successful surfer ever on the world stage surpassing Andy Irons’ three World Titles and John John Florence’s two titles.

“I dreamed of this moment for a really long time,” continued Moore. “Each world title has been a little different and this one was definitely the hardest. Being in the Title race with Caroline and Lakey has been incredible and they’ve both really pushed me. I wouldn’t be here without my amazing support team. I felt so much love on this journey this year and it really pushed me through. This year I wanted to do things a little differently and my non-profit Moore Aloha has really given me that sense of purpose. It feels like things have come full circle and following in Duke’s footsteps in the Olympics gives me chills just to think about it. I hope to go to Tokyo and spread the aloha spirit and I’m really proud and honored to represent the USA and in particular Hawaii.”

Moore’s 2019 season is a remarkable example of consistency. In the season’s ten events, Moore hasn’t lost before the Quarterfinals, racking up three wins (South Africa, France, Portugal), two runner-up finishes, three equal 3rds and two equal 5ths to seal the deal on her fourth World Title. She is the only Top 17 surfer who managed to advance into the Quarters or better at all the events this year. Moore was stopped in the Semifinals by Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) who went on to defeat Tyler Wright (AUS) in the Final. 

Moore’s achievement comes following the elimination of opponents Lakey Peterson (USA) and Marks at the lululemon Maui Pro. After Peterson’s elimination yesterday, Marks was the last contender standing to stop Moore. Unfortunately for Marks, she fell to seven-time WSL Champion Gilmore in the Quarterfinals. 

“This year has been so amazing and I just want to thank everyone in my corner, I wouldn’t be here without them,” said Marks. “That heat was pretty tricky and I think my first wave was the difference, maybe if I had made that turn I would’ve made the heat, but Mike (Parsons) said if you don’t go for it you’re not going to win. The way you win Titles and events is going for it so I was stoked I went for it. Steph is such a hard competitor and so good at competing. Unfortunately, it didn’t go my way but congratulations to Carissa. She’s so inspiring and this year’s just been amazing so I’m really stoked to be a part of it.”

Marks and Gilmore have matched up four times this season in the Quarterfinals. Today was Marks’ first loss to Gilmore, who went on to win the entire event. The loss has not dampened Marks’ outlook after an incredible run in 2019 that witnessed her first CT win, the first with equal pay, a runner-up in Portugal and provisional qualification for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. 

“I think the highlight of my year was winning the first event with equal pay, that was incredible,” continued Marks. “Then Portugal was amazing, it’s just been so fun traveling with Lakey and Mike and all the girls. Everyone’s been pushing me so much and my whole family is here at this event and it’s just such a special moment. I’ve made the Olympics which is probably one of, if not the biggest moments of my career and I’m just going to enjoy that and soak it all in.”


Stephanie Gilmore Wins lululemon Maui Pro, Takes Down Moore and Marks 


Gilmore’s event win marks her fifth victory in Maui (2007, 2008, 2009, 2017, 2019) and the 31st CT win of her career, besting her own record today. The Australian took down the now four-time WSL Champion Moore in the Semifinals, Marks in Quarterfinals, and Wright in the Final. 

“I found myself sitting there in good positions in the lead next to these girls and it just brought back these thrilling feelings and memories of being in World Title races,” said Gilmore. “There is so much on the line and I think I just kicked into a new gear. Amazing event and year for everybody. And, of course, it is so good to have Tyler back. I could not have thought of a better person to share the Final with. She is surfing better than ever so I cannot wait to see her next year and sure you will be as dangerous as ever.”

Gilmore’s success today sees her finish the season in fourth place on the Jeep Leaderboard. Although not in Title contention at this event, Gilmore is ready for battle in the upcoming year with the new CT season and the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. 

“Congratulations to Carissa and to Caroline,” continued Gilmore. “Caroline is an incredible asset to our sport and has so many future years and multiple World Titles to come, I can see it already. Congratulations to all the girls and to all the Olympians. See you in Tokyo. This has been a monumental year for us with equal prize money. It has done so much more for women in sport, and women in all kinds of industries in the workplace around the world, to show people what should be normal, that equality should be normal. I am really proud to be a part of that and to have the WSL lead the way in that way. That is really special.” 

Damned if you don’t so better you do!

Few St Franciscans will deny the sight or smell of smoke almost immediately conjures up fears of ‘oh no not another fire’. With four major fires since 2012 and three of them directly attributable to a fire starting in bush and then spreading to engulf homes, fauna and flora resulting in millions of Rands in damage to say nothing of huge increases in home insurance for those living under thatch.

The call therefore to clear overgrown plots within the village is both necessary and sensible in efforts to at least minimise future fire disasters. That the municipality has threatened to start clearing unkempt plots is thus necessary. Should property owners fail to heed the call they should expect the municipality to step in and clear the bush and send the owner a hefty bill for their negligence to boot.

Driving along Lyme Road North one cannot help but notice there is a lot of activity with bush clearing equipment and teams hard at work. So the council is finally walking the talk and going ahead where plot owners ignore the warnings A Jeffreys Bay contractor has apparently been awarded the task and has started to clear bush with somewhat of a vengeance.

Now those in the know will tell you that we live in an incredible but sensitive region in terms of floral ecology. So among all that foreign vegetation of rooikrans and Port Jackson that exists on these overgrown plots, there is also valuable indigenous plant life, important to this biome. Judging by the work being done these contractors may have been previously employed in clearing the bush in the Sahara Desert for they certainly leave the denuded.

Certainly the plots will recover and growth will return but the amount of damage by indiscriminate clearing is uncertain and will it prevent the return of alien plants. One hopes so for we must protect against another fire disaster.

Just a suggestion!

Could not one of those knowledgeable in local plant life be employed by the council to advise the bush clearing teams or better still, train a local team (an entrepreneurial opportunity) to do the job. There is certainly sufficient work to be undertaken and it is will be a necessary and sustainable service for many years into the future.

So before you are ‘damned if you don’t’. better you clear your plot if you are one of the offending property owners that the council has marked down as their next victim.

Some photos of the clearing thanks to Les Brent who is concerned the Port Jackson will return and again threaten to overrun the indigenous growth.

Hottest and second driest spring on record

Since our last report dam levels have steadied but are still critically low and this is the second driest spring for Port Elizabeth with just 86mm rain recorded. This spring has also been the hottest on record in the Eastern Cape with average maximum temperatures 2 to 3 degrees above the norm recorded over September, October and November considered as our spring.

Garth Sampson at the PE branch of the SA weather service reports that Port Elizabeth recorded its highest ever average spring temperature of 22.9 degrees as did East London with an average of 23.7 and Addo at a scorching average of 28.8 degrees.    

It was also the driest spring ever for a number of towns in the Eastern Cape interior, including Cradock with a mere 14 millimetres and the second-driest for Graaff-Reinet with just 9 mm –  which was 12% of its normal spring rainfall.

So with the holiday season upon us the need to save water becomes all the more important as is the need for us to educate our visitors. We must not be embarrassed to point out to visiting friends and family the need to use water sparingly and to take short showers rather than baths.

Dam Levels at 11th November