Picklum Breaks Quarterfinal Trend, Posts Second Runner-Up This Season

Molly Picklum (AUS) came firing right out of the gates in 2023 with renewed confidence after a short-lived first CT season last year. The Australian won her first event and wore the Yellow jersey through Bells before a string of four consecutive Quarterfinal exits moved her back slightly in the rankings. She finally broke the trend today in South Africa when she defeated the eight-time World Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) before advancing past Carissa Moore (HAW) into the Final.

“It’s always interesting on Finals Day when you take down big names like Steph and Carissa that feels like a final,” Picklum reacted. “When you put everything into a heat it’s hard to carry the momentum through the day. To crack the Quarters was amazing, and it’s bittersweet to get second but to do it against one of my best friends on tour, I’m super happy for her. I’m happy we both had a couple of opportunities to get some waves and put on a performance for the fans in South Africa because they’re super passionate here and we love giving them something to watch.”

JEFFREYS BAY, EASTERN CAPE, SOUTH AFRICA – JULY 19: Molly Picklum of Australia surfs in the Final at the Corona Open J-Bay on July 19, 2023 at Jeffreys Bay, Eastern Cape, South Africa. (Photo by Alan Van Gysen/World Surf League)

In the Final, the Australian seemed in control of her destiny with a great start and a good backup. But when her opponent Peterson managed to turn the heat with an excellent number, Picklum wasn’t able to find enough wall on the fast rights at high tide and had to settle for second place.

Today’s result guaranteed Picklum a spot in the WSL Final 5 as the tour heads to the last event of the regular season in Tahiti next month. From a mid-season cut in 2022 to a chance to fight for the World Title in 2023, Picklum’s rise has been incredible to witness and she will likely be contending for the ultimate crown in years to come.

“It’s so good, to be officially in, is so great,” Picklum said. “Last year I was fighting to get back here so to find my feet and back myself, I’m still growing and learning so I’m getting better and I’m honored to be here. I feel like I’ve put blood, sweat, and tears into everything I do. I’m a super passionate and hard-working person so to get a shot at this is going to be epic.”

Women’s Championship Tour Rankings following Corona Open J-Bay:
1 – Carissa Moore (HAW) 57,745 points
2 – Tyler Wright (AUS) 55,980
3 – Caroline Marks (USA) 49,870
4 – Molly Picklum (AUS) 49,325
5 – Caitlin Simmers (USA) 41,270