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Hawaii surfer Carissa Moore clinches world championship

By Star-Advertiser staff

LAST UPDATED: 4:56 p.m. HST, Jul 15, 2011

Hawaii's Carissa Moore has clinched a world championship in women's professional surfing, becoming the sport's youngest title-holder and the first women's surfer from Hawaii to win a world championship since Margo Oberg in 1981.

"I dreamed of surfing at this level my whole life since I was a little kid and I don't think you can ever expect or anticipate the feeling," Moore, 18, said on the Roxy Pro website. "It is amazing. There is no place I would rather be right now."

Moore advanced to the finals of the Roxy Pro Biarritz today and sealed the Association of Surfing Professionals championship after former world champion Stephanie Gilmore eliminated Moore's closest competitior -- Australia's Sally Fitzgibbons -- during the semifinals.

Moore survived a "sudden death" fourth round and eliminated Pauline Ado, of France, in their semifinal round.

"I'm not really feeling anything right now I am just so happy," Moore said. "It was really stressful watching that last heat and I was trying to just listen to my songs and zone out. It is kind of weird to win on the beach. I have always visualized and imagined winning the Final or a heat and coming in and winning but I'm so happy and excited. I have been thinking about this for a long time since I was a little girl and just to be here right now and being world champ is pretty crazy."

Moore, who graduated from Punahou School last year, has finished in the finals in every event so far on the women's tour. Gilmore won the Roxy Pro Biarritz. Moore finished second. 

"I have had this goal written on my door and it has been waiting there for a long time to be ticked off so I can't wait to go home and cross it out," Moore said.

"I definitely first and foremost want to thank my little sister Cayla, thank you so much," Moore said. "I wouldn't be here without you. There are way too many people to thank but my Dad, he has been here every step of the way and I could not have done this without him. It is so much sweeter having him part of my team. I want to thank my sponsors Nike, Target and Red Bull I couldn't do it without them. My family, my uncles and aunts and my grandparents."

Reached by phone this morning at her surf school on Kauai, Oberg told the Star-Advertiser: "I'm stoked. This is just great...for her and Hawaii."

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