Hawaii surfer Carissa Moore lost in the final of the Fiji Women’s Pro today at Cloudbreak in Tavarua, Fiji, finishing second, while fellow Hawaii native Bethany Hamilton lost in the semifinals.
“I’ve never beat Carissa (Moore) before,” winner Johanne Defay said in a news release from the World Surf League. “She is such an amazing surfer and she took 9-point rides in every heat. It is crazy and I am so happy. I want to thank my family because they have been up all night watching.”
“It was really an amazing event and I’m really happy with the way everyone surfed,” Moore said. “Disappointing that I wasn’t able to stay in rhythm for the final, but congratulations to Johanne, she surfed incredible.”
Hamilton, who lost her left arm in a shark attack in Hawaii in 2003, lost to Defay, who advanced to beat Moore 17.10 to 10.7 in the final contest.
“Coming here and competing in the Fiji Women’s Pro is a dream come true and I am stoked with how I did,” Hamilton said. “The women on the championship tour are surfing amazing right now and the level continues to get better and better. I have so much respect for all the girls and it has been an amazing time here. I am so thankful for my husband’s and family’s support and all of my fans for cheering me on. It has been an incredible experience.”
Moore scored a 9.77 and 9.27 to beat South Africa’s Bianca Buitendag in the semifinal. The defending world champion scored a perfect 10 and a 9.03, to advance in the quarterfinals over Australian Laura Enever, whom she also beat in round 3.
Hamilton, who entered the contest as a wildcard, topped Australian Nikki Van Diijk 12.33 to 11.26 in the quarterfinal.
Waves at Clouldbreak were 6 to 8 feet today.
On Sunday, Hamilton took down Australia’s World Surf League leader Tyler Wright and six-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore to advance to the semi-finals.
Hamilton entered the competition as a wildcard.
She beat Wright, who is first on the championship tour leaderboard, in the second round with a near-perfect 9.0 ride.
“I have so much respect for Tyler,” Hamilton said. “I love her surfing and love her as a human, and I am rooting for her this year. I think she should win a world title, so I have mixed feelings right now. I am so happy because I have not had a good heat in a while, so this win feels good.”
Hamilton then went on to defeat six-time WSL champion Gilmore in the third round.
Wright established herself as a world title contender after winning three of the first four events, the World Surf League reported. Her finish in Fiji is her worst result this season.
When Hamilton was 13, a 14-foot tiger shark ripped off her left arm while she was surfing with friends in Hawaii. The film “Soul Surfer” was the inspirational tale of Hamilton’s recovery.
Hamilton also competed, with her husband Adam Dirks, in the 25th season of CBS television’s “Amazing Race” reality show and came in third.