Hawaii’s Carissa Moore won the Corona Open J-Bay surf tournament held in South Africa today and vaulted to No. 1 in the 2019 world league rankings.
With the victory — her first of the season — the three-time world champion also cleared a path toward qualification for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo.
It was the first time Moore has won in South Africa as she eased past fellow American Lakey Peterson 15.47 to 14.60 in the closely contested finals. She now leads the world title race with Australians Sally Fitzgibbons and Stephanie Gilmore in second and third, respectively. Americans Peterson and Caroline Marks are fourth and fifth. Moore beat Marks in the semifinals before taking on Peterson for the win.
“I haven’t been in the yellow jersey in a few years, so it’s extra special,” Moore said after the competition. “I know there’s a lot of work to be done for the rest of the year, but I’m just so excited. Getting to share this win with my support group, my husband, my dad, Duncan (Scott) who’s been helping me here in South Africa, all my sponsors, I couldn’t do it without them. South Africa didn’t disappoint. I’m stoked to be back in the title race with everyone. It’s probably going to come down to Maui. I’m really stoked and couldn’t have asked for a better end to the day.”