Triple Crown: O Ripper Tyler Wright Triumphs at O’Neill World Cup of Surfing, Julian Wilson Grabs Second
Tyler Wright definitely isn’t Hawaiian. But her straight rippage at the O’Neill World Cup of Surfing at Sunset on the North Shore this past weekend might have fooled a few folks.
The Australian Oakley Team youngster bested true Sunset Beach local Coco Ho, ASP World Champion Stephanie Gilmore and World No. 2 Sally Fitzgibbons to top the podium and grab the event title in an impressive display. The 16-year-old shredder also bagged honors as the female ‘Triple Crown Rookie of the Year.’
Two-to-four foot surf in a barreling section east of the point near Backyards (beyond the usual contest location due to swell) saw Tyler drop a 9.57 (out of a possible 10 points) for the highest scoring ride of the contest. Her performance in the first few minutes of the Finals – laced with forehand hacks and solid carves – placed intense pressure on the other finalists. But Tyler’s overall mindset definitely played a solid role.
“I just really had nothing to lose in these events. I just went in there to have fun and catch some waves,” said Tyler, who busted out a two-wave total of 17.24 out of a possible 20 points in the final. “It started pulsing there for a little bit and I was happy.”
With her top form and solid recent finishes, her win solidified her spot on next year’s World Tour.
“I didn’t even know there was a Rookie of the Year title for the Triple Crown until someone told me the other day,” she said. “It’s really cool. I’m happy to be here and having fun so I guess that’s the main thing I suppose. It’s awesome that I got in to Pipe (2010 ASP Specialty Series Title at Pipeline). I’ve surfed there a couple of times now and I love it out there, you get some pretty big barrels.”
1 – Tyler Wright (AUS) 17.24
2 – Coco Ho (HAW) 11.43
3 – Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 10.27
4 – Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 9.96
Another Aussie, Oakley’s Julian Wilson, charged big time at Sunset Beach, powering his way to a second place finish – barely edged by a mere 0.17 points by Brazil’s Raonio Montero.
But what was more impressive was his run through the contest. With killer form, he smashed through heats with relative ease – breezing past the likes of Hawaiian Granger Larson, Josh Kerr, Adrian Buchanan and even fellow Oakley rider (and No. 2 World Ranked) Jordy Smith.
“I felt like I surfed a pretty good final and it’s always a good feeling to come in from a final and feel like you had the chance of winning it and you had the waves,” he said. “I had my chance to win and I just fell short.”
Julian, who was already presented with the Male “Triple Crown Rookie of the Year” honor, is steaming toward a 2011 World Tour appearance with his latest set of successful contests.
A huge congratulations to both of our Aussie Oakley Riders for an amazing competition at Sunset Beach and for taking Rookie of the Year awards…a great sign for the future of O’s formidable Surf Squad.
Final Day: Men’s Highlights