Carissa Claims Rio

ONLY two days were needed for the women to run through to a finish and for Carissa Moore to win the Billabong Rio Pro, knocking Steph Gilmore out of the title race.

The victory was 18-year-old Moore's third from five straight finals, earning her US$25,000 and 10,000 all important world-tour ratings points. In defeating world number two, Sally Fitzgibbons she extended her titile lead to 6,000 points in front of the 20-year-old Aussie and with just two events remaining in the 2011 the odds are stacked in her favour. In direct contrast to the male tour dominated by experience, the women's is really a girls' game dominated by youth, vitality and stratospheric levels of progression.

Until today, reigning champ, Steph Gilmore was the only surfer to have won a world title every year she has competed at the sport's highest level, winning her first title as a rookie aged 19. With her reign brought to an end today, the reality of the loss began to sink in and Gilmore choked back tears as congratulated the finalists.

The forecast looks good for the men to kick off, tomorrow, Tuesday, May 17th.

Ed Temperley

MSW editor. Instagram @edtemperley