Australian Tyler Wright is on the verge of a drought-breaking, title-winning start of her Surf League world championship campaign after she made the finals of the Maui Pro season opener in Hawaii.
For the first time in the history of the women’s tour, a competition took place in the legendary Banzai Pipeline, in which Wright dominated Sally Fitzgibbons in an all-Australian semi-final on Monday.
Wright will face hometown favorite and four-time world champion Carissa Moore in the final after Moore defeated Brazilian Tatiana Weston-Webb in the other semifinals.
Two-time world champion Wright, 26, is chasing her first Tour win since 2017 after a long battle against illness and chronic fatigue syndrome ruined her 2018 and 2019 campaigns.
She got a two-wave total of 10. 50 to easily defeat Fitzgibbons who could only score 2 points. 87 in the heat.
Wright quickly started the heat and scored a 3. 83 straight out of the gate in front of a 6. 67 later sealed the comfortable victory.
Fitzgibbons barely got going when she only rode four waves in the heat, with none of her scores above two.
« It’s a real balance out there because it’s the first thing the girls are out there right now . . . It’s such an incredible moment in time, « Wright said.
« That heat was tough. Neither Sal nor I backed down . . . She’s been hit a couple of times and my theory is the less hit I get, the better.
« It’s hard out there so I’m just glad to get through this one and try another. «
Moore, three-time Maui Pro winner, scored 16 points. 60 including a 9. 60 Voyage to Destroy Weston-Webb. 47) and book your last place.
Wright and Moore previously contested the 2016 Maui Pro Final, with the Australian emerging as the winner on that occasion.
Organizers have decided to move the final runs of the Maui Pro to Pipeline following a shark attack near Honolua Bay earlier this month.
Monday’s action was the first in over a week since the attack on a local free surfer halted the competition.
World Surf League, Tyler Wright, Sally Fitzgibbons, Australian Men’s Cricket Team, Maui Women’s Pro 2015, Hawaii, Maui, Banzai Pipeline, Sage Erickson
World News – AU – Tyler Wright in the finals of the WSL Maui Pro
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