Former World Champion Gabriel Medina, who currently sits at equal 3rd place in the 2017 Championship Tour (CT) rankings, lost to Jacob Willcox, a local wildcard.
Jacob started the heat with some good turns through the steep open face of the wave but couldn’t get a solid score after he failed to complete his last turn, earning him 3.67. Medina answered on the first exchange and scored a 3.00.
About 11 minutes into the heat, Medina took off on another wave and was able to complete the ride with some nice turns earning him a 5.67 to put pressure on Willcox.
Willcox paddled into a nice medium-sized wave and managed to execute a combination of turns. He wasn’t able to finish his last turn but got a 5.43 for the effort, snatching the lead back. Medina, now chasing a 3.43, paddled into another wave with six minutes left in the heat but only managed to score a 3.33
With four minutes left, Willcox used his priority and paddled into a wave making a critical turn and with the wave starting to fade away, he held on with everything he had to complete the ride and earned a 5.10 further increasing his lead. With a minute to go, Medina needed 4.86 to snatch the win. He paddled into a wave but failed to complete his first turn and was left with less than half a minute. Being known for having the ability to pull out a score in the dying minutes of a heat, it was unusual for Medina to kick out of a wave in the last half minute of the heat, surprising everyone.
Medina’s loss can have a big impact to his World Tile campaign when he was looking for a better result after a semifinal finish at Snapper Rocks.
Here’s a replay of the Round 2 Heat 1:
Following his win, Jacob Willcox had an interview with WSL’s Joe Turpel and was asked about how he felt about the huge win against a former World Champion. “I’m just stoked to be able to get through that one,” said Jacob. When asked about his thoughts on Gabriel Medina and them being on the same Rip Curl Team, Jacob shared, “I got a lot of respect for him and how he surfed.” He also talked about how his friends and family and the local crowd supported him and how it helped him a lot.
Watch the full interview here:
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