And ensures at least one world crown remains on Australian shores.
While most of the surfing world was still empathizing with the heartbreak of Sally Fitzgibbons, there was no detracting from the celebrations surrounding Tyler Wright’s second world title victory.
The day begun, at Maui’s majestic Honolua Bay, with Courtney Conlogue and Stephanie Gilmore still in contention for the title. With Honolua looking glassy, groomed and hollow, it proved a fitting setting for a world title decider. When Conlogue lost to Nikki Van Dijk in their round four match up, the equation for Tyler became very simple. Win the quarterfinal and you claim the world title.
With her mum and other family members watching on from the Honolua cliffs,Tyler easily eclipsed Brisa Hennesy, who had played giant killer against Sally Fitzgibbons, earlier in the event. Seemingly unencumbered by a heavily strapped right leg, Tyler’s 16.10 heat total was enough to combo her young Hawaiian competitor and claim the title in classic style. Both Tyler's scoring rides featured dreamy barrels, backed up by committed rail carves.
Interviewed immediately after the victory, in the channel, by Barton Lynch, Tyler indicated how happy she was her mother had been there to watch her win, after missing last year’s victory in France due to illness. She was also quick to thank super-coach, Glen ‘Micro’ Hall and the crew who work closely with her, for their involvement in her campaign. “It takes a team to do this… Going back to back is a true testament to his dedication.”
Tyler’s consecutive world title victories ensures that fans of Australian surfing still have plenty to cheer about, despite the fact the men from OZ are struggling to contend for the number one slot. For Conlogue and Fitzgibbons, both of whom have come agonizingly close to claiming a title before, it was another case of what might have been. Meanwhile, Tyler Wright is perched somewhere on the cliff-tops of Honoloua Bay, on a high that is likely to last a lifetime.