Olympic-Bound Surfer Caroline Marks Wins First Tour Event Of The Season
by Todd Kortemeier
Caroline Marks competes in final of the Rip Curl Narrabeen Classic on April 20, 2021 in Sydney, Australia.
With her win at the Narrabeen Classic in Australia on Tuesday, Caroline Marks is back to where she finished the 2019 World Surf League Championship Tour — as one of the two best women’s surfers in the world along with her future Olympic teammate Carissa Moore.
After being knocked out by Moore earlier in April at the Newcastle Cup and finishing third, Marks beat another U.S. teammate in Courtney Conlogue to reach the final against Tatiana Weston-Webb of Brazil. Weston-Webb got out to an early lead while Marks patiently waited for her opportunity. A 7.27 and 4.93 combo on her third and fourth waves boosted her into the lead. She later extended it to win 12.57 to 11.34. It was Marks’ first win on tour since the MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal in 2019. With the win, Marks moves up into second place behind Moore in the Championship Tour standings.
The 19-year-old Marks continues her remarkable rise in the sport after her breakthrough second-place finish on the 2019 tour and earning the Olympic berth that came with it. In 2018, Marks became the youngest surfer ever to make the women’s Championship Tour and finished in seventh place. Marks won two events in 2019 to finish behind Moore and qualify for surfing’s debut at the Olympic Games as one of the top two U.S. women.
On the men’s side, Conner Coffin put together a run to the final for the first time since 2016. But he ran into red-hot Gabriel Medina of Brazil, who has made all three finals on the Championship Tour this season. Medina put up scores of 9.27 and 9.50 to race out to a big lead, but Coffin caught a late wave to make a game of it, posting an 8.77 and narrowing the gap. But time ran out before he could get any closer, falling 18.77-14.10, Coffin’s best score of any heat.
The Championship Tour will remain in Australia for the third of four events in a row, moving to Margaret River in Western Australia for the Margaret River Pro, May 2-12.