Olympic Surfing Champ Carissa Moore Finishes Runner-Up At Bells Beach
by Todd Kortemeier
Carissa Moore competes during the Rip Curl WSL Finals on Sept. 14, 2021 in San Clemente, Calif.
Olympic gold medalist Carissa Moore would have loved to ring another bell trophy at the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach, Australia, but instead will take home second place to tie her best finish of the 2022 World Surf League season.
Hometown favorite Tyler Wright knocked off Moore 16.93-10.57, posting her best score early in the final and leaving too much for Moore to make up. It was the third time Moore and Wright met in the final at Bells Beach, with Moore winning her first two bell trophies in 2013 and 2014. Moore then won a third title in a row in 2015 over Stephanie Gilmore.
In scoring her second runner-up finish of the season, Moore moved up from fourth into first place in the Women’s Championship Tour standings. Moore knocked off former No. 1 Brisa Hennessy of Costa Rica in the semifinal. Moore, the defending tour champion, now leads second-place Wright by less than 1,000 points after the season’s fourth event.
That 2021 title was the fifth for the 29-year-old from Honolulu and came in an already history-making year. Only a few months earlier Moore became the first female surfing gold medalist in Olympic history as she took down South Africa’s Bianca Buitendag at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020. Moore was a force to be reckoned with in everything she entered in 2021, advancing at least to the semifinals in every event.
On the men’s side, the best U.S. finisher was Olympian John John Florence, who advanced to the quarterfinals. Florence lost to Brazil’s Filipe Toledo, who went on to make the final. The WSL tour will stay down under for its next leg, slated to begin April 24 at Margaret River in Western Australia.