Lucas Michel, France
The last competition of the year is just around the corner, and the title race will end here, in Hawaii. The Brazilian, Gabriel Medina, leads the rankings, while the Australian, Julian Wilson, and the Brazilian, Felipe Toledo, can still hope to take the first place at the end of this last event, the Billabong Pipe Masters, in the legendary spot of Pipeline, Hawaii, where the titleholder is the French, Jeremy Flores.
Medina can secure his second world title if he makes it to the final. So he has to finish 1st or 2nd in the competition. If he finishes 3rd, then Toledo or Wilson have to win the competition to win the World Title. And if Medina finishes 5th or worse, one of them has to finish 1st or 2nd to claim the title, it’s that simple. We doubt that Medina can lose the title, but a surprise can quickly occur. We have already seen some.
He could already be world champion at this time. After the elimination of Julian Wilson in the quarterfinal of the Meo pro Portugal, Medina had to win the competition to be crowned, but destiny wanted it otherwise because he was eliminated at the gates of the final by Italo Ferreira.
This situation is not new for these three surfers. In 2015, this trio were in a six-surfer race for the world title, which went to Adriano de Souza. This time none of them want to miss this new chance.
At the same time, it’s another battle for Joan Duru. The Frenchie spent a difficult year with bad results and was far from the qualification for 2019, but he can hope again after his very good performance in Portugal and his 2nd place. It was his first final of his career and he is now one ranking place below the elite.
I’m really looking forward to this competition which will taking place the 8th to the 20th of December. It’s a beautiful event in a amazing place at the mythical spot of Pipeline. This competition always offers a spectacular show with a lot of surprising scenarios. We can take for example the final of last year between the Hawaiian, John John Florence, and the French, Jeremy Flores. At home, John John dominated the final until the last 10 seconds and the beautiful last wave of Jeremy which gave him the win.