(Reuters) – Australian Jack Robinson held his nerve to pick up the winning wave on the buzzer at Indonesia’s Quiksilver Pro G-Land on Saturday, overcoming Brazil’s Filipe Toledo in the final to claim back-to-back World Surf League tour victories. France’s Johanne Defay proved too strong for Hawaii’s reining World and Olympic champion Carissa Moore in […]
Surfing-Robinson, Defay win in the jungles of Java
(Reuters) – Australian Jack Robinson held his nerve to pick up the winning wave on the buzzer at Indonesia’s Quiksilver Pro G-Land on Saturday, overcoming Brazil’s Filipe Toledo in the final to claim back-to-back World Surf League tour victories.
France’s Johanne Defay proved too strong for Hawaii’s reining World and Olympic champion Carissa Moore in the women’s final, catapulting herself to third in the world title rankings.
Robinson trailed Toledo, the 2022 tour ratings leader, until the last minute of their final, but picked up a solid wave as the hooter sounded and did just enough to secure the win.
“It’s so unpredictable for me. I’m just in a good place in my mind, I’m not expecting too much right now, just one by one, and that’s what I was like this contest,” said Robinson, who won the previous event in his Western Australian hometown of Margaret River last month.
The win for Defay was her first this year and the first time a women’s professional event had been held at the powerful reef break of G-Land.
“We finally got that day with good waves, and I’m so happy to come out on top,” Defay said.
G-Land, located on the jungle-clad southeastern tip of Java, is steeped in surfing history and mystique.
For decades after its discovery in the early 1970s, surfers stayed in basic tree huts, risking malaria and encounters with snakes, tigers and other wildlife to ride its perfect, reeling waves.
It hosted three seminal events in the mid-1990s that redefined professional surfing, helping usher in the “Dream Tour” which put the best surfers in the world’s best waves, instead of at marginal city beachbreaks.
Unfortunately, the big, full-throated tubes G-Land is famous for were absent for much of the contest, forcing delays and leaving several top surfers struggling to find the waves they needed.
Conditions improved for finals day, with ideal offshore winds and overhead sets.
Robinson was in dominant form, linking a huge range of critical turns on the speeding walls and finding the best of the rare tubes to beat Brazil’s Gabriel Medina, an event favourite, in the semi-final and then Toledo in the final.
Still, it was a strong result for Medina, the 2021 World Champion, who sat out the first five events of the 10-stop world tour to focus on his well-being, later saying that he had been suffering from depression.
(Reporting by Lincoln Feast in Sydney; Editing by Hugh Lawson)