Carissa Moore won her fourth title at the 2019 World Surf League World Championship Tour. The WSL World Championship Tour is a multi-stage event with stops in ten cities across the world. Surfers earn points based on their performance with the top eight performances counting towards their overall ranking. In terms of Olympic qualification, the top eight eligible surfers qualify to the Olympics. In this context, Hawaiian athletes will be referred to as being from the United States as that is the National Olympic Committee they are eligible to qualify in. The WSL World Championship Tour began in April and the final competition was completed on December 4th 2019.
Carissa Moore was the most consistent surfer where she reached at least the quarterfinals in each of the ten stops including the semifinals in 8/10 spots and winning the Jefferey’s Bay, South Africa and Hossegor, France stages. This allowed Moore to finish the season with 59.940 points. Also winning stages were the United States’ Caroline Marks (Gold Coast, Australia and Peniche, Portugal), and her compatriot Courtney Conlogue (Bells Beach, Australia), Australia’s Stephanie Gilmore (Keramas, Indonesia and Honolua Bay, United States), the United States’ Lakey Peterson (Margaret River, Australia and Lemoore, United States) and Australia’s Sally Fitzgibbons (Saquarema, Brazil).
As nations can only qualify a maximum of two athletes in each event there was some intra-national competition as to which athletes from Australia and the United States would qualify. For Australia, both Fitzgibbons and Gilmore were a step ahead from their compatriots as Fitzgibbons officially qualified after the eighth leg while Gilmore book her spot to the Olympics during the penultimate stage. By qualifying two athletes here, the quota won at the 2019 World Surfing Games will be reallocated to New Zealand’s Ella Williams.
For the United States, it came down to the final stage as three athletes were still in contention for the two quotas. By failing to reach the quarterfinals while her compatriots were successful Peterson was the odd woman out as Moore would win the overall title while Marks leapfrogged her to second place in the overall rankings (55.545 points). Despite failing to secure a quota Peterson finished third overall (55.125 points).
The other quotas were won by Brazil’s Tatiana Weston-Webb and her compatriot Silvana Lima, Costa Rica’s Brisa Hennessy and France’s Johanne Defay.
The final opportunity for athletes to qualify in women’s shortboard as the sport makes its Olympic debut will be at the 2020 Surfing Games. The WSL Men’s Championship Tour is set to conclude later this month.