The inevitable finally happened today when Carissa Moore won her first World Tour event at the TSB Womens Surf Festival in Taranaki, New Zealand with a pair of high 9s over Sally Fitzgibbons. Although pundits the world over expected Moore to win an event this year, what we didn’t see coming was her philanthropic donation to the Taranaki community. After her win, Moore donated her victory check to the tune of $15,000 to the local surf club, the Waitara Bar Boardriders.
“I fell in love with New Zealand and I’m fortunate enough to have great support from my family and my sponsors and that puts me in a position to do things like this,” Moore said. “The Haka that the Waitara Bar Boardriders Club performed before the event was beautiful and they’ve really opened up their community and waves to us. For this, I am very thankful.”
After posting a pair of uncharacteristic ninth-place finishes at the first two events of the season, Moore’s win today came as a strike in confidence to the 17-year-old Hawaiian. “I wasn’t very happy with the start of my year,” Moore said. “I expected more out of myself and couldn’t figure out what was going on. Things really fell into place for me here in New Zealand and it’s a great result for my campaign this year. I’m really excited and looking forward to Sydney.”
Fitzgibbons, who surfed damn well throughout the event, simply couldn’t keep pace with Moore in the final. With Her second-place finish in New Zealand, she’s now sitting comfortably in the number-two position on Tour.
“It’s frustrating but Carissa just went mad in the Final,” Fitzgibbons said. “The waves were really good, and it was an exciting heat. I’m disappointed to not get the win, but it’s still a good result for me.”
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