CULBURRA Beach's Tyler Wright has claimed an epic victory at the Tweed Coast Pro, event one of the Australian Grand Slam of Surfing series.
Both Wright and Ethan Ewing, who took out the men's event, looked destined for victory, each dominating the final day in fun two-to-three foot waves at the beautiful Cabarita Headland in what has been professional surfing's return to the ocean for the first event since March this year.
In what was a rematch from the final of the Maui Pro, the last event of the 2019 Championship Tour, seven-time WSL World Champion Stephanie Gilmore came up against two-time WSL world champion Tyler Wright.
The pair were the form surfers of the event, both posting excellent heat totals in their respective quarter-finals, the highest of the entire event.
In the final though, it was Wright who prevailed with her powerful attacking brand of surfing, dominating Gilmore with a two-wave combination of 15.67 (out of a possible 20).
Wright's performance was strong and came off the back of her powerful statement yesterday when she took a knee in solidarity with Black Lives Matter during her opening heat.
"To surf the final with Steph was great," Wright said.
"Steph's been one of my biggest idols and is now a close friend.
"Through this COVID time, Steph's been there for a lot of us and we try to surf and train together every day through what has been a tough time for all.
"This event also meant a lot for me standing for social justice and equality in solidarity with Black Lives Matter - It's been a great opportunity for me to put it on surfing's platform and I'm appreciative of this opportunity."
Australian Olympic team qualifier Sally Fitzgibbons, from Gerroa, was eliminated in her quarter-final heat against eventual event winner Wright who dominated the matchup.
Although Wright had a stranglehold on the heat, Fitzgibbons launched one of the manoeuvres of the event, landing a massive tail-high air-reverse, one of the best seen in competition.
Both of Australia's male Olympic team members Owen Wright, from Culburra Beach, and Julian Wilson were eliminated in the quarter-finals by the eventual finalist Ewing and 2020 tour rookie Jack Robinson showing the future of Australian surfing is in strong hands.
Owen and Tyler's younger brother Mikey was eliminated in the quarter-finals by South African Matthew McGillivray.
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