The title was decided early in the day, in the third round of competition, when Conlogue lost her heat to Coco Ho in a thrilling match-up and was knocked permanently out of contention for the No. 1 spot.
“It’s crazy for this to be decided so early in the day, but I’m so thankful,” said an emotional Moore from the contest site. “I’m really stoked to be here, near home, and have the support of my whole family. They don’t get to travel with me much of the rest of the year, so it’s cool to have them here with me.”
Moore also took the women’s championship title in 2011 and 2013.
The writing was on the wall as the women arrived in Hawaii for the season finale. Moore was No. 1 in the rankings after wins at the Roxy Pro Gold Coast, Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach and the Swatch Women’s Pro, in addition to a finals berth at the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro. But Conlogue was hungry, trying to become the first Californian since Tom Curren in 1990 to win a WSL world title.
Before the Maui event began, Conlogue told the WSL this about her desire to win the world title:
“It’s my dream. We all want a World Title. And if we don’t admit it and we’re on the World Tour, it’s because we’re too nervous to admit to wanting it. I’ve worked very hard and all I can do is go out there, put that jersey on and let it happen and adapt to whatever’s out there. I’ve been aiming at a World Title since I’ve started competing on the World Tour but I knew there was going to be a learning curve. If I had won a Title my rookie year, heck I’d take it, but I knew there was going to be a process.”
The stage was set at the start of a gorgeous day in Maui. If Conlogue didn’t come through her third-round heat on top, the title would go to Moore. Conlogue had to surf against Moore’s friend and fellow Hawaiian, Coco Ho, herself a formidable competitor.
The lead flip-flopped several times, and with a minute remaining, Conlogue needed a score of 8.08 out of 10 to stay alive, but she dug a rail midway through the wave. Ho won the heat 16.50 to 14.26.
Moore will now face Tyler Wright in the quarterfinals as she attempts to win this last event of the year. As of press time, 2014 Women’s World Championship Tour winner Stephanie Gilmore sits 12th in the world rankings.
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