Wright locks up world tour title

Australian surfer repeats with run to Maui Women’s Pro semifinals

Tyler Wright of Australia holds up her trophy after clinching her second straight World Surf League women’s world championship Thursday at the Maui Women’s Pro at Honolua Bay. World Surf League / KELLY CESTARI photo

Tyler Wright of Australia holds up her trophy after clinching her second straight World Surf League women’s world championship Thursday at the Maui Women’s Pro at Honolua Bay. World Surf League / KELLY CESTARI photo

The Maui News

Australia’s Tyler Wright claimed her second straight World Surf League women’s world championship on Thursday by advancing to the semifinals of the Maui Women’s Pro at Honolua Bay.

After American Courtney Conlogue lost in the fourth round, all Wright needed to do was win her quarterfinal heat against Oahu wild card Brisa Hennessy to lock up the world title.

While Hennessy had played spoiler earlier in the competition — she knocked out points leader Sally Fitzgibbons in the second round Wednesday — she couldn’t find her rhythm against Wright, and the Aussie won 16.10-9.40.

“Today was perfect,” Wright said. “I was so excited to be in this event and excited to be in this position. I have just been having the best week and I cannot explain how much this week has meant to me. We’ve just had a sick team and everyone has been amazing.

Tyler Wright competes in the quarterfinals Thursday. World Surf League / Damien Poullenot photo

Tyler Wright competes in the quarterfinals Thursday. World Surf League / Damien Poullenot photo

“All through the year, there have been little ups and downs, but to be in this moment right now in the position — I was happy before I won and I am just as happy now.”

Wright, who came to last year’s Maui Pro having already won the world title and then went on to win at Honolua, bounced back after suffering a knee injury earlier this season.

“This year definitely had its challenges, but I do not look at them that way,” Wright said. “It was such a time of learning and growing that I took so much more from it than the knee injury itself. This year has just been one where I could have bowed out a lot of times but chose not to. I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for my team.”

In surf of 5-7 feet, the Maui Pro field narrowed to the final four — Wright, six-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore, fellow Aussie Bronte Macaulay and Kauai’s Malia Manuel.

Macaulay scored one the day’s biggest upsets in the last quarterfinal heat, eliminating three-time world champion and two-time Maui winner Carissa Moore of Oahu, 9.46-7.67.

Maui Women’s Pro

Thursday’s Results

At Honolua Bay

Fourth Round

Heat 1–Silvana Lima, Brazil, def. Lakey Peterson, USA, 13.00-12.67.

Heat 2–Brisa Hennessy, Hawaii, def. Coco Ho, Hawaii, 15.83-9.34.

Heat 3–Nikki Van Dijk, Australia, def. Courtney Conlogue, USA, 13.94-11.53.

Heat 4–Carissa Moore, Hawaii, def. Tatiana Weston-Webb, Hawaii, 15.90-4.00.

Quarterfinals

Heat 1–Stephanie Gilmore, Australia, def. Silvana Lima, Brazil, 17.57-14.20.

Heat 2–Tyler Wright, Australia, def. Brisa Hennessy, Hawaii, 16.10-9.40.

Heat 3–Malia Manuel, Hawaii, def. Nikki Van Dijk, Australia, 16.67-10.63.

Heat 4–Bronte Macaulay, Australia, def. Carissa Moore, Hawaii, 9.46-7.67.

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