Carissa Moore: another world record at age 16

Gary Kewley
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Friday - November 28, 2008
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Carissa Moore holds her biggest trophy ever after her victory at the Reef Hawaiian Pro

Aloha, surfers and beachgoers! First wave: The women’s Reef Hawaiian Pro wrapped up last Thursday (Nov. 20) in good lefts and rights of 3- to 5-foot Ali’i Beach. I had just written how Oahu’s 16-year-old Carissa Moore had pick up Nike 6.0 and Red Bull as new sponsors, plus won her first few heats in the contest. I said I wouldn’t “go into all her accomplishments thus far in her short life ... That’s about a book’s worth. Ms. Moore will have a library by the time her career is pau.”

Well, guess what? She won the !@#$ event and became the youngest person (male or female) to ever win any contest in the series’ 26-year history. Carissa won every single heat she entered (six). Plus, she started as a wild card, unlike the “seeded” and “older” contestants. WOW! Another world record at 16 - stoked!

“It was my dream to one day win out here, and I’m really happy,” said Moore. “I was just praying that Layne (Beachley) wouldn’t get one (a good wave). I was really thankful that Coco (Ho) ended up getting that one (in front of Layne). I’m definitely thankful that she is one of my best friends.

“It was an honor to be in that heat with all those girls. It was so close (of a heat) with Layne. And then my really good friends Laura and Coco were surfing really well the entire event.”(ASP World Tour).


In second was seven-time world champ Beachley - the most successful female pro surfer ever. At 36 she could be Carissa’s mother. This 20-year gap reveals how impressive both these women truly are: One for adult longevity, the other as child prodigy. Now’s good timing for Layne’s notice of retirement as the younger generation is busting down the door.

Indeed, the “Women’s Reef” will go down as the new guard’s arrival.

Second wave: The men didn’t have to wait long for their final day of competition. It was a hard call to start on Saturday as the weather and waves were nearly as bad as they get. It was pouring rain and blown-out 2 to 4 feet. The issue was not so much the weather but the waves and the lame forecast for Sunday, the last day of the holding period. Event director Randy Rarick had to take it. The good news was the decent chance of the winds clocking around about noon from the NW to SE (the perfect angle for country). Guess what? That’s exactly what went down. The surf become flawless and built to 3-5 feet. Guys like commentator and 2000 Pipe master Rob Machado said he’d never seen Haleiwa like this. Contestants were getting in a barrel fest as the wave machine turned on. Ecstatic statements like “It looks like Jeffries Bay or Cloud 9"popped out. It was a rare occasion ... and what made it nearly unbelievable was how bad it was just a couple hours earlier. We were blessed by Mother Nature, period.

Winning it was a guy from French Polynesia some 300 miles from Tahiti named Michel Bourez. He’s a 22-year-old powerhouse who obliterates waves. He did some gouges that caused spectators to grunt and gasp. He won $15,000 for his animal efforts and qualified for the Fosters WCT Dream Tour 2009!

“That semi was maybe the best heat of my life,” said Bourez. “Everybody was getting barreled - I was screaming my head off. It was so sick. I was having so much fun out there and that’s what I call a good contest. It means a lot to just (qualify for) the World Tour. I’ve been dreaming about this my whole life since I started to surf. I’ve been watching all the best surfers, like Kelly (Slater) and (Rob) Machado, all those guys. And right now I can surf with them. It’s a good opportunity for me and all the Tahitian surfers. I’m stoked for Tahiti.”

The last and only time a Tahitian was represented on the Tour was 1986-1997 with Vetea David. He’s the"nutzoid"who put arguably the world’s heaviest wave, Teahupoo (pronounced Chow-poo) on the map. Best wishes to the new Tahitian guard.

Also in the finals were second-place finisher Jihad Khodr (Brazil);third place, Hawaii’s Kekoa Bacalso; and fourth place, Maui’s Dusty Payne.

Now we’re at Sunset Beach for the O’Neill World Cup and Roxy Pro! And there’s a giant warning-level NW swell on tap for this Saturday and Sunday. Watch out!

I’ll be at with the details on waves and weather

See you in the lineup!

GQ, droppin’ in 4 U!

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