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Photos: WSL Finals are a swell time


Olympic gold medalist and defending champion Carissa Moore of Honolulu won her fifth world title and Gabriel Medina of Brazil claimed his third during high surf at the Rip Curl World Surf League finals on Tuesday at Lower Trestles.

It was the first time the WSL decided its world champions in a one-day, winner-take-all format involving the top five women’s and men’s surfers based on the season points standings.

Moore was seeded directly into the final match, where she beat Australia’s Tatiana Weston-Webb to defend her world title.

Medina, who ended the regular season with a huge points lead, beat third-seeded Filipe Toledo of Brazil in the men’s final. Toledo had eliminated Olympic gold medalist and defending world champion Italo Ferreira of Brazil, the second seed.

Moore and Medina each won $200,000 out of the identical $470,000 purses.

Australia’s Stephanie Gilmore lost the day’s first match, ending her shot at a record eighth women’s world title.

The narrow stretch of beach, featuring cobblestones that create some of the best waves in California, was packed with a large crowd.

After a weather delay on Monday, the WSL finals were set for a southern swell bringing in six- to eight-foot waves.

A reported shark sighting during the second heat and again before the women’s final heat put the competition on a brief hold.

Seven-time WSL champion Stephanie Gilmore of Australia waxes up her board before her match with Johanne Defay of France.

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Fans of seven-time WSL champion Stephanie Gilmore of Australia watch her match with Johanne Defay of France.

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Johanne Defay of France eats a banana and rests after beating seven-time WSL champion Stephanie Gilmore of Australia.

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Conner Coffin of Santa Barbara warms up before his match with Morgan Cibilic. Coffin won but went on to lose to Filipe Toledo.

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Wearing hats in support, young fans of Conner Coffin watch as he competes against Morgan Cibilic.

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

A large crowd gathers around Conner Coffin of Santa Barbara to get autographs after he defeated Morgan Cibilic.

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Sally Fitzgibbons of Australia thanks the crowd after she was defeated by Tatiana Weston-Webb of Brazil.

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Filipe Toledo of Brazil is hugged by his wife, Ananda Marcal, before his match with countryman Gabriel Medina.

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Former WSL world champion Italo Ferreira of Brazil soars high over a big wave while competing against countryman Filipe Toledo.

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Italo Ferreira of Brazil prays alone after losing to countryman Filipe Toledo in the third match at the Rip Curl WSL Finals.

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

WSL world champion and Olympic gold medalist Carissa Moore of Hawaii heads out of her locker room to compete against Tatiana Weston-Webb of Brazil, whom she beat to win her fifth WSL title.

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Carissa Moore surfs her way to her fifth World Surf League Championship title over Tatiana Weston-Webb.

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Carissa Moore of Hawaii is carried up the beach after winning her fifth World Surf League Championship.

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Carissa Moore gets a hug and lei from her mother, Carol Lum, after winning her fifth World Surf League Championship title.

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Filipe Toledo of Brazil does a turn on a big wave while competing against countryman Gabriel Medina.

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Three-time WSL World Champion Gabriel Medina of Brazil,does a backflip on a big wave, much to the delight of fans, as he beats countryman Filipe Toledo to win his third World Surf League Championship title.

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Gabriel Medina celebrates pulling off a big aerial maneuver as he defeats Filipe Toledo to win the championship.

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

A large crowd cheers as three-time WSL World Champion Gabriel Medina of Brazil celebrates his latest victory.

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

A large crowd cheers for three-time WSL World Champion Gabriel Medina of Brazil.

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

Gabriel Medina hugs his wife, Yasmin Brunet, as he celebrates his WSL title.

(Allen J. Schaben / Los Angeles Times)

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