Call it poetic justice. Last year, Gabriel Medina snuck an inside wave to beat Owen Wright in the dying seconds of the Tahiti Pro. Owen was dumbstruck. And yeah, the loss ate at him a little. This year, after both Medina and Owen bulldozed through the early rounds, each earning the only two 10 point rides of the 2019 season, they met again in the final. Oh. Em. Gee.
Following some early cat and mouse, Gabriel grabbed a couple of 7s and took the heat — and Owen's opportunity for revenge — by the throat. But then, an inside wave. Owen dug to catch it under Gabriel's priority, disappeared behind the curtain as the wave funneled across the shallow reef, and got spit out into the channel. Owen got a 9 point ride, and the lead. Then, to further pin Medina against the ropes, got an 8, again under Medina's priority. When the horn blew and Owen became the 2019 Tahiti Pro champ, his hands didn't go skyward in celebration, they went to his face in humility, emotion and elation. To catch the tears of victory. Congrats, Owen! We're so proud of you.