Winning the three-time title was a dream that Gabriel Medina has always set as his career goal. Not just for equaling the feat of other sports legends. But also for having elevated its status to the “greatest goofy” in the history of world surfing. The triumph at the Trestles stage last Tuesday also took him up to the 7th position in the ranking of greatest event winners of the WSL.
+ Medina beats Filipinho twice and is third in the world
+ Check out the list of world surfing champions
Medina is from now on the only “goofy” surfer, who uses his right foot in front of his board base, to have won a three-time world championship. He surpassed sports legends like Tom Caroll and Damien Hardman, who owned 2 titles each. On a circuit with a track record broadly favorable to so-called regular surfers, Gabriel is now side by side with epoch-making left-footed names like Mick Fanning (AUS), Andy Irons (HAV) and Tom Curren (USA) .
Victory in Trestles placed Gabriel Medina in 7th position in the ranking of the greatest winners — Photo: WSL / Nolan
The great campaign in the 2021 season, with three victories in the 8 stages played, placed Gabriel also in the 7th position of the biggest surfing winners. With 17 races conquered in his career, the 27-year-old surfer was equal to two Australian icons of the sport: four-time champion Mark Richards (1979, 80,81 and 82) and Barton Lynch, number 1 in the world in 1988.
Kelly Slater, 11 times world champion, remains isolated with 55 stages achieved in his career. It is worth noting that, in 1989, the World Tour had a record of 25 stages in the season. And that, in that period between 1984 and 1991, the possibility of victories was even greater with the swollen circuit, having between 17 and 25 races per year.
Since Gabriel entered the middle of the Tour in 2011, each season has had a maximum of 11 championships – apart from 2020, the circuit has been canceled due to the Covid-19 pandemic. And this year there were only 8.
Current number 4 on this list, with 22 achievements, three-time world champion Mick Fanning has said in interviews that soon Medina will overtake him.
– He (Gabriel) will throw me out of the water (laughs). He won 2 events in the second half of the year in his debut season on tour (in 2011). It just came and exploded. His talent is out of this world – Mick said during a WSL event broadcast this year.
Check out the top-10 of the biggest winners in history:
1st – Kelly Slater (USA) – 55 wins
2nd – Tom Curren (USA) – 33
3rd – Tom Carroll (AUS) – 26
4th – Mick Fanning (AUS) – 22
5th – Andy Irons (HAV) – 20
6th – Damien Hardman (AUS) – 19
7th – Gabriel Medina (BRA) – 17
7th – Barton Lynch (AUS) – 17th
7th – Mark Richards (AUS) – 17th
10th – Martin Potter (GBR) – 16