Gabriel Medina wants another good result in France and continues to believe in the world championship
France is a separate chapter in Gabriel Medina’s victorious career. It happens to be there that, as a boy, the surfer held his first conquest abroad, before becoming a pro. The first victory was also in France, where soon he had joined the world elite. In six years of WCT, he conquered the two of the highest places of the podium, being finalist in the last two editions of the event.
Now, the stage of Hossegor can be decisive for Medina to follow in the “race” by the two-time championship world-wide. Current 8th place in the World Surf League (WSL) ranking, he is now confident and competing in the 9th stage of the Tour, and comes from victory in the unprecedented championship in the Kelly Slater wave pool.
“France is a special place for me. I like the beach break, that has a lot of waves. So you can take some risks”, he says. “My best results happened there. So I think I have a good chance of repeating a good result and hope everything goes well for the rest of the year”, says Gabriel.
The first brazilian world surf champion, a conquered feat in 2014, and 3rd in 2015 and 2016, remains confident of re-raising the cup. He remembers that 30,000 points are still at stake, everything can change and the decision can bem made by details. “The title remains open. I always believe until the end of the competition. Only if you get to Pipe and see that, mathematically, the victory won´t happen, than I´ll change my mind”, he announces.
According to Medina, the top 10 in the ranking are still, mathematically, in the fight for the box and it is difficult to elect its main rival in this final stretch. “It’s jammed up. Of course the one in the front (south african Jordy Smith) is at an advantage, but everything can change. It is a step that he can mess up, do some kind of mistake. It’s all about some small details that can change everything”, he argues.
Taking stock of his season, Gabriel quotes the injury he suffered in the first leg on Gold Coast, Australia, when he was surfing very well and even with severe knee pain he finished third. “It did me a lot of harm. I felt my knee to Fiji (5th stage). It was a difficult year for me, but things like these happen”, he regrets.
“We train to avoid this type of problem and compete well along the year, but I had the misfortune to have this injury. I’m almost 100%, and no matter what happens this year, in 2018 I’ll come back ready, with everything”, he says.
The title of Future Classic, the first championship in the wave pool of Kelly Slater, Surf Rach, promoted by the World Surf League (WSL), is, according to the brazilian surger, an incentive to compete well, but he also adds a point of separating both situations of competition. “This is different. Of course, it was cool to compete with the best in the world. It was an important test. I was happy to win, but it is apart from my main goal. Now I´m concentrating on the Tour, what really matters to me now”, he explains.
During his prep for the stage, Gabriel got himself a free time to promote happiness for more than 500 children from public schools in Maresias. He donated toys, anticipating Children’s Day, at the Peixinho Dourado School, and then, at the Maresias Nursery. And on each gift given, he received a warm hug. “It was really cool to see the kids’ smile,” he says.
Gabriel Medina competes with Rip Curl, Guaraná Antarctica, Coppertone, Audi, Vult Cosmética, Oi and FCS and Cabianca sponsorships.