For the second year in a row, Carissa Moore has been the WSL’s number one ranked surfer heading into Finals Day, then lost in the newishly-implemented format.
Last year to Stephanie Gilmore; this year to Caroline Marks.
The bracket-style, winner-take-all Finals Day format has been controversial, to say the least, since it was first introduced in 2021, under the helm of then CEO, Erik Logan. Many fans and competitors alike loathe the new system, arguing that, while it’s good for drama and viewership, it doesn’t effectively decide the best surfer all year long.
And now, following her big sister’s loss two years in a row despite dominating during the regular season, Cayla Moore has issued a disapproval of the format:
“Caroline surfed great,” Cayla wrote on the WSL’s announcement post of Marks’ victory above, “however I must say this format is not showing a true world champion – someone who shows up consistently at each event and has a wide range of attributes and skills through each location, wave, spot on tour through the year.
“This is extremely discouraging to people like my sister who show up number 1 seed 3x in a row, and are robbed of their hard work and effort all year long because of a ONE DAY event. Fix your format. The WSL Finals is not a good reflection of World Champions. 7 Xs for Riss”
Many folks agreed with the younger Moore on her stance, commenting “agreed!” and “100%” and “facts,” etc.
For her part, Riss was a good sport, as always, and congratulated Caroline following the loss:
“This pic was from a few years ago in Tokyo… @caroline_markss massive congratulations on your first of what I’m sure will be many world titles. I knew it was only a matter of time and if you could come through what you went through last year, be stronger than ever. Really proud of you. Your story of determination, resilience and humanness will inspire many and empower young girls and women everywhere to believe in their own dreams and pursue them fearlessly. You will be and already are a great champion. Love you Caroline 💛”
Will the Finals Day format endure amidst the fusillade of criticism?
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