John Florence Crowned World Champion At The Meo Rip Curl Pro Peniche
Congratulations @johnjohnflorenc, 2016 World Champion!! Well deserved kid! 2016 MEO #RipCurlPro winner & @wsl World Champ. Obrigado Portugal,
Congratulations @johnjohnflorenc, 2016 World Champion!! 🏆 @Jeep pic.twitter.com/lVoKiM7M8I
— World Surf League (@wsl) October 25, 2016
In an absolutely insane day, 22-year-old John John Florence (HAW) clinched the 2016 World Surf League (WSL) Title with a victory at the MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal in Peniche. This is the first time a Hawaiian has held the world surfing crown since the late Andy Irons (HAW) in 2004.
“I honestly can’t believe it right now, it’s obviously not sunk in just yet,” Florence said. “I know my mom and family are watching online right now and I really wish they were here with me. I’m so stoked. I’ve worked my whole life towards this and I have so many people to thank for this.”
Florence’s season started out slowly with mediocre results across the Australian leg, including the Rip Curl Pro Bells, before posting a victory in Brazil in May. He carried the momentum of his Rio de Janeiro win to strong showings in Jeffreys Bay (2nd), Tahiti (2nd) and France (3rd) while challengers Gabriel Medina (BRA), Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Jordy Smith (ZAF) and 11-time WSL Champion Kelly Slater (USA) were unable to maintain consistency, eventually falling out of reach in Portugal. It was a tight win, with his success coming from both Medina and Wilkinson’s early round losses.
“It’s been a long year, but one of the best years in my life, so many fun events and just having a really good time all together and I’ve learned so much,” he continued. “I was expecting it to go to Hawaii and I was just trying to keep surfing through heats.
“My whole life has gone into this, everything I’ve done but just this year especially, learning so much about competitive surfing, focusing completely on it and having so much help and support, it’s been amazing.” Florence added. “The title was my goal this year so at this point I’m just going to go out and have fun.”
FLORENCE 2016 WSL CT RESULTS –
Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast: 5th
Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach: 13th
Drug Aware Margaret River Pro: 13th
Oi Rio Pro: WINNER
Fiji Pro: 5th
J-Bay Open: 2nd
Billabong Pro Tahiti: 2nd
Hurley Pro at Trestles: 13th
Quiksilver Pro France: 3rd
Meo Rip Curl Pro Portugal: WINNER
Billabong Pipe Masters: TBD
FLORENCE CAREER WSL CT FINISHES:
2016: WSL CHAMPION
Photos: WSL / Poullenot/Aquashot