Teenager Caroline Marks is chaired along the beach. Picture: Getty
Teenager Caroline Marks is chaired along the beach. Picture: Getty

Teen topples titans on way to historic title

IT wasn't a win but Sally Fitzgibbons says her semi-final finish in surfing's world tour opener on the Gold Coast is a "keeper".

Fitzgibbons was the best-placed Australian - male or female - at the Gold Coast event which kicked off the 2019 world tour and was the first time the women's prize purse matched the men's at this level of competition.

"It was definitely a chess match out there," said Fitzgibbons, who will record a third in her opening event.

"But it's a keeper result and there have been plenty of things to learn." Fitzgibbons was knocked out of the Boost Mobile Pro in the semi-finals by triple world champion Carissa Moore.

Moore was then taken down by American teenager Caroline Marks 13.83 to 11.67 in the decider on Monday.

It was the second time Marks defeated a world champion at the event with seven-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore an early victim of the precociously talented teen.

Marks, just 17, was presented with the same US$100,000 winners purse as Quiksilver Pro winner Italo Ferreira of Brazil.

Marks carving up on the Gold Coast. Picture: Getty
Marks carving up on the Gold Coast. Picture: Getty

"I'm over the moon, so happy," Marks said of her historic win and winner's cheque.

"It's so special to win this one. I have been working super hard in the off-season to be here and it feels great."

Marks has long been touted as the next big thing in women's surfing, securing her spot on the world tour before her 16th birthday - the youngest surfer to achieve the feat.

An emotional Marks after the win. Picture: Nigel Hallett
An emotional Marks after the win. Picture: Nigel Hallett

With a mantra of just going out to "have fun", Marks is already threatening the old order of world surfing with her  victory sounding a warning to her rivals that she is well and truly on the rise ahead of the sport's debut at the Olympics.

Last year's Rookie of the Year Wade Carmichael was the best-placed Australian male at the Quiksilver Pro with his fifth place after being knocked out by eventual winner Ferreira in the quarter-finals.

News Corp Australia


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