Tyler Wright Wins Maiden World Title In France
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"I've Been In The World Title Race Before But This Feels Different."
Tyler Wright had a plan for 2016.
It's the fairytale ending come early, that we've all hoped for in 2016. 22-year-old Tyler Wright from Culburra on the NSW South Coast, has just been crowned 2016 World Champion at the Roxy Pro in France with one event yet to be contested on the women's tour. Wright is the eighth Australian woman to win a world title since the first world championship in 1964.
Tyler burst onto professional surfing scene in 2008 when at just 14-years-old she won the Beachley Pro event as a trialist and became youngest person to ever win a championship tour event. In 2010 the grommet took down her second CT event win as a wildcard at the Oneill Women's Pro Sunset Beach in Hawaii that locked her in for her qualification to the big league where she belonged, the following year.
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Tyler mingled among the top five best surfers in the world since her qualification, always a threat but never focused on the prize like others at the top. She became known for her happy-go-lucky approach to competition, never looking or sounding like there was any pressure. Her surfing has always been unquestionably solid and dynamic in any condition and she has charging big waves too; notably on trips to Teahupoo and Fiji with her brothers Owen and Mikey, who she says she trusts more than anyone else to call her into waves and push her limits. Family is a big deal for the Wrights – they're as close as they come and all four siblings are as talented as hell.
Tyler blasted into the new year with a fresh mindset, with super-coach Micro Hall in her corner and with a fire in her belly. She had a plan for the first time in her professional career. It was a tough summer for the Wrights after Owen's Hawaiian head injury unfolded, but if anything the power and strength of their family unit has taken Tyler to a whole new level.
It was obvious straight out of the gates with her first win at the Roxy Pro on the Gold Coast, that something big could happen in 2016. Following the Roxy Pro, she took a hit at the Rip Curl Pro at Bells Beach with a 5th place, but bounced straight back in Western Australia. She knocked event after event down like soldiers, winning at Margaret River, Rio and just recently Trestles before today's win in Portugal.
Tyler spoke to Coastalwatch just before the Swatch Pro, Trestles about what she agreed was similar to a coming-of-age approach to her surfing and competitive attitude this year. "Over the last five years, I've crusied through the tour purely on talent without a plan, people questioned me on why I was even competing if I didn't want to win; now it's all changed." She said. "After I changed my mindset and started working with Micro it was all about making everything I want to happen, happen and finding a good balance. This year I wanted to have more direction and make it clear in my head that I wanted to be number one... I just waited for it to naturally come about and it's worked in my favour."
After a tireless effort in France over the last week Tyler took out her title in the early hours of this morning. She made it right through to the finals of the Roxy Pro where she took on Carissa Moore. Despite losing that finals heat to the three-time World Champ, Tyler wass still victorious with the elimination of Courtney Conlogue in the semis.
“A lot has gone into this, a lot of hours and a lot of moments,” said Wright after her win. “There are a lot of reasons why I set out the win this World Title this year and a lot of reasons that I did not mention to the public. Last year was such a hectic year -- I lost an uncle and this was the last event that he ever saw me compete in. A lot of emotional moments, but pretty much from that moment I promised him that I would win a World Title and I did. It’s in his honor and my brother’s honor and my whole entire family and the community I come from. So many things happened this year and my personal life hasn’t been easy. Owen and my family and my mom -- I just love them so much and to be able to do it for them is very special.”
Congratulations Tyler, here's to the first of many!
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