Extreme Exposure: Carissa Moore's WSL title, Lindsey Vonn's back, more
In this week's edition of Extreme Exposure—a weekly column featuring news and photography from the world of action and outdoor sports—Carissa Moore wins her third World Surf League title, Maui local Billy Kemper takes the Pe'ahi Challenge in his own backyard and Lindsey Vonn dominates Lake Louise, which is becoming increasingly known as "Lake Lindsey."
Carissa Moore wins No. 3
What a week for the World Surf League. The Triple Crown continued with fantastic surfing at Sunset Beach (won by Mick Fanning), the Pe'ahi Challenge went off at Jaws and Carissa Moore captured her third world title during the Maui Pro at Honolua Bay in flawless conditions that showcased the women’s side of the sport in fine fashion. “Honolua Bay is a dreamy wave but it’s also fickle,” Moore tells SI.com. “It doesn't break like it did on finals day very often. We got so lucky.”
Moore, one of the most humble professional surfers in the game, didn’t have to win the event to take the title. She was able to celebrate her third championship midway through when Courtney Conlogue was defeated by Coco Ho in the fourth round. It was certainly a preview of a rivalry that could continue for years as both Moore and Conlogue are just 23. “I respect Courtney so much, both in and out of the water,” Moore says. “Her power and innovation on the waves has really inspired me (this year).” Moore rebounded from a subpar 2014 with four event wins this season. “My dad, my boyfriend Luke, my trainers, it’s my team that’s kept me in a really good head space the whole year and it was a dream come true to win in amazing conditions at home in front of my friends and family.”
It’s not often that a local can win a world-class event when it rolls through his hometown, no matter what the sport. But that’s exactly what happened this weekend when Maui boy Billy Kemper took home the first ever Pe'ahi Challenge title when Jaws went off in tough paddle-in conditions with 40-60-foot waves mixed with wind. On the other hand, to win an event at Jaws, with a shifty lineup, it takes the kind of local knowledge that Kemper possesses as he found the right waves and drew perfect lines, finishing ahead of his good friend, Albee Layer, Greg Long, Ian Walsh, Gabriel Villaran and Shane Dorian. In fact, three of the six finalists hail from Maui. "This is a dream come true," said Kemper, who grew up in Haiku, a small town in the hills above Pe'ahi. "We've been talking about this moment for years and to have a paddle event in my backyard at, to me one of the most premier waves in the world, means everything to me."
Notching two downhill victories and a Super G win, Lindsey Vonn dominated at Lake Louise, Alberta this weekend, solidifying the 70th World Cup downhill win of her career and leapfrogging teammate Mikaela Shiffrin for the points lead in the coveted overall World Cup title race.
Vonn’s stats are pretty mind blowing: This was her 25th Super G win, moving her ahead of icon Hermann Maier in all-time Super G wins. She’s now won four Super Gs and 14 downhill titles at Lake Louise in her career and her 1.32-second margin of victory in the Super G is the largest margin in that discipline since 1997. “This definitely gives me a big confidence boost going over to Europe,” said Vonn. The women head to Sweden next weekend for World Cup slalom events. “Whenever you win, period, let alone by over a second, it definitely gives you an extra boost of confidence. I’m feeling great, and I know my Super G is good, my downhill is pretty good, so I feel like I’m in a good place for the next couple races.”
This is Where it Gets Real
With ocean news dominating the wire this weekend, the surf community was rocked into reality when Florida’s Evan Geiselman took a three-wave beatdown after a closeout barrel during a training session at Pipeline. He was knocked unconscious and was rescued by professional bodyboarder Andre Botha, who skillfully resuscitated him on the swim in and was met in the water by a number of professional surfers including Kalani Chapman and Mick Fanning. It was a scary moment that showed just how dangerous Pipeline can be when there’s real swell to deal with.
“Thanks to everyone, especially Andre, he was truly Evan’s guardian angel,” Evan’s brother Eric told theinertia.com. “Everyone responded so heroically and our family cannot thank them enough. We also must remember that the conditions were serious and this is what Mother Nature can do. The surf community needs to remember to always take a minute to consider the consequences of every wave. Today we are very blessed to still have Evan with us.”
Come back next week for another edition of Extreme Exposure, and if you have any tips or suggestions for entries, you can reach Joe Carberry here.