SO SINGLE-minded was Tyler Wright’s focus, she didn’t even know the world title was hers.
The 22-year-old was standing on the beach in the French region of Aquitaine, between Toulouse and the Spanish border, half a world away from home on the South Coast.
Wright had been preparing for the World Surf League event final against Hawaii’s Carissa Moore, believing she needed to win to claim her first crown.
It was only when friend and tour rival Steph Gilmore tackled her into the sand that Wright realised her new status as a world champion.
“She said ‘you won’ and I was like, ‘no, no, everyone just chillax a little bit,” Wright said afterwards.
“Because I’ve got to win this thing and then I’ll win. And they’re like ‘no, no, you’ve actually won it now’.
“Once I’m set with something in my mind, everything drops away and it’s the only thing that I have to do.
“And now that’s kind of done in the semi’s I was like, where’s the dance party, let’s go.”
Wright clinched it when she beat Tatiana Weston-Webb in the semi-final and American Courtney Conlogue lost to Moore.
Conlogue was beaten by just 0.23 in the frantic final moments. The final hardly mattered, as Moore dominated to win the event 16.36 to 9.83. Having won four tour events this year – on the Gold Coast, Margaret River, Brazil and in California – and finishing runner-up in the past two, the job was already done.
She wore her brother Owen’s No.3 shirt in the final, a tribute to him as he recovers from head injuries suffered in a wipe out last year.
The Culburra talent’s victory lap will come next month, when the Maui Pro begins in Hawaii.
Wright has earned 67,700 points and $340,500 in prizemoney, with Conlogue second on 59,400 and Moore this (54.500).
Gerroa product Sally Fitzgibbons is ranked eighth.
Now part of Australian surfing immortality, Wright joins the likes of Layne Beachley, Gilmore, Wendy Bortha and Pam Burridge as world champions.