Tatiana Weston-Webb could be the pro surfer Brazil has been waiting for.
Tatiana Weston-Webb finished first in the Boost Mobile Margaret River Pro on Monday, May 10, in Margaret River, Western Australia. The Brazilian-born surfer was part of a championship sweep for the country alongside Filipe Toledo, who won the men’s competition. While the WSL men’s Tour is accustomed to crowning Brazilian champions, like Gabriel Medina in 2018 and Italo Ferreira in 2019, there has yet to be a Brazilian woman to take up the women’s Tour title. Tatiana Weston-Webb might be the country’s best chance at ending the drought.
Weston-Webb’s Margaret River Pro victory offers a glimmer of hope for the country’s first potential female Tour win. She defeated veteran surfer and seven-time champion Stephanie Gilmore, ranked No. 3 in the WSL, to jump to No. 2 in the standings.
Weston-Webb won the first wave with a score of 8.50 over Gilmore’s 6.83 score. Gilmore’s 8.17 score on the second wave over Weston-Webb’s 7.73 still wasn’t enough to beat Weston-Webb’s final score of 16.23 on Gilmore’s 15.00 total. Gilmore did, however, defeat No. 1 Carissa Moore in the semifinals of the event—Gilmore’s total score was a 12.24 over Moore’s 12.00.
Weston-Webb is a dual citizen who was born in Brazil and raised in Hawaii. She had represented Hawaii from the start of her career until the Brazilian Olympic Committee offered Weston-Webb the opportunity to surf on the Brazilian team for the new Olympic sport. Weston-Webb switched in 2018 to represent her home country on the Tour in preparation for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.
The decision for Weston-Webb to switch from her Hawaiian roots to represent Brazil was a major move. She was able to have a higher chance to qualify for the Games since only 20 women and 20 men will be competing. The other female surfer for Brazil is No. 33 Silvana Lima, who has been on the Tour since 2006.
Lima and fellow surfing veteran Jacqueline Silva, who first qualified for the Tour in 1999, have inspired Brazilian women to take up their boards and hit the waves. Lima and Silva are just two of the surfers who set the tone for other female surfers to fight the adversity they faced from the beginning.
Though many female verteran surfers can remember the time when they were cut off in the lineup by men who didn’t take them seriously, Brazilians have spent years raising stoke about surfing especially among females in their country. The sport has a unified culture and gives an invitation for all to participate. They have come a long way and Weston-Webb’s victory demonstrates how far women’s surfing in Brazil has come. With so much exposure coming to the sport, the love for it and participation is expected to rise.
After the Boost Mobile Margaret River Pro, Moore still sits at No. 1 on the WSL Tour with 29,970 points. Weston-Webb is at No. 2 with 26,495 points andGilmore sits at No. 3 with 22,035 points. Other top 5 pros Caroline Marks (USA) and Tyler Wright (AUS) are close behind with 21,305 points and 19,965 points, respectively. These are just a few of the surfers to watch out for in the coming events since only four of the 10 stops on the Tour have been completed.
The next stop on the WSL Tour will be the Rip Curl Rottnest Search in Rottnest Island, Western Australia. Follow along this upcoming event here.