Brazilian Surfer Wins Ocean Beach Contest

San Francisco’s first major professional surfing contest ended Monday with 17-year-old Brazilian surfer Gabriel Medina winning first place at the event.

Gabriel Medina and Joel Parkinson on the Podium // Photo by Matt Crawford

Medina beat Australian surfer Joel Parkinson in sloppy conditions at Ocean Beach, 16.50-10.90, to take home a $75,000 purse as Parkinson struggled to find waves during the heat.

The Rip Curl Pro Search surf contest started November 1st and featured 36 of the best surfers in the world, including Kelly Slater, who earned enough points to win his 11th world title on Sunday.

There was drama each day of the contest, first with a potential shark sighting during an early heat on the first day and later when contest officials mistakenly awarded Slater the world title after a second round miscalculation. Slater—often compared to Tiger Woods or Michael Jordan in terms of athletic ability and career accomplishments—was knocked out of the quarterfinals by Medina on Monday.

The surf contest drew thousands of spectators to Ocean Beach during the four days of competition. Alex Smith and other 49ers were in attendance during the final day of the event.


Medina. // photo by Matt Crawford

Medina surfing. // photo by Matt Crawford

The crowd on Monday. // photo by Matt Crawford

Fans wait for Medina to exit the water. // photo by Matt Crawford