“I still don’t know,” Gabriel Medina said afterward, trying to put the past three heats and several hours into perspective. “I’m still trying to figure out how I did it.”
Mick Fanning. Taj Burrow. Joel Parkinson. All former Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast champions, all country favorites, all regular-footers, all victim of Medina’s unexpected march to the event title. He did it with gusto and supreme confidence and a ferocious backhand attack, and with it, Medina became the first goofy-footer to win at Snapper Rocks since 2004.
Medina was still in shock after riding upon the shoulders of his father and friends, surrounded by his fellow countrymen turned expatriates in Australia; there to share in the festivities and shower Medina with songs of their homeland and make it feel all that more fitting that the setting at Snapper came to be called “Rainbow de Janeiro.”