The 2019 WSL Men’s Championship Tour has a new leader after Italo Ferreira knocked Gabriel Medina off the top of the standings ahead of this season’s final event.
Ferreira, 25, holds a lead of just over one point ahead of the 2019 Billabong Pipeline Masters in Oahu, Hawaii, where Medina, also 25, is the reigning champion.
In fact, there’s a gap of less than two points between new leader Ferreira—who beat Jordy Smith in the final of the 2019 MEO Rip Curl Portugal Pro this past weekend—and fourth-place Filipe Toledo:
Any of the aforementioned quartet could make a last-gasp dash to be crowned Championship Tour winner in the last meet of the year, exactly the climax fans will have wanted heading to Hawaii.
Ferreira’s victory in Peniche, Portugal was his second of 2019 and his first since the opening event of the campaign, the Quiksilver Gold Coast Pro in Queensland, Australia.
Medina also has two wins this season but only three podium finishes—one fewer than Ferreira—and the title race has been injected with some added spice ahead of this year’s finale.