Caroline Marks (USA) and Filipe Toledo (BRA) won the Surf City El Salvador Pro Presented by Corona, Stop No. 7 on the World Surf League (WSL) 2023 Championship Tour (CT), in dominant form at Punta Roca, also known as La Punta or Punta Chilama. Tyler Wright (AUS) and Griffin Colapinto (USA) earned runner-up finishes after overcoming dangerous competitors en route to the Finals.
Pictured: Caroline Marks (USA) and Filipe Toledo (BRA), winners of the 2023 Surf City El Salvador Pro Presented by Corona. Credit: © WSL / Ryder With the Surf City El Salvador Pro now complete, only three more events remain ahead of the Rip Curl WSL Finals. With solid finishes here in El Salvador, Carissa Moore (HAW) and Colapinto have done a good job to keep themselves at the top of the rankings, but Wright and Toledo are right on their heels. The CT will now turn its attention to Brazil, one of the most diverse venues on Tour, which could shake up the rankings once again.
Florida's Caroline Marks Earns First CT Win Since 2021
Caroline Marks (USA) earned her first CT event win since 2021 today in El Salvador. After having made two Finals appearances this season, Marks finally went all the way to the top of the podium. The rising star had to overcome two World Champions on her way to victory, Carissa Moore (HAW) in the Semifinals and Tyler Wright (AUS) in the Final. Marks now has four CT event wins to her name and sits at World No. 3 on the rankings. The 21-year-old is now in a promising position for both the WSL Final 5 and provisional Olympic qualification.
“This time last year was my first event back after one of the hardest times of my life, so I’m emotional,” said Marks. “I’ve been super inspired by the younger girls and all the new energy on Tour. It’s been really cool. I haven’t won a CT since 2021, so I’m just super stoked. This is the best feeling ever.”
Marks looked unstoppable on her backhand today, stringing together a series of slashing turns. She set the pace during the Final with Wright, surfing the first wave of the heat and earning a 4.83 (out of a possible 10). Marks then improved on her lead, posting a solid 6.33. Wright had a slow heat but got herself back in contention with 5.10. The two-time World Champion then went for a huge finishing maneuver but unfortunately came unstuck on the landing and hit her arm on the fall. Marks was left alone in the lineup as the clock wound down. “What makes our journey so special is sharing it with people you love,” said Marks. “My brothers haven’t been to an event in a couple of years, so maybe I should bring them everywhere now. We got the Olympics and the Final 5 and I want to be in both of those. I’m feeling good and I’m really motivated. I feel like I put the work in, so I’m like, 'Let’s do this!'”
Filipe Toledo Overcomes Griffin Colapinto in El Salvador Final Re-Match
Reigning World Champion Filipe Toledo (BRA) earned his 14th CT event win of his career and second event win of the season today. He now moves up to World No. 2 on the rankings, right behind Colapinto. The road ahead looks promising for Toldeo as he has won three events in Brazil and two events in J-Bay, the next two stops on the 2023 CT season.
“I was like Griff, give me a break [laughs],” said Toledo. “We’ve been meeting every Final. It’s been fun. I was just super focused. I was concentrating on what I was doing and what I wanted to do. I woke up yesterday and my back was feeling kind of weird. I tried to surf and it was bothering me, so I took a break in the afternoon yesterday. This morning I woke up even worse. I could barely walk. But I’m grateful for the whole team that I have. And shout out to my mom. It’s her birthday today. That’s for you, mom. That’s your present. Love you.”
The men’s Final was a rematch of last year’s showdown here in El Salvador as Colapinto and Toldeo took to the water once again. The match started slow, but the two competitors increasingly built momentum as time went on. Colapinto maintained the lead for the majority of the heat, demonstrating his talent for variety and posting a 7.17 (out of a possible 10). With ten minutes left to go, Toledo turned the heat by throwing four electric turns, earning a near-perfect 9.00. He then went excellent again adding an 8.33 to his heat total. Colapinto was left in a combination situation as time expired.
“That feeling of surfing a good wave and the feeling of getting a big score; there’s nothing like it,” said Toledo. “You know, everybody has challenges. It doesn’t matter if yours are smaller than mine, it’s a challenge for every one of us and we gotta trust the process. We’ve gotta be confident and we gotta trust God. You’ve got to have a good relationship with God and he brought me here today. To be honest, I woke up not believing I could surf, and look where I am right now, so super grateful.”
Tyler Wright Takes Out Defending Event Winner Stephanie Gilmore
Tyler Wright (AUS) will hold onto No. 2 in the world rankings after finishing runner-up here in El Salvador. Wright has been having an impressive year as this was her fourth Finals appearance of the season. She has never clinched a spot in the Final 5 and is hoping this will be the year she makes her debut at the Rip Curl WSL Finals.
“Honestly, congrats to Caroline (Marks),” said Wright. “It’s amazing and I am so happy for her. She seems like she’s really finding her groove. I know she had quite a journey as well, so it’s really exciting to see her do well. I’m super happy with my campaign and obviously, if I had ridden out of that turn, it probably would have been a different outcome. The waves were really tricky and it was kinda hard to find rhythm after a certain point. I’m happy with my performance and really happy with my team and how we’ve run this event. I’m finding my feet after an interesting event in the wave pool, so I really enjoyed that.”
Wright earned her place in the Final by taking out eight-time World Champion and defending event winner, Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), in the first heat of the day. Gilmore started strong, earning the highest single-wave score of the heat, a 6.83. Wright answered back with a pair of six-point rides, showcasing her power with strong finishing maneuvers. Unable to find a backup score of significance, Gilmore found herself facing elimination. The two Australian Tour veterans are now tied, 14-to-14, in their head-to-head matchups.
Griffin Colapinto Earns Runner-Up Finish, Holds Onto Rankings Lead
Griffin Colapinto (USA) will hold onto the yellow Leader jersey after a commendable runner-up finish in El Salvador today. This marks Colapinto’s fourth Finals appearance of the season. He narrowly missed clinching a spot in the Final 5 last season and is hoping his current rankings lead will give him the edge through the next events to keep his first World Title dream a reality.
“I just wanted to start attacking because there are a lot of waves,” said Colapinto. “You can catch waves from a lot of different spots out there. It’s almost like a right-hand point beach break, so I was just like I’ll ride waves and hopefully get into a rhythm and I felt like that’s what I did. I was super excited to be in the Final with Filipe (Toledo). He and I have had the best battles over the last year and this year. It was a really close Final last year. Every time we surf against each other we just go all out and go for big stuff.”
Colapinto started the day by dominating his Semifinal matchup against Liam O’Brien (AUS). The heat started slow but ended with Colapinto throwing fireworks. He first found a 7.33 and then bettered his score with an excellent 8.17. Although he had a slow heat, O’Brien can be proud to leave El Salvador with the second CT Semifinal of his career.
Surf City El Salvador Pro Presented by Corona Women’s Final Results: 1 - Caroline Marks (USA) 11.60 2 - Tyler Wright (AUS) 8.47 Surf City El Salvador Pro Presented by Corona Men’s Final Results: 1 - Filipe Toledo (BRA) 17.33 2 - Griffin Colapinto (USA) 12.10 Surf City El Salvador Pro Presented by Corona Women’s Semifinal Results: HEAT 1: Tyler Wright (AUS) 12.74 DEF. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 11.10 HEAT 2: Caroline Marks (USA) 14.00 DEF. Carissa Moore (HAW) 11.17 Surf City El Salvador Pro Presented by Corona Men’s Semifinal Results: HEAT 1: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 16.67 DEF. Ian Gentil (HAW) 14.87 HEAT 2: Griffin Colapinto (USA) 15.50 DEF. Liam O'Brien (AUS) 9.26
Next Stop: VIVO Rio Pro Presented by Corona
The VIVO Rio Pro Presented by Corona holds a competition window from June 23 through July 1, 2023. Once called on, the competition will be broadcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com, the WSL’s YouTube channel, and the free WSL app. Check out more ways to watch from the WSL’s broadcast partners. For fans watching in Brazil, coverage of the competition's Quarterfinals and beyond will continue exclusively on WorldSurfLeague.com and SporTV.
The Surf City El Salvador Pro Presented by Corona is proudly supported by Surf City, Corona, Shiseido, Red Bull, YETI, Surfline, True Surf, and Tokash.