While Tyler Wright's first World Title sucked up the vast majority of the Roxy Pro headlines, there were quite a few interesting subplots that had people talking on site. Here's a quick rundown of what else was news in France.
Sage Erickson's steady surge is something that can no longer be ignored. In the last four events she has been the only surfer, besides Tyler Wright, who has finished in the Quarters or better at each stop. The timidity that was holding her back earlier this year has been replaced with more swagger and certainty. A confident Sage is a dangerous one.
Tatiana Weston-Webb may have been on the outside looking in at the Title hunt this year, but she remains one of the most feared draws among the women. She put on a number of dominating performances in France, including a Round Three blitz over Johanne Defay and Alessa Quizon, and a massive win over Sage Erickson in the Semis, where she racked up 17.24 points. Though she lost to Tyler Wright in the Semis, Tyler had to work hard for the win. Something tells us that work is only going to get tougher in the future.
While it's been a strange year on Tour for the reigning World Champion, in France we saw more fire from Carissa than we've seen all season. She gets especially motivated for big heats, like the one she had with Stephanie Gilmore. Riss had 18.24 points just over halfway through the heat, leaving Steph chasing two scores. Most revealing, however, was Carissa's comment after winning the Final against Tyler Wright. "I would have liked to have beat her at her best," Carissa declared, noting Tyler gave up pretty quickly after having clinched her World Title. Sure the win was nice, but it wasn't enough. That speaks volumes.
After losing early at Lower Trestles Courtney Conlogue knew the odds of catching Tyler Wright were long, yet she refused to roll over. Indeed, she stopped Wright from celebrating in Portugal by beating her in the Final and winning the whole thing. She followed up in France by refusing to go away, much to the dismay of Tyler's team, who seem baffled by Conlogue's continual crashing of party plans. In the end, Courtney went down swinging, and her effort makes Tyler's title all the more significant. Conlogue will be back. That we can count on.
For more than a decade Stephanie Gilmore and Carissa Moore have had a lock on the Women's World Title. Tyler Wright's breaking of that chain very well could mark the dawn of a new era on the women's side of the ledger. Wright's dominance this year is even more impressive when you consider the field from top-to-bottom has never been better. There's little doubt she has more Titles in her, the only question is how many others will step up to challenge her going forward.