Florence (USA) looked good from the get-go, comfortably winning his opening heat to garner a spot in the final, despite never previously having surfed Shipstern Bluff. He then started the one-hour final in superb fashion, securing an excellent 9.33 ride (out of a possible perfect 10) in the opening minutes. The 24-year-old Hawaiian paddled into and successfully negotiated a double-overhead barrel and Shipstern’s notorious ‘step’ – a feature that sends most surfers airborne and a factor that makes the wave so daunting and unpredictable. Florence’s excellent rhythm continued; he soon backed up his quality start with a series of great barrel rides. His second highest scoring ride netted him 5.83pts from the judges, and Florence’s eventual two-wave combined total of 15.16pts was more than enough to win him the coveted Red Bull Cape Fear 2019 champion’s trophy.
1 Nathan Florence (USA) – 15.16pts
2 Laurie Towner (AUS) – 14.10
3 Justen Jughead Allport (AUS) – 10.93
4 James Hollmer-Cross (AUS) – 10.0
5 Mikey Brennan (AUS) – 6.50