Marks, Toledo win El Salvador Pro; Colapinto maintains his grip on world No. 1 ranking
Another WSL Championship Tour event is in the books, with more big results for local surfers.
The Surf City El Salvador Pro wrapped up last week in Central America, and topping the podium were San Clemente residents Caroline Marks and Filipe Toledo. Finishing runner-up to Toledo and holding onto the world No. 1 ranking was another San Clemente hero in Griffin Colapinto, who was coming off a win last month at the Surf Ranch Pro.
“I’ve been super inspired by the younger girls and all the new energy on Tour,” Marks said afterward. “It’s been really cool. I haven’t won a (Championship Tour) since 2021, so I’m just super stoked. This is the best feeling ever.”
In the final, Marks faced former world champ Tyler Wright, but leaning into the power and precision of her top-to-bottom backhand surfing, Marks’ relentless attack proved to be too much for the Aussie.
Finding her rhythm in the last few events, Marks earned a third-place result at the Margaret River Pro, followed by a runner-up finish at last month’s Surf Ranch Pro, and now a win in El Salvador.
The flurry of big results has her sitting in third place on the WSL Championship Tour leaderboard with a very good chance at qualifying for the season-ending WSL Finals.
“What makes our journey so special is sharing it with people you love,” Marks said. “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!’ ”
On the men’s side, reigning world champ Toledo avenged his loss to Colapinto at the Surf Ranch to take the win, proving once again that in 3- to 5-foot, right-hand point surf, he’s darn near impossible to beat.
“We’ve been meeting every Final. It’s been fun,” Toledo said about the brewing rivalry with Colapinto. “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,” Toledo continued. “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.”
It’s worth noting, Colapinto beat Toledo in the final in El Salvador, and while he couldn’t go back-to-back, Colapinto does leave Central America atop the rankings in the yellow leader’s jersey. Toledo, meanwhile, sits in second, followed by countryman Joao Chianca in third.
“(Filipe) and I have had the best battles over the last year and this year,” Colapinto said afterward. “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.”
For the women, Carissa Moore currently sits in first on the WSL leaderboard, with Wright in second, followed by Marks in third. With the race to the Rip Curl WSL Finals heating up, there are only three more regular-season events left on the schedule.
Up next, the tour heads to South America for the Rio Pro, which runs from Friday, June 23 through July 1. After that, the Championship Tour will move to South Africa and Tahiti before the WSL Finals land at Lowers this September.