Hawaiian, Kelia Moniz, win longboard world title in China

Kelia Moniz (Photo Courtesy: Roxy)

Hawaiian surfer Kelia Moniz has won the one-off event in China to determine the women’s longboard world champion.

It was a repeat of last year’s final in the Pro China at Hainan Island as Moniz beat Australian Chelsea Williams.

“We couldn’t hear the scores so after the heat I didn’t know what to think,” Moniz, 18, said on Sunday.

“Then Chelsea looked at me and said ‘good job grom’ and I was pretty stoked.’

Kelia Moniz (Photo Courtesy: Roxy)

The young Hawaiian will be officially crowned on Australia’s Gold Coast in February at the annual ASP World Surfing Awards.

“It means a lot to bring an ASP World Title back to Hawaii,” Moniz said.

“Plus this is the only event that decides the world champion and I’ve been working and training and preparing for this and it feels unbelievable.”

An emotional Williams tried to hold back the tears as she pondered coming so close to winning.

“It feels good to make the final again,” Williams said of her effort in the event last year when it was part of a small series.

“Kelia (Moniz) surfed really good and I didn’t find any good waves.

“I won last year, but didn’t win the women’s world longboard title.”

American Summer Romero finished equal 3rd at the Pro China for the second year in a row after going down to Moniz in a tight semi while Williams emerged from her semi with a win over Karina Rozunko.

The 16-year-old Californian made a name for herself earlier in the event by eliminating the defending world champion American Lindsay Steinriede.