HAWAIIAN Coco Ho has claimed the honour of being the first person to beat world champion Tyler Wright in 2018 while thwarting a piece of Australian surfing history.
Wright and brother Mikey were on track to became the first brother and sister in history to win matching titles at Surfest at Newcastle before Ho decided to spoil the party.
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While Mikey did his bit by defeating Hawaiian Baron Manila 18.30 to 16.17 in the men’s decider, his sister fell just short in a closely fought women’s finale.
Ho, who competes on the world tour alongside the Australian, just edged Wright 11.50 to 11.34 to win the women’s crown.
She is the first woman to take a heat off Wright since the Australian won her second world title in Maui in December.
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“She almost got it on that last wave. It was close,” said Mikey, who now heads south to compete at the Sydney Pro at Manly from Monday.
“It would have been pretty nice to do.”
Despite the loss, Wright said she was happy with her only competition outing before the 2018 world tour opener on the Gold Coast in March.
“It’s been a pretty successful competition,” Wright said.