John John Florence defends a maiden world title by clinching the 2017 World Surf League championshipComments
Waving the flag of his home state of Hawaii, John John Florence was carried off the beach after clinching the 2017 World Surf League title Monday in Oahu.
Florence finished second to France's Jeremy Flores in the season ending Pipe Masters at the famous "Bonzai Pipeline", but that was more than enough to give him his second straight world title.
The last man who could catch Florence in Hawaii was Gabriel Medina, but the Brazilian's title chase ended with a loss in the quarterfinals.
Florence is the first male surfer since the late Andy Irons in 2002 and 2003 to successfully defend a maiden world title.
American Tom Curren and Australians Mark Richards and Tom Carrollare the only other male surfers to have achieved this feat.
Jeremy Flores capped his season with a Pipe Masters victory that wasn't secured until his final wave.
After John John Florence edged ahead in the final, Flores needed a score of at least 8.27 to win.
With the clock running down, the Frenchman found a wave and the crowd waited anxiously for the result.
The score came in and Flores stole the win from Florence to claim his second Pipe Masters.
World title contender Gabriel Medina of Brazil finishes the year in second place on the overall leaderboard following a 5th place finish in Hawaii.
The 2018 World Surf League season will kick off in March at Australia's Gold Coast.