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Tyler Wright bridges pay divide with World Surf League title.

Australian surfer Tyler Wright’s has eclipsed her male counterparts for competitive earnings in 2016 after securing the World Surf League world title in France.

Wright, who has already won four WSL tournaments this year, has pocketed US$340,500 ($447,023) while current men’s rating leader, John John Florence of Hawaii, who has one win and five final placings, has earned US$289,500 ($380,068).

There is, however, only one event left on the women’s calendar, in Hawaii, and two for the men, with a trip to Portugal preceding the season finale at Pipe Masters in Oahu.

Wright has arrived back in Australia after being crowned world champion in France, an achievement she dedicated to her late uncle and brother Owen, who suffered a head injury while surfing in Hawaii last year. She was met at the airport by family, friends and a large media gathering.

“For me, that’s what it’s all about and is why I did it,” Wright said of her family who arrived wearing various competition jerseys belonging to the 22-year-old from New South Wales’s south coast.

“They were all in my jerseys. It was the best thing ever.”

‘Most exciting title races’

World Surf League vice-president of communications Dave Prodan said prize-money parity for World Surf League competitors was implemented in 2014 and is based on the number of surfers on each tour.

On average, there are 18 female contestants at each WSL event vying for a combined purse of $360,250 while on the men’s tour, 36 surfers compete for a combined $721,810.

Prodan said prize money parity and event quality was a priority for the sport’s new owners.

“In 2014, we saw the addition of events in Fiji, Trestles and Maui to the women’s schedule as well as the movement of the French event to Hossegor,” Prodan said.

“The women in recent years have returned the investment by displaying the best surfing ever done in the sport and generating the most exciting title races the sport has ever seen.”

On average, each surfer (male or female) averages $20,050, with 10 events on the women’s tour and 11 for the men’s tour, up from an average of $15,465 for men and $8,005 for women in 2012.

US surfer Kelly Slater, who has 11 world titles, has competitive earnings of close to US$4 million, while Hawaii’s Carissa Moore leads the women at US$1,226,800.

This post originally appeared on ABC News. 

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