Steph back on top of surf world

Stephanie Gilmore has a big reason to smile after securing her fifth world surfing title with a win at Roxy Pro Biarritz.
Stephanie Gilmore has a big reason to smile after securing her fifth world surfing title with a win at Roxy Pro Biarritz. Steve Robertson

STEPHANIE Gilmore now uses her thumb when counting on one hand the number of world titles she has won.

The world champion surfer from Tweed Heads wrapped up her fifth title with a stellar performance to take out the Roxy Pro Biarritz.

Gilmore, 24, claimed the world title after defeating fellow Australian surfer 18-year-old Tyler Wright.

"I woke up this morning and thought it wouldn't happen today," Gilmore said.

"But as the day progressed, and things fell into place, I began to believe it could happen.

"France is such a special place and having so many people on the beach watching us surf today is really emotional."

The only other surfers to claim at least five titles are Kelly Slater (USA) and Layne Beachley (AUS).

Wright put on an impressive display of surfing throughout the Roxy Pro Biarritz, besting Courtney Conlogue (USA), 19, and Coco Ho (HAW), 19, en route to the finals.

Unfortunately for Wright, her momentum didn't transcend into the final bout against Gilmore, but the tour sophomore was happy with her performance nonetheless.

"I feel pretty good," Wright said.

"I was so excited for Steph. "She was ahead of me the whole time and with five minutes to go I was like, 'you've done it!'

"It's incredible - she ripped the whole contest and didn't lose one heat, she was shredding!"

Gilmore has returned to the top of women's surfing after finishing world number three last year following an assault outside her home in Tweed Heads in December 2010 that left her with a broken arm.

Topics:  roxy pro stephanie gilmore surfing

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