A star is born
KINGSCLIFF'S surfing golden girl Stephanie Gilmore heads to Tahiti today with a chance to add a world title to her new Australian Championship.
Gilmore capped off a brilliant campaign at the Quiksilver Australian Grommet titles at Phillip Island on Saturday by winning the girls U/18 title virtually unchallenged.
Gilmore claimed a total of four national titles in the weeklong tournament also winning the All-Stars Teams Division, the MR Shield schools title for Kingscliff High School (with Ashley Smith) and the State Tag Team.
The future super star was the form surfer of the tournament not dropping a heat and posting the event's only perfect 10 point ride on her way through to the winner's dais.
Gilmore blew her opponents out of the water with a sensational performance in the under 18s final which left all three of her opponents requiring a two wave scoring combination to catch her.
Jessica Hickson (Boomerang, NSW) finished second, Lori Kelly (Moffat Beach, Qld NSW) third and Rebecca Oakley (Sunshine Beach, Qld) fourth.
Gilmore won't get to rest on her laurels, heading straight to Tahiti to contest this week's Quiksilver ISA World Junior Surfing Championships at Papenoo Beach.
More than 175 competitors, representing 20 nations, will vie for prestigious ISA world championship medals in U/18 and U/16 boys, U/18 girls, and teams divisions in the 13 day event.
"It's my first Aussie title," Gilmore said.
"Last year I did all right but it was a lot harder because I was competing against girls that were a couple years older