World No.1 Stephanie Gilmore contemplates her world championship prospects at Snapper Rocks yesterday.
World No.1 Stephanie Gilmore contemplates her world championship prospects at Snapper Rocks yesterday.

Full of fire. GIlmore inspired by Fanning's triumph

STEPHANIE Gilmore declared she "is fired up" to win the women's world surfing championship after watching Tweed counterpart Mick Fanning wrap up the men's title. Fanning secured his maiden world title in Brazil on Wednesday and in doing so became the first Australian man to claim the crown since Mark Occhilupo in 1999. "I saw Mick's win yesterday and it's just fired me up," Gilmour said yesterday at Snapper Rocks. "Mick's one of my heroes and he's been so focused all year. He's shown the surfing world what he can do. "Imagine winning the world title the same year as Mick Fanning, it would be really special and special for Australia as well. "But we can't get ahead of ourselves." Gilmore leads the women's ratings race and is perfectly placed to claim the world championship in her rookie year when the tour heads to Hawaii later this month. The 19-year-old will start among the favourites at the penultimate event of the season at Sunset Beach from November 23. The year's final event, the Billabong Pro, will be staged at Maui from December 8-20. "I'm looking forward to going to Hawaii and getting some good breaks," Gilmore said. "To be ahead on the ratings and with a one of the better shots of winning the world title, I don't know what to think really, it's just a bit crazy. "(But) it feels really good to be number one and you can really work on getting good results once you're there." Gilmore will head to Hawaii on a high after scoring an incredible last-minute victory over reigning and seven-time world champion Layne Beachley to claim the Mancora Peru Classic late last month. Gilmore stole the title away from Beachley with a freak wave in the dying seconds of the final. "I don't know how I managed to get that last wave," Gilmore said. "Everything happened so quick and bang it was all over and I'd nailed the win." That win has Gilmour believing she can "go close" to securing the world title to and help make the Tweed-Coolangatta a more dominant force in world surfing. "I'm sure we're going to have a few world champions in Australia over the next few years," Gilmore said. "We have always had good surfers come from around here. "Mick's again proved that, and there have been others before him. "Just imagine this place. Coolangatta will go nuts."



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