Stephanie Gilmore
Stephanie Gilmore

Gilmore faces showdown

STEPHANIE Gilmore will have to overcome continuing pain in her wrist and an enthusiastic wildcard to keep her hopes of another Roxy Pro title alive when the second round of the event gets under way.

The defending champion will take on Kiwi young gun Sarah Mason, who upstaged her at an event in New Zealand last year.

Mason, like Gilmore, knows the Snapper Rocks break intimately, having spent an extended period on the Gold Coast.

The first round of the women's contest was surfed in deteriorating conditions on Saturday afternoon, with defending champ Gilmore struggling to find a good wave in her first appearance since her wrist was broken during an assault outside her Tweed Heads unit in December.

Gilmore, who surfed in a wrist brace, was comprehensively defeated by 16-year-old rookie Tyler Wright from Lennox Head.

“I'm just taking baby steps,” Gilmore said. “The conditions played a part and Tyler was on fire, so I wasn't really surprised. It's definitely a good indicator of how hard this event's going to be.”

Gilmore admitted she felt some pain in her wrist during her heat.

“There were little bits of pain here and there but you kind of forget about it. But don't tell the doctor that, it'll be right,” she said.

Tweed Heads former world champion Chelsea Hedges also faces a sudden-death showdown when she takes on Hawaiian Alana Blanchard in the second round.

A call will be made this morning on whether competition will go ahead today.

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