Gilmore wins third world title
KINGSCLIFF’S Stephanie Gilmore is fast on her way to legendary status, after taking out her third consecutive women’s surfing World Title yesterday at Hawaii.
A third place at the Sunset Beach Gidget Pro was enough for the 21-year-old to retain the crown she has owned since making her debut on the professional world tour in 2007.
Wildcard Hawaiian Carissa Moore took out the event, but it was Gilmore’s day.
The news of her win came through as she prepared to surf the final and the live web-cast commentators noted how relaxed she appeared as she caught her first wave of the heat.
Her trademark smile was reportedly very wide as she entered the water for the final.
Gilmore spoke to the Tweed Daily News direct from Hawaii on the afternoon of her win and said it was a “great, great day”.
Not only had she sewn up the world title, but Sunset Beach had turned on fabulous conditions.
“I was stoked off it. It started off pretty small and grew through the day until there were solid 10-foot sets coming through. It was real Sunset,” Gilmore said.
“Three in a row, it’s just amazing.
“The first one was just relief and the second was really satisfying and this one, it’s just so hard to comprehend what’s actually going on,”
Gilmore yesterday wasn’t thinking about records such as Layne Beachley’s six consecutive championships, but rather was focusing on the current surfing talent coming through the ranks.
“With each title there are more and more girls like Silvana Lima coming along, and it makes it harder each year.”
The job isn’t done for Gilmore this year, as there is one event left on the Women’s World Tour at Honolua Bay.
It will decide the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing champion and Gilmore wants to win.
“For sure, especially with Vans coming on to put up a big prize purse of $25,000,” Gilmore said.
All the Gilmores were happy yesterday, and Steph’s highest priority was celebrating with sister Whitney in Hawaii.
Father Jeff and mother Tracy celebrated from home on the Tweed.
Mr Gilmore said it was “cool” and unexpected to see his daughter win the world title yesterday and Tracy phoned Steph straight after the final.
He said Steph had admitted she wasn’t happy with her lack of event wins this year, compared to her previous titles.
“She’ll really want to do well at Maui,” Mr Gilmore said.
When told of Steph’s comments about the world title getting harder each year, he said his daughter would only continue to improve.
“It is interesting because the girls are getting better, but they still need to have the co-ordination and style to give them the edge.
“I think she will surprise herself in how she will go in the next few years, she has got that potential to continue to win contests.
“I don’t think the younger girls are going to come through and push her away.”
Mr Gilmore said the waves on offer at Sunset were fabulous and the talent of all the girls in the water was impressive.
“The girls are saying, ‘we can mix it up with the boys’,” he said.
“The comparison has become a little bit closer in these types of waves, especially when it comes to power-surfing.”