HONOLUA BAY, Maui/Hawaii (Wednesday, December 9, 2009) – Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 21, has clinched the $25,000 womens Vans Triple Crown of Surfing title, presented by Rockstar Energy Drink, after winning the Billabong Pro Maui. Her latest victory came in clean four-to-six foot (1.5 metre) conditions at the iconic pointbreak of Honolua Bay today. Gilmore, who recently claimed her third consecutive ASP World Title at the Gidget Pro Sunset Beach, defeated Sofia Mulanovich (PER), 26, in the final. Her Billabong Pro Maui victory paid an additional $12,000 dividend, bringing her total Hawaiian haul to $43,100 – more than she won competing all year prior to the Hawaiian leg.
Pictured: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 21, claimed her third consecutive Billabong Pro Maui title today as well as her second Vans Triple Crown title.
Credit: c ASP/CI/SCHOLTZ va GETTY IMAGES
Gilmore has a flawless record at the Billabong Pro Maui, winning all three consecutive years that she has competed there.
“Once again, Maui has just been incredible and to win this event three times in a row is just awesome,” Gilmore said. “I couldn’t have been happier with the way things have gone today. Winning the Vans Triple Crown is definitely up there with winning the World Title and it’s definitely one of the biggest accolades of surfing professionally. I can’t believe it’s all happening again, it’s awesome.”
Gilmore absolutely dominated the day’s proceedings, blitzing the highest heat total of the entire 2009 ASP Women’s World Tour season by surfing a near-perfect heat of 19.67 out of 20 to usurp Samantha Cornish (AUS), 29, in her Quarterfinals heat before topping Fitzgibbons and Mulanovich en route to her second ASP Women’s World Tour win of 2009.
“I guess it’s a little surprising,” Gilmore said. “I would have thought that the highest heat total would have gone down yesterday with all of the barrels. Today there are still some rippable waves out there, but I don’t know. I just went surfing.”
Mulanovich campaigned through a lengthy day of competition, topping Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS), 23, Australian veteran Rebecca Woods (AUS), 25, and ASP Women’s World No. 2 Silvana Lima (BRA), 25, but was unable to top Gilmore for the victory and claimed a runner-up finish at the final event of the year to finish her season ASP Women’s World No. 3.
“It’s been a great day,” Mulanovich said. “Congratulations to Steph (Gilmore). She’s a champ and a hero to all of us and thanks to the sponsors of the event and my family and friends. It’s been a great event.”
Fitzgibbons navigated the Honolua Bay lineup with poise and maturity beyond her years and posted some amazing scores before falling in her Semifinals bout against Gilmore, but clinched an impressive heat victory over Coco Ho (HAW), 18, in the Quarterfinals on the way to her third place finish.
“I always love surfing heats with Coco (Ho),” Fitzgibbons said. “She always pushes my level up and I usually have my best heats with her. She’s also a really great friend. I wish there were more waves so we could have dueled a little bit more. She surfed amazing this year and my hat goes off to her.”
Lima, who smashed one of two perfect 10-point rides during the Billabong Pro Maui with amazing barrel riding in yesterday’s action, was in stellar form for the final day of competition, but was overtaken by former Peruvian ASP Women’s World Champion, Mulanovich, in the dying minutes of their Semifinals heat, taking a third place finish to wrap up her year while finishing ASP Women’s World No. 2 for 2009.
“The waves were a lot smaller than yesterday, but it was still good,” Lima said. “Sometimes the heats were slow, but the conditions were still great.”
MEN’S VANS TRIPLE CROWN RESUMES TOMORROW:
BILLABONG PIPE MASTERS
The action of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing returns to Oahu tomorrow where organizers anticipate commencement of the Billabong Pipe Masters. All the action will be broadcast live on the web at triplecrownofsurfing.com, as well as on Hawaii television on Oceanic channel 250.
For Billabong Pro Maui highlights, videos, photos and more log on to www.triplecrownofsurfing.com or www.billabongpro.com.
Making the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing presented by Rockstar Energy Drink possible: Reef, O’Neill, Billabong, Gidget Worldwide, Nixon, Turtle Bay Resort, Hawaiian Airlines, JN Automotive Group, Surfing Magazine, Surfline.com, FUEL TV, The Honolulu Advertiser, Hawaiian Springs Water, Road Runner, Climb On! chemical-free skincare, and the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP). The Series is proud to announce that it is working with local company Tr3ees to embark upon a greener, more sustainable future.
VANS TRIPLE CROWN OF SURFING CONTACT:
For additional ASP information log on to www.aspworldtour.com
Billabong Pro Maui presented by Hawaiian Airlines Final:
1 – Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 18.00
2 – Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 10.17
Billabong Pro Maui presented by Hawaiian Airlines Semifinals Results:
Heat 1: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 16.03 def. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 14.94
Heat 2: Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 13.83 def. Silvana Lima (BRA) 11.70
Billabong Pro Maui presented by Hawaiian Airlines Quarterfinals Results:
Heat 1: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 15.83 def. Coco Ho (HAW) 15.83
Heat 2: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 19.67 def. Samantha Cornish (AUS) 7.26
Heat 3: Silvana Lima 16.70 def. Melanie Bartels (HAW) 7.20
Heat 4: Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 12.77 def. Rebecca Woods (AUS) 6.50
Billabong Pro Maui presented by Hawaiian Airlines Round 3 Result:
Heat 8: Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 9.50 def. Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 8.17
Final 2009 ASP Women’s World Tour ratings
1. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS)
2. Silvana Lima (BRA)
3. Sofia Mulanovich (PER)
4. Coco Ho (HAW)
5. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS)
6. Melanie Bartels (HAW)
7. Chelsea Hedges (AUS)
8. Paige Hareb (NZL)
9. Rebecca Woods (AUS)
10. Rosanne Hodge (ZAF)
11. Samantha Cornish (AUS)
12. Jacqueline Silva (BRA)
13. Alana Blanchard (HAW)
14. Bruna Schmitz (BRA)
15. Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS)
16. Amee Donohoe (AUS)
17. Megan Abubo (HAW)
18. Layne Beachley (AUS)