Rookie sensation and current ratings leader on the 2007 ASP Women’s World Tour, Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), scored an incredible last-minute victory over reigning and seven-time ASP Women’s World Champion Layne Beachley (AUS) to claim the inaugural Mancora Peru Classic.
With conflicting swell forecasts circling the venue this morning, event organizers and competitors elected to run the Quarterfinals, the Semifinals and the Final today, in order to make the most of the conditions on hand.
Gilmore, who took down compatriot Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) and Peruvian icon Sofia Mulanovich in her Quarterfinal and Semifinal heats earlier today, was in need of a solid 7.20 out of a possible 10 in the dying moments of the Final. With less than a minute to go, Gilmore spun around on a walling lefthander and proceeded to belt it on her backhand all the way to the beach to earn herself an 8.10 out of a possible 10 as well as the event win.
“I was definitely feeling the day’s strenuous efforts on my body there in the last few minutes of the heat,” Gilmore said. “We did a lot of sitting and waiting, but it’s pretty difficult to stay mentally focused for the entire 40-minute final. I don’t know how I managed to get that last wave in the dying seconds. The ocean was dead flat, and then out of nowhere came this little wave and it was pretty special. I’m pretty proud of myself.”
Gilmore’s win today in Mancora marks her third event victory of the season, and increases the Australian’s lead in the hunt for the 2007 ASP Women’s World Title. Should Gilmore remain on top when the season culminates, she will make ASP history as the first competitor to win the ASP World Title in their rookie season.
“We don’t want to get too far ahead of ourselves, but I’m still sitting in No. 1 on th ratings and it’s right where I want to be,” Gilmore said. “Hopefully I’ve gained a couple of points with Layne (Beachley) coming in second and not Silvana (Lima) or Sofia (Mulanovich). I really don’t want to think about it, but going into Hawaii, I’m pumped to just get on some bigger boards and some bigger waves and get some really good action going.”
Beachley, who enjoyed her first finals berth of 2007, solidifies her current position at No. 5 in the world and will be a serious threat to the 2007 ASP World Title race heading into the remaining two events of the season in Hawaii.
“Obviously, I am a bit frustrated that I didn’t come away with the win here in Peru, but congratulations to Steph,” Beachley said. “Looking forward, I’m excited to getto Hawaii and into some bigger surf. I have 18 years on tour and seven world titles, and I sometimes forget that. I’m very much looking forward to heading over there and I’ll definitely be putting my experience to good use.”
Sofia Mulanovich (PER), former ASP Women’s World Champion and current No. 3 on the 2007 ASP Women’s World Tour, looked solid in her Quarterfinal bout against Australian Amee Donohoe, but was unable to overtake a rampaging Gilmore in the Semifinals.
“It is really hard to lose out in the Semifinals,” Mulanovich said. “I was very much looking forward to bringing a win back to Peru, but Steph (Gilmore) was on fire. I’m disappointed that I didn’t win today, but I am very happy that the event was a success here in Peru and I will head to Hawaii in hopes of reclaiming the world title.”
Silvana Lima (BRA), current World No. 2, was another who built momentum throughout the week, before allowing Beachley to go on a heat-winning wave in their Semifinal clash.
“The wave didn’t look that good from where I was paddling, and I hesitated and missed it,” Lima said. “3rd is a very good result for me, but I really wanted to win here in Peru.”
The next stop on the 2007 ASP Women’s World Tour will be the Roxy Pro at Sunset Beach from Nov. 23 to Dec. 6, 2007, followed by the final stop of the year, the Billabong Pro Maui from Dec. 8-20, 2007.
Heading into Hawaii, six girls remain in contention for the 2007 ASP Women’s World Title in Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Silvana Lima (BRA), Sofia Mulanovich (PER), Chelsea Hedges (AUS), Samantha Cornish (AUS) and Layne Beachley (AUS).
More event information, photos and videos will be available via www.aspworldtour.com
FUEL TV will air its full coverage of the 2007 Mancora Peru Classic on December 20, 2007 at 8pm PT/ET in their Surf Spot programming block.
QUARTERFINAL RESULTS: MANCORA PERU CLASSIC
QF 1: Layne Beachley (AUS) 15.10 def. Chelsea Hedges (AUS) 14.00
QF 2: Silvana Lima (BRA) 15.27 def. Rebecca Woods (AUS) 10.00
QF 3: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 17.76 def. Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 13.90
QF 4: Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 17.14 def. Amee Donohoe (AUS) 12.20
SEMIFINAL RESULTS: MANCORA PERU CLASSIC
SF 1: Layne Beachley (AUS) 13.83 def. Silvana Lima (BRA) 12.93
SF 2: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 17.17 def. Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 11.43
FINAL: MANCORA PERU CLASSIC
1: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 15.37
2: Layne Beachley (AUS) 14.46
ASP WOMEN’S WORLD TOUR STANDINGS AFTER MANCORA PERU CLASSIC
1 – Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 5508 points
2 – Silvana Lima (BRA) 4982 points
3 – Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 4567 points
4 – Chelsea Hedges (AUS) 3878 points
5 – Layne Beachley (AUS) 3854 points
6 – Samantha Cornish (AUS) 3684 points
7 – Amee Donohoe (AUS) 3434 points
8 – Rebecca Woods (AUS) 3000 points
9 – Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 2899 points
10 – Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 2474 points
11 – Megan Abubo (HAW) 2424 points
11 – Melanie Bartels (HAW) 2424 points
13 – Melanie Redman-Carr (AUS) 2412 points
14 – Rosanne Hodge (ZAF) 2244 points
15 – Claire Bevilacqua (AUS) 2232 points
16 – Caroline Sarran (FRA) 2052 points
17 – Rochelle Ballard (HAW) 1260 points
18 – Leilani Gryde (HAW) 612 points