What: Billabong Pro Maui Presented by Hawaiian Airlines, ASP Women’s World Tour Event #8
Where: Honolua Bay Maui Hawaii
When: 8 – 20 December 2007
WORLD TITLE CONTENDERS SET THE BAR AT BILLABONG PRO MAUI DAY 1
The Billabong Pro Maui presented by Hawaiian Airlines has completed the first day of competition, and the three remaining surfers in contention for the ASP Women’s World Title set the pace with blistering forehand surfing in the two-to-four foot (1 metre) surf at Honolua Bay, Maui.
The final event of the 2007 ASP Women’s World Tour, the Billabong Pro Maui carries with it the added weight of deciding both the 2007 ASP Women’s World Champion as well as the Vans Triple Crown Champion. Silvana Lima (BRA), current No 3 on the ASP Women’s World Tour and contender for the ’07 title, was in incredible form on Sunday morning, netting the day’s high heat total of a 17.20 out of a possible 20 for her progressive forehand attack.
“Sometimes I think about the title, but then I relax,” Lima said. “I think more about the event. I really want to win the event. If the ASP Women’s World Title comes, then great, but I’m focused on the event. I love it here. I’m really happy.”
Lima will have a long way to go before her ASP Women’s World Title aspirations come true as frontrunners Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) and former ASP Women’s World Champion Sofia Mulanovich both advanced through to Round 3 with impressive performances of their own.
Gilmore, who amassed a solid 16.25 out of a possible 20 in her Round 1 victory yesterday, could make ASP history as the first surfer ever to claim an ASP World Title in their rookie season. Although, Lima and Mulanovich are right there in the hunt, the prodigious Australian takes solace in the fact that the Billabong Pro Maui is being run in a solid, righthand pointbreak.
“If I wanted the whole race to come down to any kind of wave, it would probably be one like this,” Gilmore said. “I’m in a really good position and my surfing feels really good.” Gilmore will face off against veteran Rochelle Ballard (HAW) in Round 3 when competition resumes.
After the first two events of the 2007 Vans Triple Crown, veteran competitors Megan Abubo (HAW) and Sofia Mulanovich (PER) are out in front in the race for this season’s title, having won the Reef Haleiwa Pro and Roxy Pro Sunset respectively.
Abubo, who suffered a horrendous wipeout at the Roxy Pro Sunset, put the pain aside yesterday afternoon to post the day’s highest single-wave score of a 9.25 out of a possible 10 for a blistering series of forehand attacks.
“I think the Triple Crown is what is really driving me to perform right now,” Abubo said. “Also, I would like to do well at Honolua. I’ve never really done well here and I would like a result. I feel like I am surfing better this year than last year and hopefully I can get a result.”
Next call will be this morning at 7am.
RESULTS: Billabong Pro Maui (ASP Women’s World Tour Event)
TRIALS: 6 surfers vying for 1 seed into the Billabong Pro Maui
1 – Nicola Atherton (AUS) 9.50
2 – Lani Doherty (HAW) 9.00
3 – Paige Alms (HAW) 8.65
4 – Alana Blanchard (HAW) 8.50
5 – Monica Byrne-Wickey (HAW) 5.90
6 – Alana Hendrickson (HAW) 5.60
ROUND 1: 18 surfers remaining (1st and 2nd to Round 3; 3rd to Round 2)
Heat 1: Chelsea Hedges (AUS) 16.50, Rosanna Hodge (ZAF) 8.25, Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 6.25
Heat 2: Layne Beachley (AUS) 15.75, Rebecca Woods (AUS) 9.75, Rochelle Ballard (HAW) 8.70
Heat 3: Melanie Bartels (HAW) 12.75, Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 12.35, Nicola Atherton (AUS) 6.50
Heat 4: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 16.25, Keala Kennelly (HAW) 13.75, Megan Abubo (HAW) 9.80
Heat 5: Silvana Lima (BRA) 17.20, Claire Bevilacqua (AUS) 12.10, Leilani Gryde (HAW) 10.25
Heat 6: Samantha Cornish (AUS) 14.75, Amee Donohoe (AUS) 13.40, Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 9.75
ROUND 2: 18 surfers remaining (1st and 2nd to Round 3)
Heat 1: Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 15.75, Rochelle Ballard (HAW) 11.70, Nicola Atherton (AUS) 7.40
Heat 2: Megan Abubo (HAW) 15.05, Jacqueline Silva (BRA), Leilani Gryde (HAW) 6.50
ROUND 3: 16 surfers remaining
Heat 1: Layne Beachley (AUS) vs. Jacqueline Silva (BRA)
Heat 2: Chelsea Hedges (AUS) vs. Melanie Bartels (HAW)
Heat 3: Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) vs. Rebecca Woods (AUS)
Heat 4: Sofia Mulanovich (PER) vs. Keala Kennelly (HAW)
Heat 5: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) vs. Rochelle Ballard (HAW)
Heat 6: Amee Donohoe (AUS) vs. Claire Bevilacqua (AUS)
Heat 7: Samatha Cornish (AUS) vs. Megan Abubo (HAW)
Heat 8: Silvana Lima (BRA) vs. Rosanne Hodge (ZAF)