Melanie Bartels Wins Billabong Girls Pro Rio

Stephanie Gilmore’s perfect 10 not enough…

Hawaiian surfer Melanie Bartels (HAW), 26, has won the 2008 Billabong Girls Pro Rio, defeating fellow finalist Sofia Mulanovich (PER), 25, in rifling four-foot barrels at Barra da Tijuca in Rio de Janeiro.

Event No. 4 of 8 on the 2008 ASP Women’s World Tour, the Billabong Girls Pro Rio survived through a grueling five-day lay period to culminate in excellent conditions today, with the ASP Top 17 putting in some of the best performances in ASP history.

Bartels, who rockets up from 14th to 6th on the 2008 ASP Women’s World Tour, collects her second career Dream Tour win (her first as a full-time member) with today’s victory at the Billabong Girls Pro Rio. The Hawaiian rebounded in spectacular form, defeating the reigning ASP Women’s World Champ Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) during the semifinals in what some are calling the best heat in women’s professional surfing history (19.00 def.18.50) before taking down Mulanovich in the final.

Mulanovich, who solidifies her position at No. 2 on the ASP Women’s World Tour ratings with her runner-up finish, continues to collect consistent results in 2008 with her third finals appearance of the season. The Peruvian is now just 12 points behind Gilmore on the ASP women’s world rankings.

Gilmore, 20, reigning ASP Women’s World Champion and current No. 1 on the 2008 ASP Women’s World Tour, was in sensational form, netting the event’s only perfect 10-point ride and backing it up with an 8.50, but was still unable to overcome Bartels in the Semifinals. Gilmore also earned the Kustom Best Wave Award for her phenomenal perfect 10-point backdoor barrel.

Layne Beachley (AUS), 36, former seven-time ASP Women’s World Champion was another potential champion, dispatching of local favorite Silvana Lima (BRA), 23, in their quarterfinal bout, but was unable to overcome her Peruvian opponent in the Semifinals.

The next stop on the 2008 ASP Women’s World Tour will be the Beachley Classic in Sydney, Australia from October 9-14, 2008.

Billabong Girls Pro Rio Results

1 – Melanie Bartels (HAW) 14.34
2 – Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 10.60

Semifinal 1: Melanie Bartels (HAW) 19.00 def. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 18.50
Semifinal 2: Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 11.67 def Layne Beachley (AUS) 9.46

Quarterfinal 1: Melanie Bartels (HAW) 8.84 def. Samantha Cornish (AUS) 5.23
Quarterfinal 2: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 16.47 def. Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 8.50
Quarterfinal 3: Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 11.74 def. Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 8.60
Quarterfinal 4: Layne Beachley (AUS) 14.83 def. Silvana Lima (BRA) 10.33

Current ASP Women’s World Tour Ratings:
1 – Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 3516 points
2 – Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 3504 points
3 – Layne Beachley (AUS) 3036 points
4 – Samantha Cornish (AUS) 2628 points
5 – Amee Donohoe (AUS) 2424 points
6 – Melanie Bartels (HAW) 2112 points
7 – Silvana Lima (BRA) 2028 points
8 – Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 1836 points
9 – Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 1824 points
10 – Rebecca Woods (AUS) 1632 points


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