The opening day of the Rip Curl Pro Mademoiselle, the third event on the 2008 ASP Women’s World Tour, was treated to a full day of action yesterday, with the first three rounds of blistering competition completed in 3-4 foot waves at Les Bourdaines, France.
Lee Ann Curren (FRA), 19, continued her winning streak. After bagging the top podium spot at the Rip Curl Pro Junior and a wildcard into the Rip Curl Pro Mademoiselle, Curren created the upset of the day when she eliminated defending Rip Curl Pro Mademoiselle champ and current ratings leader Sofia Mulanovich (PER), 25, in Round 3.
“I am just overwhelmed right now,” Curren said. “Sofia is one of my favorite surfers and to beat her at home in front of everyone is really special. It’s something I will always remember.” Curren put the pressure on her Peruvian opponent early with strong forehand rides before closing the door with a crowd-pleasing 8 out of 10. “I wasn’t really nervous. I have nothing to lose out here and I’m just happy to be in the competition surfing against the best surfers in the world. I am just trying to have fun and do my best out there.” Curren’s next opponent is Jessi Miley-Dyer in Quarterfinal 2.
Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 20, reigning ASP Women’s World Champion, took the top honors of the day, netting the highest heat total with 19.50 out of a possible 20, including a perfect 10 for a phenomenal forehand hack-to-fin-slide followed by a critical closeout re-entry. “I was able to nail a pretty solid turn at the start and the wave stood up for me long enough to cram another turn there on the end section,” Gilmore said. “The conditions out there this afternoon are fast righthanders which really suit my surfing so that’s good for me.”
With the elimination of Mulanovich from Rip Curl Pro Mademoiselle competition, Gilmore stands to gain some ground in the hunt for the ASP Women’s World Title. “I was out in the water when I watched Lee Ann take out Sofia and that fired me up a bit,” Gilmore said. “It’s good as it allows me to gain a little ground in the ratings and hopefully I can keep going here in France.” Gilmore will face off against Jacqueline Silva in Quarterfinal 3 today.
Forecasters for the 2008 Rip Curl Pro Mademoiselle are predicting a slight decrease in swell today but we’ve still got fingers crossed for a possible 11:30am start. Here’s what’s in store…
Rip Curl Pro Mademoiselle Round 3 Results:
Heat 1: Amee Donohoe (AUS) 12.50 def. Julia De La Rosa Toro (PER) 4.60
Heat 2: Layne Beachley (AUS) 9.75 def. Nicola Atherton (AUS) 5.35
Heat 3: Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 13.50 def. Rosanne Hodge (ZAF) 12.90
Heat 4: Lee Ann Curren (FRA) 14.25 def. Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 13.15
Heat 5: Stephanie Gilmore (USA) 19.50 def. Karina Petroni (USA) 9.15
Heat 6: Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 12.50 def. Rebecca Woods (AUS) 9.25
Heat 7: Silvana Lima (BRA) 17.50 def. Melanie Bartels (HAW) 7.50
Heat 8: Samantha Cornish (AUS) 12.25 def. Melanie Redman-Carr (AUS) 6.00
Rip Curl Pro Mademoiselle Quarterfinal Match-Ups:
Quarterfinal 1: Amee Donohoe (AUS) vs. Layne Beachley (AUS)
Quarterfinal 2: Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) vs. Lee Ann Curren (FRA)
Quarterfinal 3: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) vs. Jacqueline Silva (BRA)
Quarterfinal 4: Silvana Lima (BRA) vs. Samantha Cornish (AUS)