Stephanie Gilmore, 20, reigning ASP Women’s World Champ, has claimed the 2008 Rip Curl Pro Mademoiselle title, defeating fellow Aussie finalist Layne Beachley, 36, in clean 1-metre waves at Les Bourdaines in Seignosse. Gilmore now regains the ratings lead in the hunt for the 2008 ASP Women’s World Title.
Event No.3 of 8 on the 2008 ASP Women’s World Tour, the Rip Curl Pro Mademoiselle was treated to two full days of action, culminating in the stunning final between the two Australian icons. Gilmore exercised discretion in the final, slotting herself in picturesque French barrels and executing critical turns to net a solid 16.66 out of a possible 20 while Beachley couldn't find the waves to offer sufficient scoring potential.
“I was fortunate to get those few waves out at the beginning that allowed me to get a few maneuvers in," Gilmore said. “It was really tough out there – really fast and racy and not easy to get scores. Unfortunately for Layne, she wasn’t able to find a wave she could really open up on."
Despite a disappointing 9th place finish in the season opener at home on the Gold Coast, Gilmore has since rebounded, claiming her second event win in a row and rocketing into the ratings lead in the race for the 2008 ASP Women’s World Tour. “I’m absolutely fired up," Gilmore said. “I had a bit of a wobbly start to the year, but I’ve had two really good events in a row and to be back on top is an amazing feeling. It’s my second year on tour and I’m looking to defend my title. I’m excited to be where I’m at heading into the next few events."
Beachley, former seven-time ASP Women’s World Champion, was disappointed that she was unable to pull out the win, but her runner-up finish moves the natural-footer from 5th to 3rd on the ASP Women’s World Tour rankings, putting her well within striking distance of the 2008 ASP Women’s World Title. “I’m really proud of Steph – she’s been the form surfer all event and she deserved the win," Beachley said. “I’m just happy that I can still hang with the young girls and to finish in the final and move up to third is a great place to be heading into the back half of the season."
Lee Ann Curren (FRA), 19, winner of the Rip Curl Pro Junior and wildcard into the Rip Curl Pro Mademoiselle, was in sterling form all event, first upsetting former ASP Women’s World Tour No. 1 Sofia Mulanovich (PER), 25, and then taking down Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS), 22, in the Quarterfinals before falling short against Beachley.
“Winning the ASP Pro Junior event the other day and gaining entry into the Rip Curl Pro Mademoiselle was one of the best wins of my career," Curren said. “To be able to compete against the best girls in the world and to finish third is the best finish of my career. I wish things could have gone the other way in that heat but they didn’t and I am still very, very happy to finish third."
Silvana Lima (BRA), last year’s ASP Women’s World No. 3, shoots up the rankings with her equal 3rd place performance, despite falling short to eventual winner Gilmore in the semi-finals. “There wasn’t anything I could do out there," Lima said. “Steph (Gilmore) got two waves and there wasn’t really anything else that came through. I’m still happy with a 3rd and I feel like I’m surfing good so I’m happy with my finish here and the next event’s in Brazil so I’m happy to head home."
The next stop on the 2008 ASP Women’s World Tour will be the Billabong Girls Pro Rio from September 10–28, 2008.
Rip Curl Pro Mademoiselle Final Results: 1 – Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 16.66 2 – Layne Beachley (AUS) 11.00
Rip Curl Pro Mademoiselle Semifinals Results: Semifinal 1: Layne Beachley (AUS) 14.33 def. Lee Ann Curren (FRA) 5.84 Semifinal 2: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 13.33 def. Silvana Lima (BRA) 2.20
Rip Curl Pro Mademoiselle Quarterfinals Results: Quarterfinal 1: Layne Beachley (AUS) 15.50 def. Amee Donohoe (AUS) 11.87 Quarterfinal 2: Lee Ann Curren (FRA) 13.50 def. Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 8.00 Quarterfinal 3: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 18.40 def. Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 5.33 Quarterfinal 4: Silvana Lima (BRA) 14.20 def. Samantha Cornish (AUS) 13.17