Gilmore, Lima & Beachley bidding for Triple Crown Title...
The world famous surfing break of Honolua Bay turned on 3-5 foot waves for day one of the Billabong Pro Maui. Quarter finalists were decided after three rounds of the final event on the ASP women’s world tour were completed in the perfect point peelers.
Seven-time world champion Layne Beachley, attemping to retire on a dream note, topped the scoring for the opening round of the Billabong Pro Maui with a heat total of 16.50 out of a possible 20. Beachley then charged through to the quarterfinals with another convincing win over Nicola Atherton in round three.
Beachley, 36, who is contesting the final event of her illustrious 19-year career, is currently the front-runner for the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, awarded to the top performer over the three event Hawaiian leg. A victory here (where she has claimed five of her seven world crowns) would be a fitting end to her stellar career.
However, two-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore is giving her a run for her money, showcasing her fast and fluid style from her opening ride at the break, advancing through two rounds for a quarterfinal berth.
In round one Gilmore posted an 8.40 and a 6.75 for an easy win over Atherton and Billabong Pro Maui main event wildcard Paige Hareb. Despite already bagging her second ASP world crown, the stylish natural footer is still hungry to claim her second consecutive Billabong Pro Maui title and the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. Gilmore currently stands just 50 points behind Beachley on the Triple Crown rankings.
Eighteen year-old Hareb has made history as the first New Zealand women’s surfer to qualify for the ASP women’s world tour on the 2009 season. Competing in her first ever world tour event, Hareb overcame her opening round nerves, beating current world No.2 Sofia Mulanovich in round two to prove she will be a force to be reckoned with on the 2009 tour.
Brazilian powerhouse Silvana Lima excelled in the excellent afternoon conditions posting the days highest heat score of 18:00 points out of a possible 20 to eliminate Karina Petroni. The current world No.3 is also in contention for the Triple Crown title after recently finishing second to Gilmore at Sunset Beach. The pocket rocket is regarded as a major threat at Honolua Bay and the smart money would be on the Brazilian after her epic showing so far...
Hawaiian prodigy Carissa Moore lived up to her reputation as a giant killer, eliminating world Mulanovich from round three. The 16-year-old wildcard winner surfed with confidence beyond her years to upset the Peruvian superstar.
The the waiting period for the Billabong Pro Maui runs through until December 20th, 2008.
BILLABONG PRO MAUI QUARTERFINAL MATCH-UPS: QF 1: Layne Beachley (AUS) vs. Rosanne Hodge (ZAF) QF 2: Rebecca Woods (AUS) vs. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) QF 3: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Melanie Bartels (HAW) QF 4: Megan Abubo (HAW) vs. Silvana Lima (BRA)