Rebecca Woods, 23, has defeated fellow Aussie Women’s World Tour campaigners Stephanie Gilmore, 20, and Jessi Miley-Dyer, 23, as well as Brazilian wave-rider Tita Tavares to claim the ASP World Qualifying Series 4-Star Billabong Girls Rio.
Woods with 8.83 single-wave score bested her fellow finalists, earning the event title and moving up to No.2 on the ASP WQS.
“I got heaps of waves on my head when I was paddling out and I was thinking ’Please God send me a good one’ and it came," Woods said. "I am stoked because the heat was really hard. It was my first time facing only ASP World Champions in the same heat and definitely gives me a lot of confidence and a good value for my victory. This result gave me a lot of confidence for ASP Women’s World Tour event which will happen in the next few days here in Rio de Janeiro. I just hope the sun will come up tomorrow and the conditions get better over the next few days."
Woods claimed the ASP WQS in 2005 while fellow Australian Miley-Dyer followed suit the following year. Gilmore is the reigning ASP Women’s World Champion and the final was rounded out by former ASP Women’s World Tour campaigner Tavares, who led in the beginning, but was unable to maintain throughout the final.
"I am stoked," Gilmore said. "I didn’t know about this guest place in the ASP Women’s World Tour event, but Rebecca got the best wave and won. It’s my first time in Rio, and I like the waves here. I would like to surf in Prainha, where I know the waves are stronger and I hope to have time to visit the tourists place in Rio."
Tavares now receives a wildcard into this week’s Billabong Girls Pro Rio, event No. 4 on the ASP Women’s World Tour.
FINAL 1 - Rebecca Woods (AUS) 2 - Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 3 - Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 4 - Tita Tavares (BRA)
SEMIFINALS 1: 1-Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 2-Tita Tavares (BRA), 3-Silvana Lima (BRA), 4-Tais de Almeida (BRA) 2: 1-Rebecca Woods (AUS), 2-Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS), 3-Nicola Atherton (AUS), 4-Monik Santos (BRA)
QUARTERFINALS 1: 1-Taís de Almeida (BRA), 2-Silvana Lima (BRA), 3-Krisna de Souza (BRA), 4-Valeria Sole (PERU) 2: 1-Tita Tavares (BRA), 2-Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 3-Melanie Redman (AUS), 4-Juliana Quint (BRA) 3: 1-Rebecca Woods, 2-Jessi Miley-Dyer, 3-Samantha Cornish, 4-Layne Beachley (AUS) 4: 1-Nicola Atherton (AUS), 2-Monik Santos (BRA), 3-Serena Brooke (AUS), 4-Gabriela Teixeira (BRA)