HO’OKIPA BEACH PARK, Hawaii - Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 20, newly-crowned two-time ASP Women’s World Champion, defeated Melanie Bartels (HAW), 26, to claim the her second consecutive Billabong Pro Maui in clean two-to-three foot (1 metre) waves on offer at Ho’okipa Beach Park, earning the young Australian her first Vans Triple Crown of Surfing (an ASP Specialty Series) Title.
The final event of the 2008 ASP Women’s World Tour, the Billabong Pro Maui opted for the relocation from Honolua Bay to Ho’okipa Beach Park (the first relocation in the event’s 10-year history) in order take advantage of the swell on offer, and the action didn’t disappoint.
Gilmore opened the Final strong, posting a solid 7.33 out of a possible 10, but Bartels put her in the corner with two solid scores of her own. In an exciting exchange that saw the Hawaiian pull ahead on the first wave, Gilmore answered back with the highest score of the day, a 9.57 out of a possible 10 to retake the lead, immediately following it up with an 8.03 for a massive forehand turn combination. Bartels was unable to answer back.
The win marks the first Vans Triple Crown of Surfing Title for the prodigious natural-footer, an accolade considered second only to the ASP Women’s World Title.
“It feels incredible to win the Vans Triple Crown Title,” Gilmore said. “We had really fun waves at Haleiwa and then solid surf at Sunset Beach and we had a beautiful opening day of competition at Honolua Bay before finishing today at Ho’okipa. It’s a real honor to be considered a good surfer in Hawaii and in such a variety of conditions.”
Gilmore will now head home to Australia to rest and recharge for the 2009 ASP Women’s World Tour, and with two ASP Women’s World Titles, a Vans triple Crown Title and 11 elite tour victories under her belt (five in 2008 alone), the makings of an icon are well within place.
While the 2008 ASP Women’s World Tour has come to a close, the best surfers in the world will be back next year for the 2009 installment of the ASP Dream Tour.
BILLABONG PRO MAUI FINAL RESULTS:
1 – Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 17.60
2 – Melanie Bartels (HAW) 14.80
2008 ASP WOMEN’S WORLD TOUR FINAL RATINGS:
1 – Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 7188 points
2 – Silvana Lima (BRA) 5534 points
3 – Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 5323 points
4 – Layne Beachley (AUS) 5210 points
5 – Amee Donohoe (AUS) 4051 points
6 – Samantha Cornish (AUS) 3972 points
7 – Melanie Bartels (HAW) 3876 points
8 – Rebecca Woods (AUS) 3602 points
9 – Jessi Miley Dyer (AUS) 3564 points
10 – Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 3398 points
11 – Megan Abubo (HAW) 2988 points
12 – Rosanne Hodge (ZAF) 2784 points
13 – Nicola Atherton (AUS) 2670 points
14 – Julia De La Rosa Toro (PER) 2654 points
15 – Karina Petroni (USA) 2604 points
16 – Melanie Redman-Carr (AUS) 2232 points
17 – Serena Brooke (AUS) 2094 points