SOMEWHERE, Porta Del Sol/Puerto Rico - Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 22, has claimed her fourth, consecutive ASP Women’s World Title, making history at the Rip Curl Women’s Pro Search Puerto Rico.
With her Quarterfinal win over Melanie Bartels (HAW), 28, Gilmore amassed enough points to knock sole remaining contender, Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), 19, out of the running for the 2010 ASP Women’s World Title Race.
“I’m really at a loss for words right now,” Gilmore said. “Mel (Bartels) is one of the most dangerous surfers in the world and has had my number on several occasions. Even on that last wave there, I was certain she’d got the score. I was blown away when they called it out and I’m rapt right now.”
The historic occasion marks the first time an athlete has achieved a perfect record in the professional surfing world, with Gilmore claiming the coveted crown in her rookie season and every year since.
“I guess I haven’t really been thinking about that,” Gilmore said. “But to hold a record that Layne (Beachley) or even Kelly (Slater) never got is pretty special. I never thought I would even win two, consecutive titles so to win four is a massive achievement for me.”
In one of her strongest performances to date, Gilmore’s comprehensive and unabated assault on the 2010 ASP Women’s World Tour marks the first time the prodigious natural-footer has clinched the crown before Hawaii.
2010 ASP Women’s World Tour Results:
Roxy Pro Gold Coast: WIN
Rip Curl Women’s Pro Bells Beach: WIN
TSB Bank Women’s Surf Festival New Zealand: Equal 9th
Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic: WIN
Movistar Peru Classic: Equal 3rd
Rip Curl Women’s Pro Portugal: Runner-Up
Rip Curl Women’s Pro Search Puerto Rico: TBD
Gidget Pro Sunset Beach: TBD
Today’s ASP Women’s World Title clinching is the latest in a long list of achievements for the young Australian, which include: ASP Women’s World Tour Rookie of the Year (2007), two-time Vans Triple Crown of Surfing Titles, 15 ASP Women’s World Tour event victories and four, consecutive ASP Women’s World Titles.
“This Title means a lot to me,” Gilmore said. “The girls on tour this year have been the best they’ve ever been and I’ve been pushed in every one of my heats. The younger girls especially have a whole new approach and they’re gaining in confidence in every surf. The future for the sport is going to be excited and I can’t wait for it. But for now, I’m going to celebrate my win. Thanks to everyone for all the support.”