ASP Women's World Champ Gilmore Rebounds for Round 3 Movistar Peru Classic

SAN BARTOLO, Lima/Peru  - Rounds 2 and 3 of the Movistar Peru Classic presented by IPD, Stop No. 5 on the 2010 ASP Women's World Tour, were completed today in smaller-but-cleaner two-to-three foot (1 metre) lefthanders in San Bartolo.

Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 22, reigning three-time ASP Women's World Champion and current ASP Women's World No. 1, saw a sensational return to form today, posting the highest total of the event, a 16.50 out of a possible 20, to best wildcard Julia de la Rosa (PER).

"I just tried to shake Round 1 off and focus on today," Gilmore said. "Julia (de la Rosa) went over and tried to surf the right, but I felt that the left was the better option and that allowed me to catch a lot of waves and lock in some good scores. I definitely felt better about my surfing today than I did yesterday."

With three wins in four events this season, and two past ASP Women's World Tour event victories in Peru, the young Australian is the heavy favourite heading into the business end of the event.

"I've been very nervous the last two heats and I don't know why," Gilmore said. "I think drawing the wildcards early in the event can be really nerve-wracking because you never know what they'll produce. That said, it only gets harder from here on out, but I'm feeling much more confident today."

Gilmore will battle ASP Women's World Tour sophomore Paige Hareb (NZL), 20, in the Quarterfinals.

Sofia Mulanovich (PER), 26, former ASP Women's World Champion (2004) and defending Movistar Peru Classic winner, narrowly escaped an early elimination today, pulling out some last-minute heroics to overtake replacement surfer Sage Erickson (USA), 19, and advance through to the Quarterfinals.

"It was a really back-and-forth heat," Mulanovich said. "I got some mid-range scores early on and Sage (Erickson) posted a good one early. Neither of us really got anything until towards the end and Sage got a good one. It didn't look like it was going to be a good wave, but she's such a good surfer. She got the score and I was worried. There were still a couple minutes left and I got one that really stood up clean. When I heard the score I was so stoked."

The current ASP Women's World No. 3 will take on an in-form Chelsea Hedges (AUS), 26, in the Quarterfinals when Movistar Peru Classic competition resumes.

Silvana Lima (BRA), 25, 2009 ASP Women's World Runner-Up and current ASP Women's World No. 7, continued her roll at the Movistar Peru Classic today, utilizing her impressive backhand repertoire to post a solid 16.00 out of a possible 20 to

"The waves are much better today," Lima said. "It's smaller, but running much more perfectly. I am feeling good and I have good boards under my feet. Quarterfinals is a good result for me and I hope I can keep going."

Claire Bevilacqua (AUS), 27, current ASP Women's World No. 15, caused a major upset today, eliminating perennial Hawaiian powerhouse Melanie Bartels (HAW), 28, in Round 3 of competition.

"It's a shame that it took a close friend like Mel (Bartels) to get a heat win but you have to surf your best against the best," Bevilacqua said. "She (Bartels) has always brought out the best in me. The Quarterfinals is a good result, but the pressure is still on. Even though I'm a veteran of sorts, I am still leaning every heat and continuing to push my surfing."

When competition resumes, up first will be Lima and Bevilacqua in the opening Quarterfinal.

Movistar Peru Classic organizers will reconvene tomorrow at 9am to assess conditions for a possible 10am start.

Heat 1:
Sage Erickson (USA) 13.57, Anali Gomez (PER) 11.83, Bruna Schmitz (BRA) 9.84
Heat 2: Claire Bevilacqua (AUS) 10.26, Nikita Robb (ZAF) 9.50, Valeria Sole (PER) 5.17

Heat 1:
Silvana Lima (BRA) 16.00 def. Nikita Robb (ZAF) 8.43
Heat 2: Claire Bevilacqua (AUS) 13.60 def. Melanie Bartels (HAW) 11.67
Heat 3: Paige Hareb (NZL) 13.33 def. Rebecca Woods (AUS) 9.84
Heat 4: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 16.50 def. Julia de la Rosa (PER) 8.60
Heat 5: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 14.00 def. Anali Gomez (PER) 9.37
Heat 6: Coco Ho (HAW) 14.00 def. Rosanne Hodge (ZAF) 11.77
Heat 7: Chelsea Hedges (AUS) 15.17 def. Amee Donohoe (AUS) 9.50
Heat 8: Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 15.17 def. Sage Erickson (USA) 13.60

QF 1:
Silvana Lima (BRA) vs. Claire Bevilacqua (AUS)
QF 2: Paige Hareb (NZL) vs. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS)
QF 3: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) vs. Coco Ho (HAW)
QF 4: Chelsea Hedges (AUS) vs. Sofia Mulanovich (PER)