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Gilmore wins J-Bay Championship and World No.1 ranking

16 July 2018

SURFING: After more than six hours of competition, Australian surfing icon Stephanie Gilmore took back the Leaders Jersey from previous champion, Lakey Peterson at the J-Bay World Surf League Championships in Jeffreys Bay, South Africa.

Gilmore initially got off to a slow start, but it wasn’t long before the six-time world champion managed to find her feet, beating fellow Australians Nikki Van Dijk, 11.04 to 14.50 in round 3 and Bronte Macaulay 15 all in the quarter finals.

Gilmore advanced to the semis by earning the higher single-wave score of 8.00, where she faced Brazilian Tatiana West-Webb

West-Webb had the highest combined heat score of the competition at 18.54, but this was not enough to topple Gilmore, who was able to dominate when it mattered most, beating West-Webb 15.67 to 10.33 in the semis and finally, series leader Peterson, 14.24 to 11.50 in the final.

Not only did Gilmore win the J-Bay Championship, but she also reclaimed the World Number One spot, surpassing Peterson by 2,145 points.

Gilmore told World Surf League that she looks forward to the ongoing battle to retain the top spot.

“It’s nice to be part of a rivalry again. Rivals are what makes this sport exciting and beautiful. I am inspired by great rivals.

“Lakey is getting better every single event, so this is definitely not the end by any means” Gilmore told World Surf League.

The 30 year-old’s recent win now takes her championship tour victories record to 29 and with three of those occurring this season, she is showing no signs of slowing down as she hunts for her seventh world title.

When asked what her advice would be to young surfers, the Murwillumbah local said,

“Don’t underestimate yourself or feel like you know everything. Be open to learning and growing.

“You could win 20 World Titles but there is always something to learn and improve upon.

“Most importantly, have fun! Because this is a hell of a life!”

The women’s WLS Championship Tour continues at the VANS US Open of Surfing from July 30- August 5.

Liana Buratti


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