Stephanie Gilmore poised to win world surfing title for third straight year
Chances are slim that any male surfer will ever match Kelly Slater's nine ASP World Tour championships.
But Australia's Stephanie Gilmore might accomplish that someday. She's currently establishing a dynasty on the Women's World Tour. She won the world title in her rookie season in 2007, defended her title in 2008 and is in Hawaii going for a championship three-peat.
There are two Women's World Tour contests remaining: the Gidget Pro at Sunset Beach on Oahu and the Billabong Pro at Honolua Bay on Maui. Both are part of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, which is underway on Oahu's North Shore with a an ASP women's specialty event at Haleiwa.
Mathematically, six surfers are in contention for the title. But it's Gilmore's to win or lose. If she wins at Sunset, Brazil's Silvana Lima would need to finish second to stay in the race, and the others would be eliminated.
If Gilmore finishes second, Lima needs to finish at least third, and Peru's Sofia Mulanovich and Hawaii's Coco Ho would need a victory to stay in the race.
So, essentially, the 21-year-old regular-footer, a powerful backhand surfer, needs to falter in both contests to give all but Lima a realistic chance.-- Pete Thomas
Photo: Stephanie Gilmore, the reigning and two-time ASP Women’s World Tour surfing champion and current ratings leader, is going for a title three-peat. Credit: ASP/ CI/ Scholtz via Getty Images