Stephanie Gilmore claims her fourth consecutive ASP Women's World Tour title
With her quarterfinal win over Hawaii's Melanie Bartels, the 22-year-old Gilmore amassed enough points to knock the sole remaining title contender, Sally Fitzgibbons of Australia, out of the running for the championship.
"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."
With Gilmore claiming the title in her rookie season and every year since, this marks the first time a pro surfer, male or female, has achieved a perfect record.
"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."
This is also the first time the natural-footer has clinched the crown before the season's final event in Hawaii.
"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 exciting, and I can’t wait for it. But for now, I’m going to celebrate my win. Thanks to everyone for all the support."
-- Kelly Burgess
Photo: Stephanie Gilmore moments after claiming her fourth consecutive ASP Women’s World Tour title. Credit: Kirstin Scholtz / ASP