Stephanie Gilmore © ASP/Kirstin
Surf News, 11 March: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), five-time ASP Women's World Champion, today claimed her fifth Roxy Pro Gold Coast event title, with a sensational performance. Gilmore dispatched reigning two-time ASP Women's World Champion Carissa Moore (HAW) in the Semifinals and went on to take down South Africa's Bianca Buitendag in the Final. It was Buitendag's first ASP WCT Final appearance, but it was Gilmore's day, with the local lass peaking when it counted with her unique brand of powerful and beautiful surfing helping her post excellent scores all day.
presented by BOQ
Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour event #1
Gold Coast, Queensland Australia
1 - 12 March 2014
"I haven't felt this feeling in a while," said Gilmore. "It’s the best feeling in the world to have all your friends and family around and hi-five everyone. I paddled up to Joel (Parkinson) before my heat to get some of his good vibes because he kept getting so many great barrels. From the beginning of the heat I had it in my head that it's only 30 minutes and I only had to catch two good waves and just have fun. So that’s what I did. Winning the heat against Carissa was such a big confidence booster for me. It's going to be a long hard year but I'll do as much as I can to try and win the Title."
"I'm so overwhelmed by this experience. It's a first time for me and I didn't quite know what to expect," said Buitendag. "It's a bit like a dream for me. I'm giving my prize money to charity. We are so lucky and we have so much already. It goes along way."
See below for heat recaps:
Quarterfinal 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) 10.33 def. Malia Manuel (HAW) 7.00
While the morning's first Quarterfinal was filled with a flurry of waves ridden, the second Quarterfinal would see a slow affair from reigning Women's World Champ Carissa Moore and fellow Hawaiian Malia Manuel. With both competitors logging average scores throughout the 30 minute affair, the door was left wide open for either surfer to take the victory. While Moore's scoreline consisted of a 5.50 and a 4.83, it would earn her a Quarterfinals berth at the Roxy Pro.
Quarterfinal 3: Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 14.93 def. Tyler Wright (AUS) 7.67
South African goofy-footer Bianca Buitendag was on point this point this morning as she leveraged her impressive physique out at Snapper Rocks to score an upset victory over defending event winner Tyler Wright. Buitendag succeeded in finding the best waves on offer and decimating the sections on her backhand. Wright, on the other hand, struggled to find waves that would allow her opportunity to perform.
Quarterfinal 4: Lakey Peterson (USA) 15.90 def. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 12.84
Californian Lakey Peterson would take on 2013 Roxy Pro runner-up Sally Fitzgibbons in a budding rivalry, with both the American and Australian delivering a flurry of excellent rides throughout the 30 minute affair. The Quarterfinals match up would see a series of exchanges for the lead, but Peterson would fight back in the final minutes of the heat, locking in an excellent 8-point ride, devastating Fitzgibbons' chances of a repeat final appearance.
Semifinal 1: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 17.10 def. Carissa Moore (HAW) 13.40
A stacked match between five-time ASP Women's World Champion Stephanie Gilmore and reigning two-time ASP Women's World Champion Carissa Moore was on hand for the opening Semifinal. Gilmore wasted little time in reasserting herself as queen of Snapper Rocks, selecting the very best waves and blending full-rail maneuvers with variety to the tune of 17.10 points. Moore, despite possessing arguably the most diverse bag of tricks on tour, struggled to find comparable waves and will take home an Equal 3rd place finish to start the year off.
Semifinal 2: Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 15.90 def. Lakey Peterson (USA) 12.50
Buitendag would build momentum on her backhand, eventually belting a 7.83 and 8.07 on back-to-back rides, putting Peterson on the ropes. The Californian would fight to get back in to the heat, but was unable to find the near-perfect score needed to advance.
Final: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 15.80 def. Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 10.47
The Roxy Pro Final would see five-time ASP World Champion Stephanie Gilmore take on Dream Tour Sophomore Bianca Buitendag in clean three-to-five foot waves at Snapper Rocks. The bout would represent the first career final for the young South African and despite notching a breakthrough performance at the Roxy Pro, the final would represent a dominant performance from Gilmore. The local favorite would build momentum throughout the affair, belting an 8.80 and 6.33 on back-to-back rides, leaving Buitendag in need of a combination of scores.
While the South African would briefly break the combination, Gilmore would continue her stranglehold throughout the final matchup, notching her fifth career Roxy Pro Gold Coast Title.