OUR VERY OWN, MALIA MANUEL RUNNER-UP
Australians Sweep Top Three Spots on 2017 Jeep Leaderboard
Image WSL / DAMIEN POULLENOT
HONOLUA BAY, Maui, Hawaii/USA (Friday, December 1, 2017) – Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) has won the final event of the 2017 World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), the Maui Women’s Pro, today in four foot (1.2 metre) conditions at Honolua Bay after the competition saw the exciting conclusion of the Women’s World Title race yesterday.
Six-time WSL Champion Gilmore locked in her 26th Championship Tour victory today after wins over Malia Manuel (HAW) in the Final, newly-crowned WSL Champion Tyler Wright (AUS) in the Semifinals and Silvana Lima (BRA) in the Quarterfinals.
Gilmore came charging into 2017 with a big win at her home break at the Roxy Pro Gold Coast and battled throughout the year for the 2017 WSL Title. With Tyler Wright (AUS) clinching the World Title crown yesterday, Gilmore was not able to win her seventh title but was able to claim a historic fourth event win at Honolua Bay.
Gilmore, 2017 World Title runner-up, is now just one CT event win and one World Title win away from tying event and title records with Australian Layne Beachley. The 29-year-old finishes the year in second place on the Jeep Leaderboard and is excited about the upcoming 2018 CT schedule.
Gilmore was the first to build her scoreline during the Final and take the advantage. Manuel locked in a 7.30 but was not able to find a significant back-up. Meanwhile, the 6X WSL Champion continued to post scores and slowly increase her lead. Three-big turns for Gilmore on her final wave gave her an 8.53 and sealed her victory.
Today’s result marks Manuel’s third CT final of her career and the best result of 2017. Earlier this season, Manuel suffered a sidelining knee injury, which took her out of four events following the Margaret River Pro. Since her return to competition at the Swatch Pro at Trestles, Manuel has showcased incredible surfing with a third-place result in Cascais and a fifth in France. The 24-year-old has yet to secure a win on the elite CT but, with her return to form at the end of this year, she will be one to watch in 2018.
Newly crowned WSL Champion Tyler Wright (AUS) bowed out in Semifinal 1 at the hands of Gilmore, despite an exciting last-minute exchange. Wright, who claimed back-to-back world titles yesterday following a Quarterfinal win over wildcard Brisa Hennessy (HAW), couldn’t match Gilmore’s near-perfect 9.77 and was eliminated in equal 3rd place.
The final stop on the men’s WSL CT, the Billabong Pipe Masters, opens December 7 and runs through December 20, 2017. Watch the world’s best male surfers battle for the World Title LIVE via WorldSurfLeague.com, the WSL app and on Facebook LIVE via the WSL’s Facebook page. Also check local listings for coverage on CBS Sports Network in the U.S., Fox Sports in Australia, ESPN in Brazil, Sky NZ in New Zealand, SFR Sports in France and Portugal, Sport TV in Portugal and the EDGEsport Network.
Maui Women’s Pro Final Results:
1 – Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 15.20
2 – Malia Manuel (HAW) 11.90
Top 5 on the WSL Women’s Jeep Leaderboard (after Maui Women’s Pro):
1: Tyler Wright (AUS) 54,400 pts
2: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 53,400 pts
3: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 52,900 pts
4: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 50,000
5: Carissa Moore (HAW) 49,200 pts