The girls couldn't have asked for better conditions. Perfect, overhead, glassy, and gorgeous for two solid days. While everyone was consumed with the Eddie, over on Maui, the ASP Women's World Tour surfers (along with wildcards Carissa Moore and Alessa Quizon) enjoyed the best that Honolua has to offer.
Going into Honolua, Alana Blanchard held the Triple Crown lead, with Steph Gilmore and Coco Ho not far behind. But with Alana eliminated in Round 3 and Coco knocked out in the Quarters, Steph found herself collecting yet another Triple Crown trophy.
In two days filled with action, the event highlights include Silvana Lima scoring the only perfect 10 of the event on Day 1, Megan Abubo surfing the final heat of her World Tour career, Steph getting the highest heat score of the entire 2009 Tour season with a 19.67 out of 20, and the water patrol's ceaseless battle with locals who were unable to accept that the Bay was closed to non-competitors.
Not to discount Steph's $43,100 total winnings, or her second Triple Crown overall victory, or her third World Title, but the most noteworthy thing that came out of the day's event was the last-minute shift in ratings and the finalization of the 2010 ASP World Tour qualifiers.
In the end, long-time Tour surfers Samantha Cornish, Jacqueline Silva, Amee Donohoe, and Megan Abubo were not able to hold on to their spots, while a new crop of surfers managed to sneak in via the WQS. As was the case in 2009, next year's Tour will see a whole new crop of rookies including Carissa Moore, LeeAnn Curren, Nikita Robb, and Sage Erickson, along with former Tour surfer Claire Bevilacqua.
This year was unique in that there were so few WQS events, many of which were cancelled mid-season due to budget constraints--not to mention the Haleiwa Triple Crown event was not a WQS event this year for the girls, and this certainly hindered the potential for requalification for many. Most notably, Alana Blanchard's Haleiwa win would have been enough to push her into the top of the WQS ranking, but instead she fell just short and will not be joining the Dream Tour again in 2010.
(All the heats can be watched on Billabongpro.com. It was pretty impressive surfing and conditions--definitely worth a look.)
Billabong Pro Maui Results
1. Steph Gilmore
2. Sofia Mulanovich
3. Silvana Lima, Sally Fitzgibbons
ASP Women’s World Tour Qualifiers
(Top 10 from the 2009 World Tour, bottom 6 from the WQS)
1. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS)
2. Silvana Lima (BRA)
3. Sofia Mulanovich (PER)
4. Coco Ho (HAW)
5. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS)
6. Melanie Bartels (HAW)
7. Chelsea Hedges (AUS)
8. Paige Hareb (NZL)
9. Rebecca Woods (AUS)
10. Rosanne Hodge (ZAF)
11. Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS)
12. Carissa Moore (HAW)
13. Claire Bevilacqua (AUS)
14. Lee Ann Curren (FRA)
15. Bruna Schmitz (BRA)
16. Nikita Robb (ZAF)
17. ASP Wildcard