2005 Rip Curl Malibu Pro: Day 1 Wrap Up

Here she comes – event wildcard Stephanie Gilmore
SURF: Glassy and pretty inconsistent-but perfect, lined up racetracks on the sets.
EVENTS HELD: Rounds One and Two
NATURE’S CALL: Bigger and even more machine-like rights tomorrow.
PREDICTED: Don’t underestimate the ‘Bu. (Or Stephanie Gilmore.)

Waiting games can be frustrating – especially when mainland America’s onlyWomen’s WCT event, the Rip Curl {{{Malibu}}} Pro, comes to town. After waiting allweek for any sign of swell, waiting part of the morning for the tide to goout, and waiting most of the day for the fog to clear, we finally saw the Buturn on from Third Point through to the pier. Who would Dora love? Off thebat Serena Brooke started with one of the highest score of the day in a heatthat would go down as the longest in ASP history since the judges couldn’tsee through the fog into the lineup. Utter confusion spread along the beachand among her competitors in the water while she waited for word to paddleback out. Lucky for her, they counted the wave despite the hiatus and shebacked it right up linking yet another one from the point all the waythrough to the sand.

The ‘Bu may not be quite as fast and hollow as the Superbank, but Serenawasn’t the only Gold Coaster all over it today. Chelsea Georgeson dominatedher heat easily (despite the lull that plagued it) by comboing hercompetitors and Stephanie Gilmore was by far the act of the day. Surely yousaw the barrage of headlines after she won at Snapper, but believe the hype.Yeah, she was at her home break, but she does surf like Parko. No joke. Shehad Martin Potter-who was intensely coaching Sofia all day-claiming that shewas the best 17-year-old he’d ever seen, even before she took that firstRoxy Pro title. This will count in as her fourth wildcard of the year (outof five) and she battled Julia Christian for it, but was the obvious winner.Her style looks utterly seamless and she didn’t show a hint of troublemaintaining her speed-looking ultra relaxed-all the way through when most ofthe competitors today were either choosing the wrong waves or simply gettingstuck behind the Kiddie Bowl section.

As the swell increases for tomorrow’s finale, we should see the Gold Coastgirls continue to shine.

Veteran Megan Abubo advanced directly to Round 3

(1st & 2nd advance to Rnd 3; 3rd goes to Rnd 2)Heat # 1: 1st – Serena Brooke, 2nd – Megan Abubo, 3rd – Jacqueline Silva
Heat # 2: 1st – Heather Clark, 2nd – Rebecca Woods, 3rd – Layne Beachley
Heat # 3: 1st – Stephanie Gilmore, 2nd – Sofia Mulanovich, 3rd – Trudy Todd
Heat # 4: 1st – Chelsea Georgeson, 2nd – Melanie Bartels, 3rd – Laurina McGrath
Heat # 5: 1st – Samantha Cornish, 2nd – MariaTita Tavares, 3rd – Rochelle Ballard
Heat # 6: 1st – Melanie Redman-Car, 2nd – Claire Bevilacqua, 3rd – Keala KennellyROUND 2 RESULTS:Heat # 1: 1st – Jacqueline Silva, 2nd – Trudy Todd, 3rd – Rochelle Ballard
Heat # 2: 2nd Layne Beachley, 2nd – Keala Kennelly, 3rd – Laurina McGrath