2005 Rip Curl Malibu Pro: Final Day – Trudy Todd Wins

SURF: 3-5 foot perfect offshore righthanders
EVENTS HELD: Round 3, Quarter finals, Semi final, Final
PREDICTED: …and never underestimate the underdog.

Sometimes legends snowball into myth. But today—after all the drama of a possible mystery swell and the many delays—{{{Malibu}}} lived up to its legend status. Really. When the first heat of Round three started at 7:30, the beach was empty, grey, and bitter cold—but the Bu was going off. "The waves are so sick right now. So good. You could seriously could get a nine on every wave out there; it's so rippable," Rochelle said, watching Trudy Todd and Jaqueline Silva go at it in the last heat of Round Three. "I'm freaking out right now. I can't stand this."

Roch lost early in Round Two the day before with a hurt right ankle. "Blowing it!" she said, watching a three or four wave set bomb through with no one on it (maybe except for Alan Sarlo, the other water patrolman, and other various locals, who collectively ended the day with more First Point waves under their belts than the entire Top 17 during both days of the event). "I have the perfect channel bottom board for these waves and I'm freaking out that I can't use it."

Trudy didn't blow it, though, and went on to not only defeat Jaqueline in that heat, but also to narrowly escape fate to Chelsea, who's ranked World #2 and who everyone expected to land in the final without Sofia around to stop her. "Oh, it's just lucky," Trudy said afterwards. Maybe Trudy was lucky to have locked into the right wave with a minute on the clock, but she'd been stirring up a buzz around the competitor's tent. "Sofia would be freaking out right now," KK said as Trudy scored a seven, edging Chelsea out. She ran to find her, but Sofia'd left in tears, comforted by Pottz—who hadn't detached himself from her side even once that day, even when she was zoned out with her headphones on. Jodie {{{Cooper}}} claimed she hadn't seen Trudy surf as well as that day, ever—but Trudy lives at Snapper, too, you know. She's probably sorta used to super long, perfect rights.

In fact, every quarterfinal heat was all about the underdog—with the exception of KK losing out to Megan, the very first Rip Curl Pro winner in 2004—to bring some new blood into the semis. The conditions last year weren't a fraction of what they were today, but that win gave Megan all the confidence KK seemed to lack. "My legs are tired," Megan said, totally out of breath, after half an hour of surfing some of the longest rights on tour and running the equal distance up the point from the judge's tower. "We're not used to surfing waves this long, and you have to be careful with your turns 'cause it's fatter than you think out there." Otherwise, this is the first event of the year that neither Chelsea nor Sofia was in a final since the Roxy Pro on the Goldcoast. Sofia did (barely) make it past Steph Gilmore in one of the most exciting heats of the day, though, in which the two once again went wave for wave with Sof locking in the winning score in the closing minutes.

By the semifinals, the entire beach was covered in what looked like a high school fashion show, LA style. Pregnant model Helena Christiansen was even blocking many a view from the competitor's tent with her entourage of waify Starbucks-toting girlfriends, and the entire scaffolding area became a mob scene of press as well known celebrities such as Rick(y) Schroeder (previously of 80s favorite Silver Spoons) and The Red Hot Chilli Pepper's Flea prepared to paddle out for their 15-person celebrity heat.

Luckily the waves were still good for the final and each Aussie got her share of set waves. You can never count on Sam Cornish losing. She's always consistent and today she never seemed to tire. Even after eight turns, at which point most of the other girls looked like their legs had turned to jelly, Sam still managed to end with her powerful roundhouse cutbacks. But Trudy's sparkplug wouldn't die. She fought 'til the end and only seemed to gain momentum. Even as Sam caught her last wave to the beach with a minute left, Trudy scratched from the inside for an oncoming set wave—which was already breaking—for a late whitewater takeoff. It didn't matter though—she'd already won. It's her second win in 10 years and she's about to open her second fashion boutique. "That's why I won," she said, "no pressure. Surfing's not everything." With both Sofia and Chelsea losing in the quarters, their tight rivalry doesn't change at all moving into Hawaii. They're both way ahead of of the rest of the pack with only two events left.

ASP Ratings after Stop #7 on the Women's World Championship Tour 1. Sofia Mulanovich 5820 points
2. Chelsea Georgeson 5592 points
3. Megan Abubo 4320 points
4. Layne Beachley 4308 points
5. Rochelle Ballard 3924 points
6. Melanie Redman-Carr 3912 points
7. Trudy Todd 3756 points
8. Samantha Cornish 3708 points
9. Keala Kennelly 3696 points
10. Rebecca Woods 3312 points
11. Jacqueline Silva 3096 points
12. Serena Brooke 2952 points
13. Claire Bevilacqua 2929 points
14. Laurina McGrath 2736 points
15. Heather Clark 2352 points
16. Maria Tita Tavares 1812 points
17. Melanie Bartels 1800 points
Trudy Todd (AUS) 15.00 def. Samantha Cornish (AUS) 13.50 SEMIFINAL RESULTS:
Heat 1: Samantha Cornish (AUS) 15.75 def. Megan Abubo 9.00
Heat 2: Trudy Todd (AUS) 14.25 def. Melanie Redman-Carr (AUS) 12.60 QUARTERFINAL RESULTS:
Heat 1: Megan Abubo (HAW) 12.50 def. Keala Kennelly (HAW) 9.50
Heat 2: Samantha Cornish (AUS) 16.00 def. Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 13.35
Heat 3: Trudy Todd (AUS) 12.75 def. Chelsea Georgeson (AUS) 10.75
Heat 4: Melanie Redman-Carr (AUS) 14.75 def. Layne Beachley (AUS) 7.50