Australian Stephanie Gilmore, the 4-time ASP world champion of surfing, eclipsed the field to win the Cholo's Hawaiian Pro today – the first leg of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing. With the world title locked away, Steph's victory here puts her in good stead to gun for a third Vans Triple Crown title to round out the year. Gilmore, 22, earned $4,500 for today's win.
Surfing in double-overhead waves, Gilmore was untouchable in every round with near-perfect scores and flawless, critical maneuvers. Runner-up was rookie Australian Tyler Wright, 16, from Lennox Head, who threw down some of the most futuristic maneuvers women's surfing has ever seen, but failed to match Gilmore's well-rounded performance. Third was Alana Blanchard (Hawaii), and Jacqueline Silva (Brazil) was fourth. Today's results saw Wright, Blanchard and Silva lock in their berths on next year's elite ASP World Tour.
"I'd love to at some point in my career have a win at every destination," said Gilmore. "That would be awesome and being in the lead for the Triple Crown is a good feeling.
"Surfing Haleiwa is more about long drawn-out turns and reading the wave really well. Just picking those steeper spots, especially on this deep bank ... to get the most critical turn in. I just enjoy right-handers of any kind, and I felt comfortable out there."
Tyler Wright was full of praise for Gilmore: "It was really fun and good waves were coming through. I caught a couple, but Steph blew me out of the water."
"She was absolutely ripping. She's been ripping all year and it's not really intimidating. I look at it from a different perspective as a challenge and I think it's super exciting. It's you out there with the best in the world so why shouldn't you be excited?"
The next stop for the ladies is Sunset Beach, stage 2 of the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, Nov. 24 through Dec. 6. The third and final event, open to the top 4 Vans Triple Crown contenders only, is the Vans Duel for the Jewel at Pipeline, December 8-20.