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Wavescape - Surfing in South Africa

Fri, 18 May 2018

Australian Stephanie Gilmore has moved to top of the world rankings on the WSL Championship Tour after her win at the Oi Rio Women’s Pro in clean 4-5' surf.

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SLASHING: Stephanie Gilmore worked through four heats to take the win. Photo WSL / Poullenot

Six-time WSL Champion Gilmore surfed four rounds on the finals day of the women's event in the 4th event of the CT, which was held at Itaúna Beach in Saquarema. She took down Lakey Peterson (USA) in the final, Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) in the semis, Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) in the quarters, and Caroline Marks (USA) in Round 3. It was Gilmore’s 28th CT victory but her first in Brazil.

“That was a really crucial final because Lakey (Peterson) has had a win and I’ve had a win,” said Gilmore. “I just want it. I want it really bad and that is what it takes. It feels good. I just love competing. It is such a good challenge to be out there and to have this stage to perform on is really special. I’ve been doing this for a while but it never gets old. This is just the beginning.”

Despite the loss, Peterson remains in a good position for her first world title. The Californian started her year with a big win on the Gold Coast and continues to raise the bar at each event. Peterson dispatched crowd-favorite Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) in the semis and three-time WSL Champion Carissa Moore (HAW) in the quarters. Peterson trails Gilmore by only 3,680 points with the tour reaching halfway at the next event, the Corona Bali Pro.

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LAKEY STYLE: Lakey Peterson is a close second on the Jeep Leaderboard. Photo WSL / Poullenot

Weston-Webb’s run ended against Peterson in Semifinal 2, but the 22-year-old showcased her potential throughout the event, including her 15.33 combined score to take down compatriot Silvana Lima (BRA) in the quarters. Now wearing the Brazilian flag on her jersey, Weston-Webb climbs to World #3.

Brazilian hero Lima had a disappointing elimination against Weston-Webb, where she was unable to complete her rides. Lima has also had a great start to the year with a 3rd place finish at Bells. Her 5th at the Oi Rio Pro keeps her at World #10 on the Jeep Leaderboard.

Tyler Wright’s (AUS) run for a third-straight Oi Rio Pro victory ended early in the first heat of Round 3. Unable to find two substantial scores, the two-time WSL Champion was ousted by compatriot Keely Andrew and exits in equal 9th place, her second of 2018. At this time last season, Wright was World #1 lead. Now #7, Wright needs a good result in Bali.

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ON THE FLY: John John demolishes a chunk of glassy ocean. Photo WSL / Poullenot

The men completed Round 4 after the women’s Round 3 to determine the eight quarterfinalists. Filipe Toledo (BRA) unleashed the event's first perfect 10 with a massive aerial rotation in an all-Brazilian heat. The crowd went wild when he landed it, and again when the score was announced. Toledo marches to the quarters with rookie Michael Rodrigues (BRA), while event-spoiler Ian Gouveia (BRA) is eliminated with his best result of the season.

John John Florence (HAW), 2016 event winner and reigning WSL Champion, was eliminated by rookies Yago Dora (BRA) and Wade Carmichael (AUS) in the final heat of the day. World #1 Julian Wilson (AUS) is in prime spot to retain the lead after winning against Kolohe Andino (USA) and Kanoa Igarashi (JPN). Igarashi’s third eliminates him. Gabriel Medina (BRA), 2017 world title runner-up to Florence, can gain ground in the quarters with Florence’s elimination. Medina faces rookie Carmichael in the quarters.

Surfline, forecast partner of the WSL, is calling for: The next run of SSW/S swells shows today and over the weekend, with the most favorable windexpected for Fri-Sat. For more information, please visit www.WorldSurfLeague.com.

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CROWD SOURCING: A mostly Brazilian crowd carry Gilmore up the beach. Photo WSL / Poullenot

Oi Rio Pro Women’s Final
1 - Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 11.53
2 - Lakey Peterson (USA) 8.00

Oi Rio Pro Women’s Semifinals
SF 1: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 11.00 def. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 9.67
SF 2: Lakey Peterson (USA) 11.27 def. Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 10.40

Oi Rio Pro Women’s Quarterfinal
QF 1: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 13.06 def. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 10.00
QF 2: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 10.83 def. Keely Andrew (AUS) 5.77
QF 3: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 15.33 def. Silvana Lima (BRA) 4.60
QF 4: Lakey Peterson (USA) 12.67 def. Carissa Moore (HAW) 9.57

Oi Rio Pro Women’s Round 3
Heat 1: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 11.17, Keely Andrew (AUS) 9.64, Tyler Wright (AUS) 6.17
Heat 2: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 14.36, Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 12.50, Caroline Marks (USA) 4.67
Heat 3: Silvana Lima (BRA) 15.90, Lakey Peterson (USA) 15.23, Johanne Defay (FRA) 13.16
Heat 4: Carissa Moore (HAW) 15.33, Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 11.50, Sage Erickson (USA) 11.34

2018 WSL Women's CT Jeep Leaderboard
1 - Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 29,490 pts
2 - Lakey Peterson (USA) 25,630 pts
3 - Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 20,020 pts
4 - Carissa Moore (HAW) 18,980 pts
5 - Caroline Marks (USA) 17,000 pts

Oi Rio Men’s Pro Round 4
Heat 1: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 18.33, Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 10.94, Ian Gouveia (BRA) 8.00
Heat 2: Julian Wilson (AUS) 12.73, Kolohe Andino (USA) 11.90, Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) 9.43
Heat 3: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 11.84, Ezekiel Lau (HAW) 9.73, Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 9.00
Heat 4: Yago Dora (BRA) 13.94, Wade Carmichael (AUS) 11.40, John John Florence (HAW) 8.00

Oi Rio Men’s Pro Quarterfinal Matchups
QF 1: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Kolohe Andino (USA)
QF 2: Julian Wilson (AUS) vs. Michael Rodrigues (BRA)
QF 3: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Wade Carmichael (AUS)
QF 4: Yago Dora (BRA) vs. Ezekiel Lau (HAW)

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