Melanie Bartels wins Billabong Girls Pro Rio in Rifling Barrels
Melanie Bartels (HAW), 26, has won the 2008 Billabong Girls Pro Rio, defeating fellow finalist Sofia Mulanovich (PER), 25, in rifling four foot (1.5 metre) barrels at Barra da Tijuca in Rio de Janeiro today.
Event No. 4 of 8 on the 2008 ASP Women’s World Tour, the Billabong Girls Pro Rio survived through a grueling five-day lay period to culminate in excellent conditions today, with the ASP Top 17 putting in some of the best performances in ASP history.
Bartels, who rockets up from 14th to 6th on the 2008 ASP Women’s World Tour, collects her second career Dream Tour win (her first as a full-time member) with today’s victory at the Billabong Girls Pro Rio.
The Hawaiian, who was unable to make the second event of the season, has rebounded in spectacular form today, defeating the reigning ASP Women’s World Champion during the Semifinals in what some are calling the best heat in women’s professional surfing history (19.00 def.18.50) before taking down Mulanovich in the Final.
Mulanovich, who solidifies her position at No. 2 on the ASP Women’s World Tour ratings with today’s runner up finish, continues to collect consistent results in 2008 with her third Finals appearance of the season.
Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 20, reigning ASP Women’s World Champion and current No. 1 on the 2008 ASP Women’s World Tour, was in sensational form today, netting the event’s only perfect 10-point ride and backing it up with an 8.50, but was still unable to overcome Bartels in the Semifinals.
Gilmore also earned the Kustom Best Wave Award for her phenomenal perfect 10-point backdoor barrel, reiterating her dominating form, but the young Australian is more aware than ever of how close the race for the 2008 ASP Women’s World Title has become.
Layne Beachley (AUS), 36, former seven-time ASP Women’s World Champion was another potential champion this morning, dispatching of local favorite Silvana Lima (BRA), 23, in their Quarterfinal bout, but was unable to overcome her Peruvian opponent in the Semifinals.
Day 2 of the Billabong Girls Pro Rio, event No. 4 of 8 on the 2008 ASP Women’s World Tour, completed Rounds 2 and 3 today, with impressive surfing going down in the improved three-foot (1 metre) waves on offer at Barra da Tijuca in Rio de Janeiro.
The 3rd annual Roxy Jam Cardiff featuring the Linda Benson Women’s World Longboard Pro will be held September 19-21 in Cardiff, California. ASP World Qualifying Series WQS 6-Star event marks the biggest event for professional women’s longboarders in North America.
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