Pro Maui quarterfinalists decided at Honolua Bay
The Billabong Pro Maui commenced in picturesque four-to-five foot (2 metre) surf at Honolua Bay, allowing the ladies of the ASP Top 17 to revel through three rounds of competition, deciding the Quarterfinalists for when competition resumes.
The final stop of the 2008 ASP Women’s World Tour, the Billabong Pro Maui also serves as the deciding event in the Vans Triple Crown (an ASP Specialty Series), with today’s frontrunners putting on a show.
Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 20, newly-crowned two-time ASP Women’s World Champion and defending Billabong Pro Maui winner, put in an incendiary performance in Round 3, scoring a near-perfect 9.75 out of a possible 10 to eliminate Paige Hareb (NZL), 18, from the event.
“Paige (Hareb) got off to an aggressive start in that heat by getting the first solid scorer and that fired me up to unleash on my first wave,” Gilmore said. “It was a good set wave and I was able to really push my board out there. It was a lot of fun.”
Despite having already securing her historic second ASP Women’s World Title, the competitive fire still burns for Gilmore, who is looking to defend last year’s Billabong Pro Maui win as well as claim her first Vans Triple Crown title.
“I’m currently second on the Vans Triple Crown ratings behind Layne (Beachley),” Gilmore said. “It’s pretty close and I think whoever performs better here will claim it. I’ve been pretty relaxed since the ASP Women’s World Title race finished, but I still want to win every heat I’m in. I love surfing well and performing for people and when that happens you win heats. I’d love to leave Hawaii with the Triple Crown in my pocket.”
Silvana Lima (BRA), 24, currently sitting in third in the hunt for the Vans Triple Crown, caught a fire in the final heat of the day, posting the day’s highest heat total of an 18.00 out of a possible 20 to eliminate Karina Petroni (USA), 20, from the Billabong Pro Maui.
“The ASP Women’s World Title has been decided and I’m relaxed here in Maui,” Lima said. “I really want to win the Vans Triple Crown and to do that, I need a big result here.”
Layne Beachley (AUS), 36, former seven-time ASP Women’s World Champion and current frontrunner on the Vans Triple Crown ratings, has announced that 2008 will be her last season as a full-time competitor on the ASP Women’s World Tour and the iconic natural-footer would love nothing more than to cap off her esteemed career with a big result in Hawaii.
“Of course I would love to finish up with a win here in Maui or by winning the Vans Triple Crown,” Beachley said. “Anybody would, but for me, I’m just very relaxed and wanting to surf well. I love Hawaii and the waves here and I’m just really focusing on my surfing.”
Following yesterday’s full serving of action, Honolua Bay has gone quiet today, prompting event organizers to call a lay day for the Billabong Pro Maui.
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