Curren Upsets Mulanovich and Gilmore Flares at Rip Curl
The opening day of the Rip Curl Pro Mademoiselle, event No. 3 on the 2008 ASP Women’s World Tour, was treated to a full day of action, with the first three rounds of competition completed in improving 1.5 metre waves at Les Bourdaines in the Southwest of France.
Lee Ann Curren (FRA), 19, winner of the Rip Curl Pro Junior and wildcard in the Rip Curl Pro Mademoiselle, created the upset of the day, eliminating defending Rip Curl Pro Mademoiselle champion and current ratings leader on the ASP Women’s World Tour Sofia Mulanovich (PER), 25, in Round 3 today.
“I am just overwhelmed right now,” Curren said. “Sofia (Mulanovich) is one of my favorite surfers and to beat her at home in front of everyone is really special. It’s something I will always remember.”
Curren put the pressure on her Peruvian opponent early with strong forehand rides before closing the door with a crowd-pleasing 8 out of a possible 10.
“I wasn’t really nervous,” Curren said. “I have nothing to lose out here and I’m just happy to be in the competition surfing against the best surfers in the world. I am just trying to have fun and do my best out there.”
Curren will face current Australian powerbroker Jessi Miley-Dyer, 22, in Quarterfinal 2 tomorrow.
Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 20, reigning ASP Women’s World Champion, took top honors today, netting the highest heat total of the event, a 19.5 out of a possible 20, including a perfect 10 for a phenomenal forehand hack-to-fin-slide followed by a critical closeout re-entry.
“I was able to nail a pretty solid turn at the start and the wave stood up for me long enough to cram another turn there on the end section,” Gilmore said. “The conditions out there this afternoon are fast righthanders which really suit my surfing so that’s good for me.”
With the elimination of Mulanovich from Rip Curl Pro Mademoiselle competition, Gilmore stands to gain some ground on the Peruvian in the hunt for the ASP Women’s World Title.
“I was out in the water when I watched Lee Ann (Curren) take out Sofia (Mulanovich) and that fired me up a bit,” Gilmore said. “It’s good as it allows me to gain a little ground in the ratings and hopefully I can keep going here in France.”
Gilmore will face off against current ASP Women’s World No. 11 Jacqueline Silva (BRA), 29, in Quarterfinal 3 tomorrow.
Miley-Dyer, current No. 9 on the ASP Women’s World Tour, missed the opening event of the ’08 season, but has since rebounded, securing a 5th at Bells before climbing to current No. 2 on the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS). The young Australian continued her momentum today, winning both her Round 1 and Round 3 heats in impressive form.
“I was injured for the first event of the season but I think it was good in a way in that it made me sit back and really appreciate what I do and really want to compete again,” Miley-Dyer said. “I was able to get a fifth at Bells, and I think this season I’m just working on being more consistent in terms of my results.”
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Top seeds took control of the ASP World Qualfying Series (WQS) 6-Star Buondi Billabong Pro Portugal today posting big scores and impressive performances in the good three to four foot (1 to 1.2 meter) waves on offer at Ribeira d’Ilhas, main venue of the 2008 edition.
Some solid 1.2 to 2 meter waves gave Round Two competitors a great day of surfing at Ribeira d'Ilhas on day two of the Buondi Billabong Pro Portugal.