TSB Bank Women's Surf Festival 2010: Stephanie Gilmore Eliminated

For the first time in 7 events, surf queen Stephanie Gilmore will not make it to the finals. Sarah Mason dominated Round 3 of the TSB Bank Women's Surf Festival and sent Gilmore packing.

Sarah Mason.  Photo: ASP/ScholtzThe TSB Bank Women’s Surf Festival at Fitzroy Beach, stop No.3 of the ASP Women’s World Tour, was full of suprises in Round 3.

Sarah Mason, wildcard into the TSB Bank Women’s Surf Festival, shook up the female surfing world when she defeated reigning three-time ASP Women’s World Champion Stephanie Gilmore at the end of Round 3.

While Stephanie Gilmore had been giving solid performances throughout the competition, the young Kiwi pulled off an impressive righthander, which scored her a 6.93 as well as a buzzer-beating 7.10 out of a possible 10 to take the win.

“I’m so excited," said Mason. "This is the biggest win of my career. I was down for most of the heat, then I got a pretty good righthander and that put me back in the hunt. I was just hoping that I could get another opportunity to score. That left came right at the end and when I heard I got the score, I was blown away.”

Hundreds of fans came to Fitzroy to cheer on Sarah Mason and her win over Stephanie Gilmore proved to be exactly what they wanted to see.

“It’s so cool to have everyone on beach cheering you through,” Mason said. “Every time I finished a wave, I could hear everyone clapping and cheering. It gives you a great confidence.”

This is the first time that Stephanie Gilmore has failed to make it to the final since last Octobe.  Since then, Gilmore has attended six events.

With so many wins in the past few months, Gilmore must have forgotten what it was like to be eliminated.

“I felt like I was in pretty good form out there but I must have gotten too comfortable,” Stephanie Gilmore said. "No one wants to go down in the third round, but it definitely opens the world title race up. It’s a long year ahead and I’ll be focusing on Sydney now.”

Stephanie Gilmore clearly underestimated the abilities of her competitor, Sarah Mason in Round 3 of the competition.

“I made a few priority mistakes towards the end and Sarah Mason took advantage," explained Gilmore. "She’s an excellent surfer and today proved she’s a dangerous competitor."

Up next, Sarah Mason will come face to face with surfer Paige Hareb when the 2010 TSB Bank Women's Surf Festival resumes.

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