Steph Gilmore takes world number 1 spot with Portugal win
NORTHERN Rivers boardriders Stephanie Gilmore and Tyler Wright took out two of three top spots at the ASP Cascais Women's Pro in Portugal, with Gilmore now world number one.
Gilmore, from Tweed Heads, placed first at Bafureira, Cascais with a finals score of 15.36, while Wright, formerly of Lennox Head, placed third. Wright went down 14.50 to Gilmore's 15.60 in the semi-finals, leaving second place free for Gerroa's Sally Fitzgibbons to squeeze into with a finals score of 14.44.
Gilmore and Fitzgibbons competed in an entertaining back-and-forth final in two-to-four foot (0.6 to 2m) waves, but Tweed's golden girl finished victorious, scoring the day's only nine-point ride.
The win marks Gilmore's third World Championship Tour victory of the year, after strong appearances at the Roxy Pro Gold Coast and the Swatch Women's Pro Trestles.
The five-time ASP Women's World Champion was stoked, and surprised, by her outstanding performance.
"I can't believe I won this event," Gilmore said
"I was struggling in these waves, but I managed to find two pretty decent scoring rides.
"Sally (Fitzgibbons) was super tough to beat and that was a really hard one. It's so crazy, I'm so happy I won."
"I've had such an incredible time here in Portugal, Cascais. It's such a beautiful town and I think when you feel happy in the place that you are you always seem to get a good result."
Fitzgibbons copped the loss of the yellow jersey on the chin and was focusing on the future.
"It was an amazing battle and a great final," Fitzgibbons said.
"Unfortunately I fell one short, but I'll pick myself up and keep moving forward.
"To come in and be the runner-up and still have amazing fans cheering for me on the beach, that's really special and very memorable."
Wright - whose quarter final win kept her in the championship running and ended Gilmore's chances of claiming the title in Portugal - seemed fairly nonplussed about missing out on first place.
"All I really strive to do is my own thing, anything else is a bonus on top of that, so I'm pretty happy," she said.
"It was definitely a tough heat, but the girls are all ripping and I'm just having fun doing what I'm doing."
The ASP's 2014 overall title is now a three-way race between Gilmore, Wright and Fitzgibbons, which will be decided at the Target Maui Pro at Hawaii from November 22 to December 06.