2007 and 2008 ASP Women’s World Champ Steph Gilmore is looking to add the Vans Triple Crown Title to this year’s championship season. Photo courtesy ASP Kirstin/Covered Images
HONOLUA BAY, Hawaii (Wednesday, December 3, 2008) – The upcoming Billabong Pro Maui at the world-famous Honolua Bay from December 8 – 20 will culminate the 2008 ASP Women's World Tour, proving pivotal for girls looking to requalify for next year's Dream Tour as well as those in the hunt for the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing (an ASP Specialty Series) title.
Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 20, defending Billabong Pro Maui Champion, collected her historic second consecutive ASP Women's World Title last Monday at Sunset Beach and now has her eyes on the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing Title, sitting a scant 50 points out of the lead.
"I suppose I'm still letting the ASP Women's World Title thing sink in, but the season isn't over yet and I'm frothing to get over to Maui to defend my event title," Gilmore said. "The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing title is easily the next best thing to a world title. Proving yourself in Hawaii, in sizable surf, is really satisfying and I'm looking to do well at Honolua."
Layne Beachley, 36, former seven-time ASP Women's World Champion and current ratings leader on the 2008 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing Series, made the Finals at Haleiwa and the Semifinals at Sunset Beach to put herself in excellent position to clinch the Specialty Series title, but knows that there are several girls in the hunt.
"A win at the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing would be a swansong for me," Beachley said. "I have been coming to Hawaii for so many years and I love surfing here. I've won the Vans Triple Crown twice and to make it a three-peat would be fantastic."
Beachley, who has called 2008 her last season as a full-time competitor on the ASP Women's World Tour, would love nothing more than to finish strong in Hawaii, a venue that has cemented the iconic natural-footer's place in surfing history.
"A lot of people have been asking if I am reflecting at events now that this is my last full season," Beachley said. "It's impossible not to, but it's certainly not at the forefront of my mind. I know that although this is my last season in Hawaii as a full-time competitor, it's certainly not my last season coming here to surf these waves. I'm taking the stance that the last events of the season will not define my career and I am looking forward to surfing well in Maui."
Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS), 22, last year's Billabong Pro Maui runner-up and current No. 7 on the ASP Women's World Tour, put in her season-best performance last Monday at Sunset Beach, finishing 3rd. A former winner at the Billabong Pro Maui (2005), Miley-Dyer hopes to repeat and finish the season on a high note.
"I had a rough start to the year with my injury and a couple of average results," Miley-Dyer said. "I'm stoked to be back in Hawaii and I love the waves here. My knee/shin injury feels like it's finally coming good and I'm looking forward to the Billabong Pro Maui. Hopefully we get some solid surf and I can have a strong finish to 2008."
The waiting period for the Billabong Pro Maui will run from December 8 – 20, 2008.
The Billabong Pro Maui will be webcast LIVE via www.billabongpro.com
For more information, log onto www.triplecrownofsurfing.com
BILLABONG PRO MAUI ROUND 1 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Samantha Cornish (AUS), Rebecca Woods (AUS), Rosanne Hodge (ZAF)
Heat 2: Layne Beachley (AUS), Jacqueline Silva (BRA), Melanie Redman-Carr (AUS)
Heat 3: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Nicola Atherton (AUS), TBA
Heat 4: Sofia Mulanovich (PER), Megan Abubo (HAW), Paige Hareb (NZL)
Heat 5: Silvana Lima (BRA), Melanie Bartels (HAW), Serena Brooke (AUS)
Heat 6: Amee Donohoe (AUS), Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS), Karina Petroni (USA)
ASP WOMEN'S WORLD TOUR RATINGS: Following Roxy Pro at Sunset Beach
1 – Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 6348 points
2 – Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 5233 points
3 – Silvana Lima (BRA) 5138 points
4 – Layne Beachley (AUS) 5006 points
5 – Samantha Cornish (AUS) 3882 points
6 – Amee Donohoe (AUS) 3871 points
7 – Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 3384 points
8 – Rebecca Woods (AUS) 3320 points
9 – Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 3218 points
10 – Melanie Bartels (HAW) 2904 points
11 – Julia De La Rosa (PER) 2654 points
12 – Megan Abubo (HAW) 2616 points
13 – Nicola Atherton (AUS) 2490 points
14 – Karina Petroni (USA) 2424 points
15 – Rosanne Hodge (ZAF) 2412 points
16 – Serena Brooke (AUS) 2094 points
17 – Melanie Redman-Carr (AUS) 2052 points
18 – Claire Bevilacqua (AUS) 1272 points*
*First replacement on ASP Women's World Tour