COOLANGATTA,Australia (Sunday, Feb. 24, 2008) Reigning ASPWomen’s World Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) was insensational form this morning, lighting up the punchy three foot(1 metre) surf at Duranbah Beach to claim a Round 1 victory inthe Roxy Pro Gold Coast presented by LG.
Gilmore, who has been on a whirlwind tour collecting accoladesand honors since her clinching of the ASP Women’s World Titlelast December, was keen to get back in the lineup this morning,and the champ dazzled with an impressive 15.84 out of a possible20.
“It’s been a bit crazy with all the awards and activities and stuff, but it felt good to get back in the water,” Gilmore said. “I guess I was a bit rusty at the beginning, but I startedgaining more and more confidence throughout the heat and felt pretty good by the end.”
Gilmore, who drew lethal Roxy Trials Winner and last year’sevent runner-up Carissa Moore (HAW) as well as good friendKarina Petroni (USA), showed no nerves whatsoever, looking bothcomfortable and confident in her emphatic win.
“It was a great heat to start out with as they both surf so welland it’s helped with my confidence,” Gilmore said. “Carissa(Moore) has been surfing so well and I was a bit nervous at thebeginning of the heat. I think I meet Carissa again in Round 3,but a win out here today is a good start and I’m looking forwardto surfing again in Round 3.”
Amee Donohoe (AUS) was another form surfer today, posting asolid 15.67 out of a possible 20 to best opponents Serena Brooke(AUS) and Rebecca Woods (AUS) in their Round 1 clash.
“I was able to get the first wave out there and that made allthe difference,” Donohoe said. “It really takes the pressure offand lets you relax and surf through the rest of the heat. Superstoked to get through and looking forward to the next round.”
Melanie Bartels (HAW) led a Hawaiian charge which saw Abubo andMoore through to Round 3 today. Bartels kicked off her 2008 ASPWomen’s World Tour campaign in solid form this morning, lightingup a bowling righthander for an 8.50 out of a possible 10.
“The wave really opened up for me and I just went out there andtried to kill it,” Bartels said. “I was just out there pretendinglike Layne (Beachley) and Nicola (Atherton) weren’t eventhere. I was just doing my own thing and finding my own peaksand it really worked out well.”
Although Bartels is regarded as one of the world’s mostprogressive surfers, the young Hawaiian’s talent has yet to cometo fruition on the ASP Women’s World Tour. Following thismorning’s impressive win, Bartels has taken a step in the rightdirection.
“At this point, I am just taking things one at a time,” Bartelssaid. “I’ve had a good start, but it’s a long season and I amjust looking at the next heat trying to live in the moment.”
Following the completion of Round 1, the elimination Round 2 gotunderway which saw Laurina McGrath (AUS) and Karina Petroni(USA) eliminated from Roxy Pro competition.
Samantha Cornish (AUS), who finished 4th on the ASP Women’sWorld Tour last season, recovered quite well from her Round 1loss, netting a 14.33 out of a possible 20 to advance through toRound 3.
“This morning’s Round 1 heat didn’t go as well as I would haveliked,” Cornish said. “I found myself paddling around a lot andnot really getting the waves I needed. I really focused onfinding good waves in Round 2 and I was able to get a couple ofgood scores under my belt.”
When Roxy Pro competition resumes, Round 3 will hit the waterfirst.
The Roxy Pro presented by LG will be webcast LIVE viawww.aspworldtour.com/roxypro
For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com
Roxy Pro Gold Coast pres. by LG Round 1 Results
Heat 1: Melanie Bartels (HAW) 12.70, Layne Beachley (AUS) 10.84,Nicola Atherton (AUS) 8.83
Heat 2: Megan Abubo (HAW) 13.83, Julia de la Rosa Toro (PER)7.17, Samantha Cornish (AUS) 3.50
Heat 3: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 15.84, Carissa Moore ((HAW)12.87, Karina Petroni (USA) 11.96
Heat 4:Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 13.00, Jacqueline Silva (BRA)13.00, Laurina McGrath (AUS) 10.50
Heat 5: Silvana Lima (BRA) 14.83, Rosanne Hodge (ZAF) 11.07,Claire Bevilacqua (AUS) 6.53
Heat 6: Amee Donohoe (AUS) 15.67, Serena Brooke (AUS) 13.17,Rebecca Woods (AUS) 10.86
Roxy Pro Gold Coast pres. by LG Round 2 Results
Heat 1: Samantha Cornish (AUS) 14.33, Nicola Atherton (AUS)11.45, Laurina McGrath (AUS) 5.76
Heat 2: Rebecca Woods (AUS) 14.33, Claire Bevilacqua (AUS)10.34, Karina Petroni (USA) 6.30
Roxy Pro Gold Coast pres. by LG Round 3 Match-Ups
Heat 1: Samantha Cornish (AUS) vs. Nicola Atherton (AUS)
Heat 2: Layne Beachley (AUS) vs. Serena Brooke (AUS)
Heat 3: Melanie Bartels (HAW) vs. Megan Abubo (HAW)
Heat 4: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) vs. Carissa Moore (HAW)
Heat 5:Sofia Mulanovich (PER) vs. Claire Bevilacqua (AUS)
Heat 6: Rebecca Woods (AUS) vs. Rosanne Hodge (ZAF
Heat 7: Amee Donohoe (AUS) vs. Jacqueline Silva (BRA)
Heat 8: Silvana Lima (BRA) vs. Julia De La Rosa Toro (PER)