World champ Gilmore rips in Roxy Pro

Gary Kewley
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Friday - December 05, 2008
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World champ and Roxy Pro champ Stephanie Gilmore

Aloha, surfers and beachgoers, We are firmly planted in BIG wave territory. The famed North Shore has, as of now, three warning-level swells to its credit. This is and was an exceptional early run of outer reef swells. Whenever “that zone” far offshore is breaking, that usually means the normal spots are “washed out” and unrideable. That’s pretty amazing when you consider that Pipe and Sunset can easily hold 12 feet local scale or waves pounding more than four to five times overhead! We’re talking tons of H2O. Well, we had the exception just days ago!

This is the stuff of legend as both the Reef Hawaiian Pro and the O’Neill World Cup have had all-time size and challenge for the world’s best surfers.

I was watching the O’Neill World Cup Dec. 2 in 10- to 15-foot Sunset, and these heroes were actually surviving and handling it! Waves like this would drown half of the planet’s surfers. Sunset had third-reef sets starting around 11:30 a.m. - top to bottom - way out there! The absolute max anyone can ever surf Sunset (the record without Jet Ski assist) is 18 feet, or about 30 feet crest to trough.

You just know the Billabong Pipeline Master Dec. 8-20 is going to do its thing as well with spitting, death-defying barrels - and that’s a good thing. Do not miss it. I’ll let the entire state know on 596-SURF, 638-RUSH and at SURFNEWSNETWORK.COM.


The long-range forecast is for a relative down trend for later next week. But don’t be fooled - it’ll still be well overhead, which is fine for most surfers.

Guess what? On Dec. 1 at 12:45 p.m. we gained a new Roxy Pro champ and a new world champ! It’s the same 20-year-old Australian talent who won the world title last year on her inaugural year on tour! Meet Stephanie Gilmore!

The waves at Sunset Point were 3 to 5 feet and perfect for high performance. But, no matter what size, Ms. Gilmore rips. Her style is clean, smooth, yet aggressive and progressive. She’s a com-

petitive animal, too. You would-n’t know it if you were chatting on the beach, as she’s all friendly smiles. Stephanie simply loves to surf, and trains hard at it, too. The absolute best have to have both gift and work ethic.

“I had no idea this was going to happen today when I woke up this morning,” Gilmore says. “Sofia (Mulanovich) went down and then Layne (Beachley) went down and I found myself in the final with a chance to clinch it (the world title). It feels unbelievable.

“The second one (world title) definitely feels better than the first one,” Gilmore continues. “I’m going to savor this one for a while and then readjust my goals for next year.”

What she means is that she’s going to set them even higher - so watch out in ‘09!

These days the depth of the female talent pool has never been deeper, especially with the younger girls. To give you one example, in the Reef Hawaiian Pro final heat it was 36-year-old, seven-time world champ Layne Beachley against three teenagers!

Hey, the 33rd annual Rell Sunn Menehune Surfing Championships finished last weekend at Pokai Bay. The waves were too big to chance ‘em at Makaha. The family affair was - as always - a sweet joy for all.


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