Any questions about the motivation of Stephanie Gilmore were answered during the Cholo’s Women’s Hawaiian Pro yesterday.
Gilmore, who is 22 and from Australia, is the Association of Surfing Professionals world champion, but she doesn’t plan to rest on that laurel any time soon.
"Winning the Vans Triple Crown title again is huge motivation," she said. "So to be in the lead for the Triple Crown is a good feeling."
The Cholo’s Women’s Hawaiian Pro is the first of three events that make up the Triple Crown. Gilmore won the event for the first time yesterday.
Earlier this month, Gilmore clinched her fourth consecutive world championship and is trying for a third consecutive Triple Crown. In effect, she is the best female surfer in the world who is still looking for more.
"All of the girls here are really good surfers, and any one of them could have won it," Gilmore said. "That’s what keeps me going as well — knowing that there are so many good young girls out there."
The final of the Cholo’s contest was completed yesterday in wave faces of 6 to 10 feet at Haleiwa’s Alii Beach.
"This wave is more about long, drawn-out turns and sort of reading the wave really well," she said. "I enjoy right-handers of any kind, and I just felt comfortable out there."
She won the four-woman final in dominating fashion. Her two best waves received scores of 9.1 and 8.67 for a total of 17.77.
Tyler Wright of Australia placed second with a two-wave total of 13.4.
"It was really fun and good waves were coming through," said Wright, 16. "I caught a couple, but Steph blew me out of the water."
Alana Blanchard of Kauai won the event last year and placed third yesterday.
"I was stoked to make the final again," said Blanchard, 20. "I was kind of out of tune out in the final, but I was just trying to have fun with it. Stephanie was obviously ripping really hard, so she would have been hard to beat anyway."
By advancing to yesterday’s final, Blanchard qualified to compete on the elite ASP Women’s World Tour in 2011.
In addition to yesterday’s women’s final, the third round of the men’s Reef Hawaiian Pro was completed at Alii Beach.
Australia’s Joel Parkinson, the two-time defending Triple Crown champion, scored a perfect 10 in his third-round victory.
Hawaii standouts advancing through the third round included Pancho Sullivan, Granger Larsen, Evan Valiere and Solomon Ortiz.
There were some upsets, as former Triple Crown champions Sunny Garcia and Myles Padaca were eliminated.
The action could continue today, conditions permitting. For information visit triplecrownofsurfing.com or call 596-7873.