Steph Gilmore Proves She’s The World’s Best Female Tube Rider
And still loses to Carissa Moore.
Snapper Rocks: The house Steph Gilmore built. At least for the first half of her round three matchup against Carissa Moore and Bronte Macaulay. Her first wave, a set from behind the rocks, was an aesthetic leg-burner particularly.
Starting off with a few short wraps and score-cushioning snaps, Steph found a line, leaned in and got fully covered up, coming out for a brief second before dipping into another tube, conducing with a soul arch kick somewhere north of Greenmount. Even at a 9.17, it felt grossly underscored.
Not a flash in the pan, she followed it up with another moment in the shade on her next wave. Nabbing a 7.37, which put her at a comfortable 16.54.
However, Carissa was nipping at her heels, methodically chipping apart similar runners in Steph’s wake. But with a 8.17 and 7.87, for a combined 16.04, it didn’t look like Carissa would have enough. Which would have been the case, had she not dropped an 8.53 in the dying seconds, bumping her final combo .16 ticks above Steph.
“I was going in no matter what, so I might as well have given it all I got,” said Carissa about her clutch ride. “I thought: Hopefully this lines up and I can just bang it a few times, which ended up working. It’s always tough when your competitor opens up like Steph did, this is her home break and I respect her so much, I knew I had to give it my best.
Outside of the superheat, Coco Ho picked up the single highest wave score of the day with a 9.83. However, she still managed to lose to Johanne Defay, who picked up two steady scores of 8.50 and 8.70.
“It was tough, everyone had scores and the lead was jumping around,” said Johanne. “I picked up my last one a bit down the peak, and it opened up and helped me do some big turns which felt good. I’m content doing maneuvers like that, it’s where I feel powerful and repetitive — in a good way.”
Tyler Wright looked strong again today as well, besting Nikki Van Dijk and Lakey Peterson after dropping a 9.00 and 7.93.
It was pretty good out there,” remarked Tyler. “So when I was getting waves I was taking a more critical approach. The nine was good. A result of simple, clean surfing. It’s all about adaptability, thinking clearly, and just being smart.”
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