Stab Magazine | Stephanie Gilmore Was Always Going To Win J-Bay

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Stephanie Gilmore Was Always Going To Win J-Bay

She wears Jeff so well!

news // Jul 14, 2018
Words by stab
Reading Time: 2 minutes

Stephanie Gilmore is our 2018 Corona Open J-Bay winner, women. 

She did so in a dominating performance against Lakey Peterson, on a wave that often seems purpose built for her brand of right-point hewn surfing.

Stephanie now finds herself in the Jeep Leaderboard gold heading into the back end of the tour. If Stephanie can maintain this lead she will match Layne Beachley’s seven world titles, with enough fuel in the tank to supercede the record over the next few years.

In an age where female surfers are pushing performance boundaries on a monthly basis, the fact that Stephanie remains at the pointy end of an extremely competitive field is a testament not only to her talent and determination, but to the state of Australian women’s surfing – while their XY chromosome counterparts are floundering, the Aussie women have stepped up.

Miss Gilmore left Lakey needing an excellent 8.41 on what was an outstanding Jeffrey’s Bay day. On her way to the final, the Coolie-gal was similarly too good for Tatiana Weston Webb. 

gilmore s7861jbay18cestari mm

Coronas are about as good for spraying as trophies are for shielding – a testament to fine sportswomanship. Photo: WSL

The final was streamed via Facebook while some 2.5k surf fans tuned in to the English, global stream available to me. This number was about a sixth of those who tuned in to see Filipe Toledo dismantle the Wookie last week. A little before that, indignant supposed surf fans came out in arms over the WSL’s pay disparity, railing against a viral image of a female competitor winning half that of the male victor in the same junior competition.

At J-Bay the women’s field was less than the men’s competition, as was the interest. If there was ever a moment to prove the point, now was the time. Those outraged over surfing’s pay disparity could have tuned in in droves to show that women surfing has as much clout as it’s cock laden counterpart.

They did not.

This was a pivotal event in the title race, won in amazing waves by a surfer perfectly suited to them, a week after surfing’s dirty gender inequality scandal went mainstream. Still, a fraction of the audience tuned in.

Stephanie will take home half the prize money that Filipe did, because the field is half as deep, as goes the official WSL line. Something is wrong here, and it’s not that the WSL is unfairly paying the women less. If you’re really concerned about the pay disparity in women’s surfing, then you really should tune in.

The impetus to change the prize money scheme will come when women’s surfing carries the same clout as the men’s. There’s about to be an amazing race to the end of the year, which very well may see Stephanie Gilmore canonized as the best female surfer ever to stick her feet in the wax.

Surely this spectacle deserves more than 2.5k eyes.

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