Gilmore falls out of surfing final
FORMER four-times world champion Stephanie Gilmore (Kingscliff, NSW) has maintained her lead in the ASP Women's World ratings despite losing to Hawaiian rookie Malia Manuel in the quarter finals of the Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic held at Dee Why beach, Sydney.
Gilmore's main rival Sally Fitzgibbons was another surprise elimination in the quarter finals against eventual winner Courtney Conlogue (California). Registering her maiden win Conlogue defeated Malia Manuel in the final and pocketing $30,000 for first prize.
Courtney created the biggest upset by taking down defending champion and current World Champion Carissa Moore in round four and virtually ending any world title chance for Moore in 2012.
The World title race will now be on in earnest between the two front runners Gilmore and Fitzgibbons with only three events remaining to decide this year's world title.
Talking about her equal fifth place at Dee Why, Steph was upbeat and far from beaten, "It's disappointing," Gilmore said.
"But it's not a terrible result for me. I feel really strong. When there are great waves on offer I feel like I'm surfing great. It's just a matter of getting those waves and I didn't get them today.
"I'm looking forward to heading over to Brazil and finding the form I had in the first few events."
Next stop on the ASP World Tour is the men's and women's Billabong Pro at Rio de Janerio on May 9-20.