Silvana Lima (BRA), 24, won the Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic this afternoon over reigning two-time ASP Women’s World Champion and current ASP Women’s World No. 1 Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 21, in stormy three-to-five foot (1.5 metre) conditions at Dee Why in an action packed Final, marking back-to-back wins for the hungry Brazilian after claiming the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach.
Gilmore jumped out to an early lead in the sea-saw battle for the 2009 Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic title, but Lima fought back throughout the heat, collecting a 7.77 and eventually securing the win with an 8.83 for a lengthy forehand barrel to post the highest heat total of the event, an impressive 16.60 out of 20, en route to her first victory at the event after three consecutive Final appearances.
“I can’t believe it,” Lima said. “I’ve been in the Final in this event three times and I finally won. I was feeling really confident. The waves here today were like the waves in Brazil and I’m always surfing in these conditions. The final was really good. Steph (Gilmore) got some good waves too and I was able to get two good ones.”
The back-to-back ASP Women’s World Tour wins secured by the hungry Brazilian have significantly tightened the ratings for this year’s ASP Women’s World Title and although Gilmore still holds on to the ratings lead, Lima is following closely in the No. 2 position.
“I’m definitely looking at the title, but it’s too early,” Lima said “There are still four contests left this year, so there is more work for everyone, but I feel so much more confident after my first win at Bells.”
Gilmore was in devastating form throughout the entire Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic, blasting some of the event’s top scores with a committed forehand attack on the steep Dee Why right-handers, but was unable to top Lima in the Final.
“To come back after such a long break and still make the Final, I’m pretty happy with that,” Gilmore said. “Silvana (Lima) beat me at Bells and her confidence is through the roof at the moment, so my challenge is to step it up another level. I did it in the Semifinals, but maybe I peaked too early.”
Gilmore, who fell to Lima in the Final at the last stop on the ASP Women’s World Tour, knows claiming this year’s ASP Women’s World Title will be no easy task and is preparing for the next four stops scheduled on the 2009 calendar.
“It’s definitely game on,” Gilmore said. “There are four events left and everyone is really fired up and off to Portugal, Peru and Hawaii, so I can’t think of a better way to finish off the tour.”
Sofia Mulanovich (PER), 26, was also on fire throughout the entire event, topping 2005 ASP Women’s World Champion Chelsea Hedges (AUS), 25, en route to her third place finish, but could not find a solid score in her Semifinal heat against eventual Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic winner, Lima.
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photos Janos Schmidt
photos Janos Schmidt