She became the one to beat, but Stephanie Gilmore’s 4 year reign as women’s world champion surfer has finally come to an end. The Aussie girl was eliminated from the race to compete for the 2011 title at the WCT event, losing her chance at taking the crown for the fifth time in a row.
Originally from the Gold Coast, Stephanie lost out to compatriot Sally Fitzgibbons, world number two, and the new champion Hawaiian, Carissa Moore. Gilmore needed to at least match Moore’s finish in the Billabong Rio Pro competition, but Ms Moore’s 6000 point lead lead over Fitzgibbons was impossible to beat.
Upon her defeat Gilmore was seemingly struggling to come to terms with her defeat as she choked back tears, saying: “I’m going through so many emotions now, it’s hard.”
She’s a good sport though, and had good things to say about her successors:
“Its been a pretty good year and Sally and Carissa have been on fire. It’s good for the sport and good for me. I really don’t know what to say.”
This defeat breaks Gilmore’s streak of winning a world title every year that she has competed at the highest level, winning her first title aged just 19.
It’s hard not to ignore the awful attack Steph Gilmore suffered in December of last year, and the effect this must have had on her…and her surfing.
It may take time, but not many would rule out against a major come back in the next few years…