26 November, 2018 26 November, 2018

Women’s World Title Showdown

The Beachwaver Maui Pro, the final stop on the 2018 Women’s Championship Tour (CT), will host the highly-anticipated World Title showdown in the coming days. A favourable swell is forecast to bring pumping conditions today, Monday, November 26. The next call will be made Monday morning local time.

“That swell that we are going to get for Jaws actually looks really good for us at Honolua, too,” said Jessi Miley-Dyer, WSL Women’s Commissioner. “We are not going to be on for Sunday. The first call for the Beachwaver Maui Pro will be on Monday morning. It will be likely that we will be on. Monday, going into Tuesday, is probably going to be six-to-eight-foot, but maybe a little bit bigger. I am really excited about it and we are going to have a Champion very soon.”

Stephanie Gilmore of Australia won Heat 2 of the Quarterfinals at the Corona Bali Protected, 2018.

In the 2018 World Title Race, only Stephanie Gilmore and Lakey Peterson are mathematically in contention to win the prestigious World Championship and await the promising swell for the final stop on this season’s Championship Tour. 

The World Title scenarios going into the Beachwaver Maui Pro are as follows: 
– Gilmore will win the World Title with a 3rd or better at the Beachwaver Maui Pro.
– If Gilmore finishes 5th or worse, Peterson must win the event to force a surf-off* for the World Title
– *In the event of a tie for any World Title at the end of the Surfing Season, the tied Surfer will have a “surf-off” during the final Event, which will have the format determined by the Commissioner’s Office. 

Six-time WSL Champion Gilmore will be up against Sage Erickson and injury replacement Alana Blanchard in Heat 3 of Round 1 when the Beachwaver Maui Pro is called on. Within the next few days, Gilmore has the opportunity to earn a record-equalling seventh World Title. The accomplishment would put Gilmore into an elite class within surfing’s World Champions as one of three individuals to earn seven World Titles, Layne Beachley (7) and Kelly Slater (11). 

“The best part of being in a surfing event is having a great forecast and we have that for our final event of the season,” said Gilmore. “The forecast is for real. This is going to be a really big swell and it is great. It brings up all these nerves and excitement. The first time I came to Hawaii as a young girl, I remember being so nervous and I am having a bit of that. To know there is a World Title on the line and we have some amazing wildcards, there is so much on the line.”

Lakey Peterson put on a performance that wreaked of blood, sweat and tears. Image: Greg Chapman

For Peterson, defeating Gilmore would mark her first World Title. Peterson is the highest-ranked American surfer on both the women’s and men’s World Rankings, and the win in Maui would push the event into a surf-off for the win. With two event wins this year (Gold Coast, Bali) and two runner-up finishes (J-Bay, Rio), Peterson has the potential to upset Gilmore’s hunt for gold. Peterson will surf against 2017 event runner-up Malia Manuel and injury replacement Zoe McDougall in Round 1 Heat 4. 

“It is new territory for me to be in Hawaii and have a shot at the World Title,” said Peterson. “I am very aware that Stephanie has a very strong lead over me and a lot of chips need to fall the right way for me to win the World Title, but I think in a way that takes a bit of pressure off of me. I am really happy with my performance so far. The goal for every event I go into is to win and that is no different here. If the stars align and it goes into a surf-off, that would be the coolest way to win a World Title. I am nervous, excited, and I am ready to go.”

Beachwaver Maui Pro Round 1 Matchups:
Heat 1: Johanne Defay (FRA), Courtney Conlogue (USA), Paige Hareb (NZL)
Heat 2: Carissa Moore (HAW), Coco Ho (HAW), Bethany Hamilton (HAW)
Heat 3: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Sage Erickson (USA), Alana Blanchard (HAW)
Heat 4: Lakey Peterson (USA), Malia Manuel (HAW), Zoe McDougall (HAW)
Heat 5: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA), Nikki Van Dijk (AUS), Summer Macedo (HAW)
Heat 6: Caroline Marks (USA), Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Bronte Macaulay (AUS)

World Title contender Lakey Peterson (USA) with 7X World Champion and World Title contender Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) at the 2018 Beachwaver Maui Pro press session in Honolua Bay, Maui, Hawaii, USA.


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