And the answer is … yes they were.
Stephanie Gilmore Wins the Billabong Pro Maui, Claims Vans Triple Crown
However, the event didn’t go off without problems. There was no surf at Honolulu Bay, for the first time in the 10 year history of the event, and so the organisers were forced to move the final stages of the competition to Ho’okipa Beach Park on the northern side of Maui.
“Today marks the seventh day in a row that the Bay hasn’t had any waves,” Dino Andino, Billabong Pro Maui Contest Director, said. “We’re running out of time, and looking at the forecast, it doesn’t look like the swell is going to be big enough or the right direction until after the waiting period is finished. With that in mind, we’ll be relocating the venue to Ho’okipa Beach Park on the other side of the island where we’ll be looking to get the final day of Billabong Pro Maui competition underway at roughly 8am.”
“It’s a shame that we won’t be able to finish at the Bay but that’s how it is with surf contests,” Gilmore said. “We’re subject to swell patterns and Mother Nature and sometimes we need to make changes. It looks like tomorrow is going to be the biggest day at Ho’okipa which I’ve heard is a fun little wave so I’m stoked to get back in the water.”
However, Ho’okipa supplied the goods and the event was concluded yesterday, Thursday 18th December.
Gilmore, 20, claimed the Triple Crown when she eliminated an emotional seven-time world champion Layne Beachley from the semi-finals of the ASP women’s world tour event.
She then registered the highest score of the day – 9.57 – to beat Melanie Bartels in the final, 17.6 to 14.8.
“Mel is one of my favorite surfers and I just go as hard as I can when I draw her in a heat. You can’t put in a performance at half-speed, and I saw her get a solid wave so I just went for broke on the next one and it paid off. It feels incredible to win the Vans Triple Crown title, it’s a real honour to be considered a good surfer in Hawaii and in such a variety of conditions.”
Brazil’s Silvana Lima claimed the world No.2 ranking after being eliminated in the second semi-final by Bartels.
This video from ASPWorldTour is Steph at the ASP World Tour event last month (November) – sorry but there’s nothing posted yet on the Pro Maui final event…