LES BOURDAINES, Seignosse/France (Sunday, May 15, 2010) – Current ASP Women’s World Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) was unstoppable as she charged to victory at the inaugural Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Swatch Girls Pro taking the title after overcoming Coco Ho (HAW) in the 35-minute final at the main contest site of Les Bourdaines.
The swell remained a solid 4-5ft (1-1.5m) throughout the entire day with a strong onshore wind making conditions again tough for the girls and turning heats into another battle of physical fitness as well as surfing ability.
Gilmore stormed home claiming the Swatch Girls Pro title leading from the opening siren and finishing off with an 8.5 out of a possible 10 with only seconds remaining smashing the long rights on offer at low tide to seal the victory which never looked in doubt.
Scoring a 9.8 and an 8.5 for a two-wave combined total of 18.30 out of a possible 20 in her quarter-final Gilmore sent out a clear message that she was inform and gaining momentum with each performance. The reigning ASP Women’s World Junior Champion Laura Enever (AUS) came closest to causing an upset when she forced Gilmore to the wire in their semi-final however with less than 30-seconds to go Enever could only look on as her slim lead was shredded to pieces by the eventual Swatch Girls Pro winner.
“For the final I changed my whole stategy because we have been surfing the right down the beach but the tide ped out too much and I thought I would take that risk and paddle over to the other side of the beach. It was hard out there for the first half of the heat because I was a little lost but I managed to find a couple of waves.”
“It is good training and great to hang out with all the girls here,” continued Gilmore about her experiences at the Swatch Girls Pro 2010. “It is hard work these events because you have to surf more times and there are more girls in the water so it is difficult but it feels good to know that I can still cut it and compete at these events and I’m sure that all these girls are hungry to join the world tour soon.”
Gilmore had this to say about her Semifinal bout against Enever.
“The young girls coming through at the moment are really full on and I didn’t think I was going to make it through that heat against Laura but it came down to wave ion and it was definitely a tough event so it makes it all the more rewarding.”
“At most events I build up my pace through the event and try and hold off the best for the final,” continued Gilmore. “It can be hard to put on a good show when the conditions are so difficult but hopefully everyone enjoyed it and I know I did.” (laughs)
Coco Ho (HAW) 2009 ASP Women’s World Tour “rookie” of the year has finished off a great week finishing second in the Swatch Girls Pro adding to her runner-up place yesterday in the Swatch Girls Pro Junior to find some confidence leading into the remaining events of the year.
“It is great to come to France and make the podium for both the Pro Junior and the WQS and to surf the final against Stephanie Gilmore, the best surfer at the moment and to be part of all this here.”
“The conditions didn’t go my way to find a good scoring wave and hopefully for the other events left on the tour this will help my confidence to know I can make finals.”
Laura Enever (AUS) pushed Gilmore to the wire in Semi No. 1 as Evener held the lead until the final 30-seconds of their clash. Finishing equal 3rd and a finalist in the Swatch Girls Pro Junior the current ASP Women’s World Junior Champion has shown that her surfing is on par with the best in the world.
“I’m not really disappointed and I am happy with my overall result here which is my best WQS so far this year and there is nothing bad about losing to Stephanie even if she does beat you in the last 30 seconds of the heat and she is surfing amazingly as always.”
Enever on a tight travel plan and with airports starting to close once again looked on the bright side of her close defeat in the Semifinal.
“I’m really excited because I made the semi-final of the WQS and the final of the Pro Junior so I’m really happy with my results and even if I made the final I would miss my flight home so I guess everything works out for a reason and I’m stoked because it has been an amazing week and I’ve had a lot of fun and I can’t wait to come back next year.”
“There was a lot of paddling out there and I kept paddling but she only needed a small score so I knew she was going to get it as soon as she stood up.”
Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) finished equal third surfing with a knee injury suffered in one of her heats yesterday and was forced to pull out all the stops in her semi-final against Ho failing to regain the lead after having a strong opening ride.
“I needed a 5 point ride and it wasn’t a hard score to get but it is tricky score to get out there when the waves are like they are today and I got a little lost at the start of the heat so if I had not done that I think things would have been a lot more beneficial for me but Coco has been surfing good all week so well done to her.”
Miley-Dyer goes away with a huge confidence boost after overcoming current ASP ranked No. 2 Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) in their close scoring Quarterfinal clash. Coming from behind to gain the lead and hold on during the final minutes Miley-Dyer caps off an excellent European leg.
“That was a really good heat for me against Sally because I had one score and for me coming into the rest of the year to have beaten Sally and she has done so well this year and it is a really good confidence boost for me to have gotten that result and remember how I used to get through heats and win events so this Europe leg has been very good for me.”
The Swatch Girls Pro Junior an ASP Grade-2 event was run in conjunction with the Swatch Girls Pro bringing together a fantastic blend of both European and overseas talent for this second event on the ASP European Women’s Pro Junior Series.
The ASP 6-Star Swatch Girls Pro and ASP Grade-2 Swatch Girls Pro Junior run from May 12 to 16 at Les Bourdaines in Seignosse, France. The event is web LIVE at aspeurope.com where all results, photos, daily press releases and videos will be available.
FINAL SWATCH GIRLS PRO
1 – Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 15.33
2 – Coco Ho (HAW) 8.60
RESULTS SEMIFINALS SWATCH GIRLS PRO
SF 1: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 13.25 Laura Enever (AUS) 11.50
SF 2: Coco Ho (HAW) 11.25 Def. Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 8.90
RESULTS QUARTERFINALS SWATCH GIRLS PRO
QF 1: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 18.30 Def. Courtney Conlogue (USA) 14.00
QF 2: Laura Enever (AUS) 16.25 Def. Tyler Wright (AUS) 13.90
QF 3: Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 10.65 Def. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 10.50
QF 4: Coco Ho (HAW) 13.00 Def. Claire Bevilacqua (AUS) 9.75
RESULTS ROUND 5 SWATCH GIRLS PRO
Heat 1: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 15.00, Tyler Wright (AUS) 11.50, Felicity Palmateer (AUS) 9.35
Heat 2: Laura Enever (AUS) 11.50, Courtney Conlogue (USA) 9.75, Rosanne Hodge (ZAF) 5.55
Heat 3: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 14.40, Coco Ho (HAW) 8.50, Tarryn Chudleigh (ZAF) 6.95
Heat 4: Claire Bevilacqua (AUS) 13.40, Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 11.25, Sarah Baum (ZAF) 8.20