LAGIDE, Peniche/Portugal (Saturday, October 9, 2010) –Carissa Moore (HAW), 18, 2010 ASP Women’s World Tour rookie, has claimed her second career victory today, taking out the Rip Curl Women’s Pro Portugal over reigning three-time ASP Women’s World Champion and current ASP Women’s World No. 1, Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 22, in offshore six-to-eight-foot (2.5 metre) waves at the backup venue of Lagide.
The young Hawaiian was the dominant surfer from the outset of the event, consistently notching up the highest heat and wave scores of the round, and continued her backhand decimation with an excellent 17.44 out of a possible 20 in the Final.
“I’m really excited – my breath is taken away at the moment,” Moore said. “I’ve just been trying to take it heat by heat and not think about it who I’m coming up against all event, and focusing on my surfing each heat. I didn’t have too much time to think about it between the Semis and Final. The waves were so good so we had a quick turnaround, but once I was out there and I was looking at Steph (Gilmore), I was thinking, ‘wow, I’m in the Final with Steph right now.’”
The prodigious natural-footer had no easy path to her Final with Gilmore this afternoon, having to advance past Australians Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), 19, and Claire Bevilacqua (AUS), 27, in her Quarterfinals and Semifinals respectively.
“Sally (Fitzgibbons) and I have had great match-ups all year and she has been surfing so well all event so I definitely felt a bit of relief after getting through that Quarterfinal,” Moore said. “Not to discount Claire (Bevilacqua) or Steph (Gilmore), but that Quarterfinal win gave me a bit of confidence for sure.”
Today’s victory rockets the rookie sensation from 8th to 5th on the ASP Women’s World Title Race rankings. Having missed the last event in Peru to attend her high school graduation, Moore is now 100% focused on the ASP Women’s World Tour and has announced herself as a major force amongst the women’s elite.
“I don’t have any excuses now without school anymore,” Moore said. “It’s great to have that extra time to dedicate to surfing and training. I’m stoked to be where I’m at right now. I’ve never been to Puerto Rico before. Each event is a new chance and a clean slate. I’ve heard they have some really fun waves and I can’t wait to get there.”
Gilmore’s Runner-Up finish solidifies her position as the frontrunner in the hunt for a fourth, consecutive ASP Women’s World Title. The iconic natural-footer now only needs to secure an Equal 3rd to clinch the title in Puerto Rico.
“The waves here in Peniche are always so much fun,” Gilmore said. “I’m sorry I couldn’t put on more of a show out there, but Carissa (Moore) showed everyone how much fun it can be out there. I’m very happy with a Runner-Up finish and I’m looking forward to the next event.”
Claire Bevilacqua (AUS), 27, secured a career-best result today, posting an Equal 3rd at the Rip Curl Women’s Pro Portugal and moving from 13th to 11th on the ASP Women’s World Title Race rankings.
“Just happy with the result,” Bevilacqua said. “I’m stoked I can hang around and enjoy Portugal for a few days and not worry about the contest. I’m staying at a beautiful place and I’m happy to be here.”
Sofia Mulanovich (PER), 27, former ASP Women’s World Champion, was the other form surfer to post an Equal 3rd in Portugal, moving from 4th to 3rd amongst the women’s world elite.
Highlights from the Rip Curl Women’s Pro Portugal will be available via http://live.ripcurl.com
Photos credit : Cestari and Kirstin / ASP