Happy Gilmore again
KINGSCLIFF teenager Stephanie Gilmore moved a step closer to a World Championship Tour (WCT) berth with a superb win in the qualifying series event in South Africa yesterday.
Gilmore, 18, claimed her second big win of the year defeating long-time rival and WCT campaigner Jessi Miley-Dyer in the final of the Mr Price Pro at Durban's North Beach.
The win rockets Gilmore, a surprise WCT winner on the Gold Coast as a wildcard in 2005, to the top of the World Qualifying Series (WQS) rankings and in an ideal spot to qualify for the elite tour next year.
"This is my second WQS victory this year and you can't ask for much better," said Gilmore, who earned $5370 for her efforts.
"My main goal is to qualify for the WCT, top five would be great but I'm just thinking why not take out the whole WQS while I'm at it.
"To be on the world tour would be awesome, so I'm just trying to get there as quickly as I can."
The top five ranked WQS surfers will earn a berth on the elite world tour in 2007.
Meanwhile, former world No.2 Chelsea Williams' tilt at the Women's World Longboard Championships in Biarritz, France came to an end in the fourth round.
The Gold Coaster, who had been among the standouts in the early rounds was edged out by eventual runner-up Jenny Smith and compatriot Belinda Baggs.
Californian Schuyler McFerren claimed the world title after winning the all-American final in clean one metre waves.
McFerren, who scored a 9.25 to set up her win over Smith, picked up more than $6000 in prizemoney.
Baggs and Sunshine Coaster Deanne Ashmore were the best of the Australians, eliminated in the quarter-finals.
Tweed surfers Brent Savage and Kieren Lloyd are through to the final rounds of the boys' 16-years division at the Rusty Gromfest at Lennox Head.
With ideal waves blessing the Lennox beach-breaks, the duo kept alive their hopes by posting impressive displays in yesterday's round-three to progress through to today's finals day.