Carissa Moore has taken her first ASP Tour victory, sealing up the win at the Gidget Pro Sunset Beach in Hawaii on Saturday.
It was also another great day for Sally Fitzgibbons, who earned her second consecutive top three finish on the tour, moving up to fifth place in the overall standings with one event left to go. But it was the stunning performance by local resident Moore that lit up Sunset Beach as she claimed first place after coming into the competition via a Trials victory.
“It’s such an honor,” a clearly delighted Moore said. “I’m speechless right now. I never thought that I would make the final in this event. All of the girls were surfing so well. Congratulations to Steph [Gilmore] for winning the World Title.”
Gilmore, whose third-place finish wrapped up her third consecutive overall title, was clearly impressed with Carissa. "I'm definitely looking forward to having her on Tour next year," Gilmore commented. "She deserves to be on Tour. She's an incredible surfer and she has a great personality. I'm sure she'll push the girls even more."
Despite the fact that she is just 17 years of age, Moore had been to the finals of an ASP World Tour event previously in 2007; she utilized that prior knowledge, along with her local know-how, to her full advantage this time.
“It definitely helps having other World Tour experience under my belt,” she said. “I also know surfing on the North Shore is always going to be challenging; each heat is a clean slate.”
Fitzgibbons was also pleased with her continued fine progress in her rookie year. En route to the final, the 19-year-old Australian scored a perfect 10-point ride in the semifinals.
“I was really happy to get that wave,” Fitzgibbons said. “It was tricky. There were not that many waves in that heat and I was happy to get the score and move on through to Final.”
Gidget Pro Sunset Beach final result
1) Carissa Moore (HAW) 14.24
2) Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 13.07
3) Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 12.17
4) Alana Blanchard (HAW) 11.17
Gidget Pro Sunset Beach semi-final results
SF 1: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 16.40, Carissa Moore (HAW) 11.34, Chelsea Hedges (AUS) 10.33, Melanie Bartels (HAW) 5.64
SF 2: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 17.17, Alana Blanchard (HAW) 13.83, Malia Manuel (HAW) 8.90, Coco Ho (HAW) 1.10
Gidget Pro Sunset Beach quarter-final results
QF 1: Melanie Bartels (HAW) 12.40, Chelsea Hedges (AUS) 11.23, Megan Abubo (HAW) 6.50, Laurina McGrath (AUS) 4.33
QF 2: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 13.40, Carissa Moore (HAW) 12.00, Samantha Cornish (AUS) 9.57, Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 2.00
QF 3: Alana Blanchard (HAW) 11.27, Malia Manuel (HAW) 10.43, Silvana Lima (BRA) 8.90, Paige Hareb (NZL) 0.00
QF 4: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 11.90, Coco Ho (HAW) 11.16, Bruna Schmitz (BRA) 1.37, Bethany Hamilton (HAW) 1.16
ASP Womens' World Tour overall rating (after Gidget Pro Sunset Beach)
1) Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 5521 pts
2) Silvana Lima (BRA) 4548 pts
3) Coco Ho (HAW) 4117 pts
4) Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 4071 pts
5) Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 3792 pts