Peruvian surfing star Sofia Mulanovich will head into next week’s crucial ASP World Tour event at Sunset Beach, Hawaii, hoping to keep her title hopes alive.
Mulanovich (pictured, above) gave herself a great chance with a win in the last ranking event in Lobitos, Peru, at the expense of Tour leading light Stephanie Gilmore, and it’s now a six-way tussle between Gilmore, Silvana Lima, Mulanovich, Coco Ho (winner in Portugal two events ago and a Hawaiian local), Chelsea Hedges and Melanie Bartels.
A win for Gilmore (pictured, left) in the Gidget Pro Sunset Beach will automatically end Mulanovich’s hopes, and if the 20-year-old Aussie finishes second or third, Mulanovich must win. Fourth for Gilmore means that the Peruvian needs at least second place to remain in contention. Ninth, seventh or fifth for the leader leaves the contest wide open with just the Billabong Pro Maui to follow on December 8–20.
“I haven’t had the best season and I was really waiting for a breakout result,” Mulanovich said after winning in her native country. “To finally get it at home is really special. I am just so stoked.”
'I will just keep doing what I am doing and hopefully crack it pretty soon.' – Sally Fitzgibbons
Meanwhile, Australian Sally Fitzgibbons is just out of contention for this year’s title back in seventh, but she’ll look to go out on a high note after finishing third in Peru, narrowly beaten by Mulanovich in the semis, but nevertheless the top rookie at Lobitos.
“I’m definitely happy with my performance,” Fitzgibbons (pictured, left) said afterwards. “I will just keep doing what I am doing and hopefully crack it pretty soon.”
Ahead of the final two World Tour events, the Reef Hawaiian Pro, a Vans Triple Crown contest and ASP Specialty event, continues this week with all the championship contenders in action, and you can keep up to date with live surfing and results at www.triplecrownofsurfing.com.
For more on the World Tour showdown in Hawaii, beginning with the Gidget Pro from November 24 to December 6, click on www.aspworldtour.com.
ASP World Tour Women's rankings
1. Stephanie Gilmore (Australia) – 4,765pts
2. Silvana Lima (Brazil) – 4,188pts
3. Sofia Mulanovich (Peru) – 3,891pts