Stephanie Gilmore won the Corona Open JBay in pumping four – six-foot conditions at the world-renowned Supertubes in Jeffreys Bay yesterday.
In a marathon day of competition, Gilmore started her path to victory by eliminating Nikki Van Dijk in Round 3, Bronte Macaulay in the Quarterfinals, Tatiana Weston-Webb in the Semifinals and Lakey Peterson in the Final to take the win at the first women’s CT event hosted on the African continent in almost 20 years.
The Corona Open JBay win marks Gilmore’s record-extending 29th CT victory and her third in the 2018 season (Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, Oi Rio Pro).
In her first visit to compete in South Africa, the six-time WSL Champion made herself at home at Jeffreys Bay with stunning performances.
“I just do not know why I never came here until now,” said Gilmore. “I always felt I’d have some special connection with JBay.
It is just so much fun and it is just a magical place. The waves are just so powerful and perfect. The sunrises, sunsets, dolphins – it is just never-ending. Thanks to everyone.”
Ahead of today, the finalists each had two CT wins in their respective 2018 Title campaigns. The JBay win would determine who would take the lead in the World Title race and the coveted Jeep Leader Jersey heading into the back half of the season.
Gilmore’s 2.74-point lead over the American in the final heat now puts her ahead on the Jeep Leaderboard by 2,145 points.
Event wildcard Buitendag went toe-to-toe with Peterson in Semifinal 1. Peterson got started early with a solid 7.67 (out of a possible 10) on her opening ride and continued to improve with a 7.83.
The South African had the crowd to their feet throughout the heat as she attempted big manoeuvres but was unable to meet the required scores.
Although recovering from a back injury, Buitendag shone throughout this event, winning her Round 3 encounter and then eliminating Coco Ho (HAW) in the Quarterfinals for a 3rd place finish overall.
The Corona Open JBay forms part of the annual JBay Winterfest, a multi-sport festival that takes place every July in Jeffreys Bay.
The next stop on the 2018 WSL Championship Tour will be the Vans US Open of Surfing from July 30 through August 5, 2018.
Women’s Corona Open JBay Final Results:
1 – Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 14.24
2 – Lakey Peterson (USA) 11.50
Women’s Corona Open J-Bay Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Lakey Peterson (USA) 16.66 def. Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 9.33
SF 2: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 15.67 def. Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 10.33
Women’s Corona Open JBay Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 12.33 def. Coco Ho (HAW) 8.90
QF 2: Lakey Peterson (USA) 15.83 def. Johanne Defay (FRA) 13.30
QF 3: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 15.00 def. Bronte Macaulay (AUS) 15.00
QF 4: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 18.54 def. Sage Erickson (AUS) 10.60
Women’s Corona Open JBay Round 3 Results:
Heat 1: Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 14.40, Johanne Defay (FRA) 14.30, Carissa Moore (HAW) 11.36
Heat 2: Lakey Peterson (USA) 16.83, Coco Ho (HAW) 15.10, Malia Manuel (HAW) 13.07
Heat 3: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 14.50, Sage Erickson (USA) 11.57, Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 11.04
Heat 4: Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 15.40, Bronte Macaulay (AUS) 13.34, Caroline Marks (USA) 12.76
2018 Women’s WSL CT Jeep Leaderboard (After Corona Open JBay):
1 – Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 45,575 pts
2 – Lakey Peterson (USA) 43,430 pts
3 – Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 35,245 pts
4 – Johanne Defay (FRA) 27,050 pts
5 – Tyler Wright (AUS) 26,190 pts