Former world surfing champ Sofia Mulanovich and current title holder Stephanie Gilmore were both out to win essential tour points making it an extremely tough pro surf contest. The 26 year old Bartels came out on top after beating Gilmore in the Semifinal – dubbed ‘the best heat in women’s professional surfing history’ with it’s high-scoring 19 and 18.5 waves – and then Mulanovich in the final.
“After that Semifinal with Steph (Gilmore) I was filled with a lot of confidence,” Bartels said to ASP writers. “The waves pumped for that heat and we were trading barrel after barrel. That’s the most fun I’ve had in a heat in a long time. I had a tough start to the year with sponsors and results, but that just made me really hungry and after today, I’m really looking forward to the rest of the year.”
Event number 4 of 8 on the Women’s World Surfing Tour, it’s now become an even tighter race between Mulanovich, strong at number two, and Gilmore, currently at the top of the rankings. The Tour Champion title could go to either pro at any point now…
For a full report go to the official ASP World Tour site.
Billabong Girls Pro Rio Final Results:
1 – Melanie Bartels (HAW) 14.34
2 – Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 10.60
Billabong Girls Pro Rio Semifinal Results:
Semifinal 1: Melanie Bartels (HAW) 19.00 def. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 18.50
Semifinal 2: Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 11.67 def Layne Beachley (AUS) 9.46
Billabong Girls Pro Rio Quarterfinal Results:
Quarterfinal 1: Melanie Bartels (HAW) 8.84 def. Samantha Cornish (AUS) 5.23
Quarterfinal 2: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 16.47 def. Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 8.50
Quarterfinal 3: Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 11.74 def. Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 8.60
Quarterfinal 4: Layne Beachley (AUS) 14.83 def. Silvana Lima (BRA) 10.33