Stephanie Gilmore takes the 2010 Rip Curl Women's Pro Bells Beach

April 5, 2010 | Surfing
Stephanie Gilmore: Bells Beach Queen

Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 22, reigning three-time ASP Women’s World Champion, has claimed the 2010 Rip Curl Women’s Pro presented by Ford Fiesta over opponent Sofia Mulanovich (PER), 26, in a hard-fought Final.

Event No. 2 on the 2010 ASP Women’s World Tour, the Rip Curl Women’s Pro came to a dramatic close today, with the unstoppable, young Australian collecting her third Bells Title in four attempts.

“I’m a bit overwhelmed by this,” Gilmore said. “To ring the bell once is an amazing feeling, but three times? I don’t think the gravity of it has sunk in yet. It’s an incredible event and I feel very fortunate to have achieved such success here so far.”

While not necessarily a standout in the earlier rounds, Gilmore appeared to bide her time at the Rip Curl Women’s Pro, peaking on the final day of competition with some incendiary performances.

“I wasn’t in a hurry,” Gilmore said. “It’s probably not the most exciting frame of mind for the spectators, but I know that it doesn’t totally count until the Final, so that was my game plan and I guess it kind of worked for me. It’s what I’ve used for a lot of events and it seems to work.”

Having collected two wins from two events in 2010, Gilmore now has a commanding lead as she hunts down a fourth ASP Women’s World Title.

“Two for two is definitely an unexpected start of the year but I guess when you’re not really expecting too much that’s when it all just comes your way,” Gilmore said. “Winning the World Title is such an incredible feeling - it’s quite rare so while I can, I just might as well keep winning. But it does take a lot of energy – it really draws a lot of energy out of you. When you come to the end of the year, everybody wants a piece of your time and it can be quite intense, but it’s something that I enjoy. I think that’s why I just kind of cruise throughout the year and then at the end of the year, I want that big climax.”

Sofia Mulanovich (PER), 26, former ASP Women’s World Champion (2004), surfed exceptionally well throughout the day despite suffering from a neck injury in yesterday’s Round 3. The fleet-footed Peruvian’s Runner-Up finish is good enough to vault her to ASP Women’s World No. 2 heading into the third event of the year.

“I’m not at my 100% but I’m just stoked to make it to the Finals,” Mulanovich said. “That’s why I really want to go get treated before my Final. Hopefully, it feels better before the next event.”

Chelsea Hedges (AUS), 26, former ASP Women’s World Champion (2005), looked the form surfer of the event, until falling to eventual Runner-Up Mulanovich in the Semifinals.

“I’m disappointed,” Hedges said. “Heats don’t get much closer than that. I felt like I was on a roll after Margaret’s and it’s disappointing to feel good here and lose a heat like that. That said, I’ll just try to shake it off and concentrate on New Zealand.

Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), 19, into her second year on the ASP Women’s World Tour, defeated an in-form Coco Ho (HAW), 18, this morning before falling to eventual winner Gilmore in the Semifinals.

“Equal 3rd is a good result but it’s still very frustrating to go down to Steph (Gilmore) again,” Fitzgibbons said. “I’m just going to take it as a learning experience and look forward to the next one. It’s great to have events back to back this season and I’m excited for New Zealand.”


1 – Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 14.67
2 – Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 10.00