MANLY BEACH, Australia (Saturday, October 11, 2008) - Some of the biggest and potentially costly upsets of the season went down today while Round 3 of the Beachley Classic was completed in clean two-to-three foot surf at the primary venue in Manly Beach, Australia.
Stop No. 5 of 8 on the 2008 ASP Women's World Tour, the Beachley Classic saw the shock elimination of reigning ASP Women's World Champion and two-time defending Beachley Classic Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 20, at the hands of Oakley Trials Winner and wildcard Tyler Wright (AUS), 14.
"I'm super stoked about taking Steph (Gilmore) down," Wright said. "It's very exciting and I never thought it would happened. I just did my best to be patient and pick off the best waves and that seemed to work. Steph is a hero to pretty much every grommet in Australia so to be beat her is just unbelievable."
Wright displayed maturity and patience beyond her young years in her Round 3 clash with the champ, waiting several minutes before collecting two solid scoring rides that put Gilmore on the back foot while the clock ticked down. Wright will now face tour veteran Jacqueline Silva (BRA), 29, in her opening Quarterfinal heat.
"The heats are only going to get harder and harder from here on out," Wright said. "Everything from here on out is a bonus so I'll just be trying to catch the best waves and surf the best I can."
While Gilmore looked to be in form early in the heat, the phenomenal natural-footer was unable to find solid enough scores to overtake the younger challenger, and will take her ASP Women's World Title defense to the next stop in Peru.
"I struggled to produce any decent scores out there in those conditions," Gilmore said. "Tyler (Wright) is a very patient and mature competitor who deserved the win and I'm sure will keep causing upsets throughout the remainder of the event. This will obviously lower my place on the ratings, but I'll throw this one away and start fresh in Peru."
Sofia Mulanovich (PER), 25, former ASP Women's World Champion, overtook the ratings lead on the 2008 ASP Women's World Tour with her Round 3 victory over Karina Petroni (USA), 20. Prior to the Beachley Classic, Mulanovich was just a scant 12 points behind Gilmore in the race for the ASP Women's World Title, and with her Quarterfinals berth, the Peruvian now sits atop the ratings.
"After seeing Steph (Gilmore) eliminated just before my heat, I felt like the pressure was off a little bit and I had nothing to lose," Mulanovich said. "I felt pretty free and I think this helped my surfing. You just have get the right waves, have the right board and surf the best you can".
Rebecca Woods (AUS), 24, caused another major upset today, defeating winner of the last ASP Women's World Tour event in Brazil, Melanie Bartels (HAW), 26, in Round 3 in stunning fashion.
"Bartels is a scary competitor because she can bring anything out at any time," Woods said. "She's definitely tough competition. It's a great result for me to crack the Quarterfinals and comes at a crucial point of the year."
Event organizers at the Beachley Classic will reconvene tomorrow at 7am for a possible 7:30am start.
The Beachley Classic will be webcast LIVE via www.aspworldtour.com and www.swellnet.com.au/beachleyclassic08
BEACHLEY CLASSIC Round 3 Results:
Heat 3: Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 16.25 def. Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 11.15
Heat 4: Tyler Wright (AUS) 11.85 def. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 11.00
Heat 5: Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 14.00 def. Karina Petroni (AUS) 6.70
Heat 6: Rebecca Woods (AUS) 12.75 def. Melanie Bartels (AUS) 12.00
Heat 7: Silvana Lima (BRA) 15.50 def. Megan Abubo (HAW) 10.75
Heat 8: Layne Beachley (AUS) 12.15 def. Melanie Redman-Carr (AUS) 11.45
BEACHLEY CLASSIC Quarterfinals Match-Ups:
QF 1: Julia de La Rosa Toro (PER) vs. Amee Donohoe (AUS)
QF 2: Jacqueline Silva (BRA) vs. Tyler Wright (AUS)
QF 3: Sofia Mulanovich (PER) vs. Rebecca Woods (AUS)
QF 4: Silvana Lima (BRA) vs. Layne Beachley (AUS)