Gilmore wins fourth Wolrd Championship; Slater competes for his tenth

In Sports on November 5, 2010 at 6:51 pm

By: Sara Allen

Winning her fourth World Champion title, Stephanie Gilmore competes in the Rip Curl event in Puerto Rico. Photo courtesy of Google images

Kelly Slater, the 38-year-old surfing legend, led the men’s field of the Rip Curl Search event in Puerto Rico for the first three rounds. The only person that can threaten his chance at a tenth world title is Jordy Smith. If Smith finishes worse than fifth, all Slater needs is a 25th place finish to be World Champion again.

Mick Fanning is another surfer for which everyone should watch out. He cannot take the title away from Slater, but based on his heat-win percentage, which is 86, he is the second favorite to win. Damien Hobgood has had a runner-up and fifth place finish on this tour already this year. He is ranked in the top 10, making him another crowd favorite.

Stephanie Gilmore was the favorite to win the women’s division. Winning this event would mean a fourth world title. In 2007, her rookie year, Gilmore claimed her first World Championship. The next two years were nothing different.

The final round, for the women at least, was full of surprises with the waves. The forecast called for the swell to die out early on Sunday. Everyone was surprised when the waves ended up being shoulder-to-head high and lasted through Monday. Hurricane Tomas, which was just south of Puerto Rice for the event, helped out with that.

So will Slater clench his tenth title? Did Gilmore get hers? Slater competed against Dylan Graves in the fourth round. The men still have another elimination round before the quarterfinals. By 8 AM local time Sunday morning, Gilmore had won her fourth consecutive World Champion title. After being crowned, Gilmore had this to say, “This is just so amazing. It’s a long year, and you put so much energy, time and work into it, this feeling just never gets old. You’d think I’d be prepared and know what to expect, but every title’s been so different, and this one is just so special.”

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