DEE WHY, New South Wales (Sunday, October 4, 2009): Silvana Lima (BRA), 24, won the Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic this afternoon over reigning two-time ASP Women's World Champion and current ASP Women's World No. 1 Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 21, in stormy three-to-five foot (1.5 metre) conditions at Dee Why in an action packed Final, marking back-to-back wins for the hungry Brazilian after claiming the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach.
Gilmore jumped out to an early lead in the sea-saw battle for the 2009 Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic title, but Lima fought back throughout the heat, collecting a 7.77 and eventually securing the win with an 8.83 for a lengthy forehand barrel to post the highest heat total of the event, an impressive 16.60 out of 20, en route to her first victory at the event after three consecutive Final appearances.
"I can't believe it," Lima said. "I've been in the Final in this event three times and I finally won. I was feeling really confident. The waves here today were like the waves in Brazil and I'm always surfing in these conditions. The final was really good. Steph (Gilmore) got some good waves too and I was able to get two good ones."
The back-to-back ASP Women's World Tour wins secured by the hungry Brazilian have significantly tightened the ratings for this year's ASP Women's World Title and although Gilmore still holds on to the ratings lead, Lima is following closely in the No. 2 position.
"I'm definitely looking at the title, but it's too early," Lima said "There are still four contests left this year, so there is more work for everyone, but I feel so much more confident after my first win at Bells."
Gilmore was in devastating form throughout the entire Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic, blasting some of the event's top scores with a committed forehand attack on the steep Dee Why right-handers, but was unable to top Lima in the Final.
"To come back after such a long break and still make the Final, I'm pretty happy with that," Gilmore said. "Silvana (Lima) beat me at Bells and her confidence is through the roof at the moment, so my challenge is to step it up another level. I did it in the Semifinals, but maybe I peaked too early."
Gilmore, who fell to Lima in the Final at the last stop on the ASP Women's World Tour, knows claiming this year's ASP Women's World Title will be no easy task and is preparing for the next four stops scheduled on the 2009 calendar.
"It's definitely game on," Gilmore said. "There are four events left and everyone is really fired up and off to Portugal, Peru and Hawaii, so I can't think of a better way to finish off the tour."
Sofia Mulanovich (PER), 26, was also on fire throughout the entire event, topping 2005 ASP Women's World Champion Chelsea Hedges (AUS), 25, en route to her third place finish, but could not find a solid score in her Semifinal heat against eventual Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic winner, Lima.
"I couldn't really find a rhythm in that last heat," Mulanovich said. "I couldn't land a turn, but it's alright. I guess I was a bit nervous and the waves didn't come my way, but it's the same conditions for everyone. I'll just look at where things went wrong and use that for next time."
Mulanovich, who was the 2004 ASP Women's World Champion, has now notched back-to-back third place results, leaving her in third overall on the ratings, but as a former champion, the Peruvian natural-footer knows she'll need to win events this year if she is to claim another ASP Women's World title.
"Silvana got me at Bells too," Mulanovich said. "It's the same result. A third-place is a good result and I need to work a little more on the mental side of things, but I know that, so that's what I'm going to do. A third is good, but you need to win events to win the title. I'm still towards the top of the ratings and I'm just going to go from there."
Melanie Bartels (HAW), 27, was a standout performer throughout the event's entirety, ousting an international field of competitors including Rebecca Woods (AUS), 25, and Rosanne Hodge (ZAF), 22, on the way to her Semifinals berth. The talented Hawaiian struggled to find a solid score in her battle against Gilmore, bowing out of the Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic with a third place finish.
"I just wasn't in rhythm out there and I couldn't find anything," Bartels said. "It's tough out there, but I'm stoked that I made the Semifinals, it's a good result, but I just wanted to surf well, I wanted to put on a good performance and I don't feel like I did that, but that's how it goes."
For Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic photos, results and highlights log on to www.beachleyclassic.com.
The next stop on the ASP Women's World Tour will be the Rip Curl Search in Peniche, Portugal, which holds a waiting period from October 26 through 30, 2009.
For additional ASP information log on to www.aspworldtour.com.
Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic Final:
1 - Silvana Lima (BRA) 16.60
2 - Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 12.67
Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic Semifinals Results:
Heat 1: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 15.17 def. Melanie Bartels (HAW) 6.87
Heat 2: Silvana Lima (BRA)10.60 def. Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 5.40
Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic Quarterfinals Results:
Heat 1: Melanie Bartels (HAW) 6.35 def. Rebecca Woods (AUS) 5.97
Heat 2: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 15.54 def. Coco Ho (HAW) 8.80
Heat 3: Silvana Lima (BRA) 12.57 def. Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 9.00
Heat 4: Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 12.86 def. Chelsea Hedges (AUS) 8.10
ASP Women's World Tour Ratings After Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic:
1 - Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 3241 points
2 - Silvana Lima (BRA) 2880
3 - Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 2139
4 - Melanie Bartels (HAW) 1983
5 - Coco Ho (HAW) 1723
6 - Rebecca Woods (AUS) 1711
7 - Paige Hareb (NZL) 1704
8 - Chelsea Hedges (AUS) 1519
8 - Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 1519
10 - Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 1512
11 - Samantha Cornish (AUS) 1308
12 - Rosanne Hodge (ZAF) 1116
12 - Alana Blanchard (HAW) 1116
14 - Bruna Schmitz (BRA) 1110
15 - Amee Donohoe (AUS) 918
16 - Layne Beachley (AUS) 756
16 - Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 756