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Aussie legend Stephanie Gilmore breaks mammoth surfing record and wins eighth world championship

Jayden Collins

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Aussie legend Stephanie Gilmore breaks mammoth surfing record and wins eighth world championship

Australian surfing legend Stephanie Gilmore has made history by becoming the eight-time world champion.

Her eighth title cements her place as the GOAT of women’s surfing after surpassing fellow Aussie Layne Beachley’s record of seven world championships.

Gilmore took out the final round of the season in California after defeating reigning world-champ Carissa Moore.

Beachley won six straight between 1998 and 2003 and won her seventh title in 2006, signalling an intense reign of domination.

Gilmore, on the other hand, had a much larger gap between her first and most recent title wins.

She won four straight between 2007 and 2010, and then again in 2012, 2014, and 2018.

Her 2022 win was arguably her greatest and most inspiring. 

She had entered the day in fifth place after only just sneaking into the WSL Finals the day before.

It meant she had to win against each of the top four ranked surfers in the world - of which she passed with flying colours.

She edged past the likes of Brisa Hennessy and Tatian Weston-Webb before putting on a display of a lifetime against Johanne Defay.

She then won both heats in the best-of-three match against Moore for the world championship - claiming the whole tournament in a stellar display. 

Gilmore was overcome with emotions following the result.

She said while still in the water: “I don’t have much left, to be honest.

“Oh my God, I visualised it so much and I was like, let’s do this. I have a chance. Let’s just prove this whole system wrong.

“If you can come from the bottom, come from fifth and win a world title, that’s freaking cool.

“But Carissa is the world champion to me this year. She had the best season ever, I’m so honoured to surf against her in this final. And … oh my goodness, I’m so dead.”

After being awarded her trophy, she added: “I’ve won a lot of titles in different ways and this, to be honest, this was the best win I’ve had.

“To come all the way from fifth, and grind it out all the way from fifth all the way to the final. I knew it was possible and I could try to conserve some energy and make it work but I’m against Brisa and Tati, Johanne and Carissa and they’re my favourite female surfers.

“I’m stoked I had a shot at it and here we are. Anything’s possible, this is so cool.”

Featured Image Credit: Aflo Co. Ltd. / Alamy. Rip Curl/Twitter.

Topics: Surfing, Australia

Jayden Collins
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