Stephanie Gilmore is making waves as the world’s best surfer by being the first woman to win an eighth world title at the World Surf League at Trestles in San Clemente this past weekend.
The 34-year-old’s victory is one that has surfing fanatics raving about not only due to the unexpected nature of the win but also how Gilmore beat the record of one of her longtime surfing idols, Layne Beachley.
Nick Caroll, who’s spent more than 40 years of his career in surf media, said he did not think Gilmore had any hopes of winning the competition four days before the competition at Trestles took place, according to BeachGrit.
“I will say she’s got absolutely no chance of winning this world title,” Caroll said on the “Ain’t That Swell” podcast.
Many people were not expecting Gilmore to take on the title because her childhood idol’s long-standing surf record had gone unchallenged for so long, according to The Guardian.
Beachley was a global surfing star that Gilmore looked up to immensely throughout her life. Not only did Gilmore look up to Beachley but would eventually go on to compete against her in various surfing competitions over the years.
After surfing in this weekend’s competition, Gilmore has now surpassed her childhood idol for the title of world’s best surfer.
Surfgirl Mag reported that Gilmore is a good sport and her approach to competition is a great role model for many young surfers aspiring to compete. After her win, she applauded the other women she competed against.
“I’m really proud that I was able to make it past Brisa (Hennessy), Tatiana (Weston-Webb), Johanne (Defay), all of the most incredible female surfers in the world,” Gilmore said. “And then to be able to make it all the way to the Final against Carissa (Moore), who in my mind, she’s the real world champ this year. I was out there thinking, if this happens, this is freaking cool because I’m out here against Carissa — the greatest of all time in my opinion.”