Seven-time surf champ Gilmore upset in Gold Coast QFs
GOLD COAST, Australia (AP) — Seven-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore lost her quarterfinal Saturday to 17-year-old Florida surfer Caroline Marks in the World Surf League season opener.
Marks surprised the big crowd on Duranbah Beach with 8.33 and 8.47 point scores while the Australian could only manage 7.17 and 1.60.
“Just mistake after mistake basically,” Gilmore said. “Being my home break — I surf this beach every day when I’m home — you’d think I would’ve been able to figure it out a bit more.”
Marks said she couldn’t believe she’d beaten Gilmore.
“Steph’s my idol, been my idol since I started surfing and still is,” Marks said. “I’m still star-struck by her, so to be like competing against her and beating her is insane. I’m super humbled. It definitely gives me tons of confidence.”
It was the second major upset at the event which is also the start of qualifying for next year’s Tokyo Olympics, where surfing will make its debut.
On Thursday, 11-time world champion Kelly Slater lost his second-round elimination heat.
The Quiksilver Pro men’s event and women’s Boost Mobile Pro are the first elite events where men and women will receive equal prize money.
The top 10-ranked men and eight highest-ranked women on the 2019 WSL tour will be among those qualifying for the Tokyo Games.