Billabong‚Äö?Ñ?¥s Rebecca Woods Wins WQS Billabong Girls Pro Rio
Brazil’s Maria Tita Tavares Claims Main Event Wildcard
Women’s World Tour Event to Commence in Brazil
Australian surfer Rebecca Woods made a welcome return to the winners dais today by claiming victory in the star studded final of the 4 star World Qualifying Series (WQS) Billabong Girls Pro Rio in Brazil.
With just two minutes remaining in the heat, the current world #8 used a high scoring 8.83 ride to post her first win in over four years in the challenging 5 foot beach break waves of Barra da Tijuca in Rio de Janeiro.
Twenty-three year-old Woods defeated reigning world champion Stephanie Gilmore (Aus), former Billabong world junior champion and current world #7 Jessi Miley-Dyer and 2000 WQS champion Maria Tita Tavares.
“I got heaps of waves on my head when I was paddling out and I was thinking, “Please God, send me a good one”, and it came,” said an elated Woods.
“The final was really hard and it was my first time facing world champions in the same heat. That definitely gives me a lot of confidence for the world tour event here in Rio and good value for my victory,” added Woods, who won USD3.500 prize money and jumped to no.2 on the WQS rankings.
Pocket rocket and crowd favorite Tavares used her local knowledge for an early heat lead before current world #1 Gilmore carved her way to the front, only to be headed in the dying minutes by Woods.
Former world ranked competitor Tavares claimed the coveted wildcard into the Billabong Girls Pro Rio women’s world tour event with her fourth placing as the only finalist not included in the worlds top 17.
The experienced Brazilian has drawn Gilmore and Melanie Bartels in round one of the main event.
Fresh from her world tour victory in France Gilmore was gracious in defeat stating, “Rebecca got the best wave and won.”
“It’s my first time in Rio, and I like the waves here,” added Gilmore
Woods will take on fellow Australian Amee Donohoe and Julia De La Rosa in the opening heat of round one when the main event commences, which could be as soon as tomorrow.
The waiting period for the fourth of eight women’s world tour events begins September 10th and runs through to the 18th. The tournament only requires three days to be finalized allowing organizers to use the best possible surf conditions for the world’s best surfers.
BILLABONG GIRLS PRO RIO WQS –FINAL:
1st.Rebecca Woods (AUS) champion with 13.53 points – US$ 3.500 and 1.500 points on WQS
2nd. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 11.33 – US$ 1.900 and 1.290 points
3rd. Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 9.13 – US$ 1.600 and 1.095 points
4th Tita Tavares (BRA) 8.34 – US$ 1.500 and 1.005 points
SEMIFINAL – 3.a=5.o place (US$ 850 e 915 pts) / 4.a=7.o ($ 800 e 833 pts):
1.a: 1-Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 2-Tita Tavares (CE), 3-Silvana Lima (CE), 4-Tais de Almeida (RJ)
2.a: 1-Rebecca Woods (AUS), 2-Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS), 3-Nicola Atherton (AUS), 4-Monik Santos (PE)
QUARTER FINAL – 3.a=9.o place (US$ 750 e 750 pts) / 4.a=13.o ($ 650 e 675 pts):
1.a: 1-Taís de Almeida (RJ), 2-Silvana Lima (CE), 3-Krisna de Souza (RN), 4-Valeria Sole (PERU)
2.a: 1-Tita Tavares (CE), 2-Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 3-Melanie Redman (AUS), 4-Juliana Quint (SC)
3.a: 1-Rebecca Woods, 2-Jessi Miley-Dyer, 3-Samantha Cornish, 4-Layne Beachley (AUS)
4.a: 1-Nicola Atherton (AUS), 2-Monik Santos (PE), 3-Serena Brooke (AUS), 4-Gabriela Teixeira (RJ)
RANKING WQS 2008 – 11 etapas:
01: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) – 9.695 points
02: Rebecca Woods (AUS) – 7.855
03: Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) – 7.520
04: Rosanne Hodge (AFR) – 7.415
05: Paige Hareb (NZL) – 7.120
06: Bruna Schmitz (BRA-PR) – 6.790
07: Jacqueline Silva (BRA-SC) – 6.725
08: Alana Blanchard (HAV) – 6.695
09: Laurina McGrath (AUS) – 6.645
10: Claire Bevilacqua (AUS) – 6.155
10: Bethany Hamilton (HAV) – 6.155
>-----------next South Americans:
22: Silvana Lima (BRA-CE) – 4.915 points
25: Ornella Pellizzari (ARG) – 4.625
28: Suelen Naraisa (BRA-SP) – 4.405
31: Taís de Almeida (BRA-RJ) – 4.283
34: Cláudia Gonçalves (BRA-SP) – 4.230
44: Diana Cristina (BRA-PB) – 3.715
45: Marina Werneck (BRA-SC) – 3.665
59: Monik Santos (BRA-PE) – 2.293
67: Tita Tavares (BRA-CE) – 1.905