Gilmore triumphs at El Salvador Pro, breaking own record for most WSL wins

Gilmore triumphs at El Salvador Pro, breaking own record for most WSL wins

Seven-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore has won the WSL’s El Salvador Pro, registering her 33rd victory to break her own record for most women’s wins on the Championship Tour.

The Australian defeated American Lakey Peterson in the final after eliminating Caroline Marks in the semis and compatriot Isabella Nichols in the round earlier. Griffin Colapinto took out the men’s title, the American defeating world No.1 Filipe Toledo in the final.

The wins catapult both Gilmore and Colapinto to third place in their respective rankings as the tour now heads to Brazil for the third-last stop. The top five men and women after the 10-event world tour will compete in a one-day finals competition in California in September.

“Muchas gracias El Salvador, this is amazing,” Gilmore said. “Once I got past Caroline, I was super confident and I knew I could do it. Lakey is an amazing surfer, so I knew it was going to be a tough final but it doesn’t get any better. I love doing this. I love winning, I love this sport.

“I would love to win another world title but it’s a long road. There’s a lot more competition to be surfed and a lot of hard work to do, but this is just an amazing experience and I’m so happy to be here.”

In the 40-minute women’s final, Gilmore had just 1.03 to her name with 11 minutes remaining. Peterson had compiled a two-wave total of 9.67 by that stage, but Gilmore pulled out the goods when she needed it most.

Gilmore followed up a 7.33 ride with a 5.67 to snatch the lead with just minutes remaining. Peterson couldn’t find a winning ride from that point on, handing Gilmore her first tour victory of the year.

The men’s final also came down to the wire.

Toledo, who opened with a stunning 9.57-point ride, held the lead and priority with four minutes remaining on the clock. Colapinto needed a 7.01 to take the lead, and he set off on a wave in the dying minutes after Toledo decided not to take the wave.

The American pulled off a tail-high reverse followed by a 360-degree reverse to secure an eight-point ride and snatch victory. Colapinto was buzzing following his second Championship Tour victory, following on from his triumph in Portugal earlier this year.

“Filipe and I have had some bouts, he got me at G-Land so I’m psyched to get him back here,” Colapinto said. “He’s been surfing so good. On that 9.57 I just thought that’s Filipe doing his typical stuff.

“This final feels better than Portugal so I’m just soaking it in.”