Defending women’s champ Stephanie Gilmore has gone straight into the quarter-finals of the Roxy Pro at Snapper Rocks on the Gold Coast with a win in the third round.
After being beaten by rookie Tyler Wright a week ago, Gilmore overcame nerves and got her campaign for a fifth world title back on track on Saturday with wins in the second and third rounds after six consecutive lay days.
Wright put up a good challenge in the third round, but couldn’t overcome Gilmore’s local knowledge and rising confidence, and goes into the sudden death round four.
The defending champ said her wrist, shattered in December when she was attacked with a metal bar, improved significantly in the last four days.
“I felt a little bit of pain here and there but when I’m out there competing my mind’s in other places and I start using it in a new way that I haven’t used it for a few weeks,” she said.
“That’s all it is, it’s just fresh, but I can’t do any further damage and I’ve just got to go hard.”
Gilmore, who is used to winning her opening heats after four world titles, said it was an unusual feeling being in the sudden death second round again.
“I guess when you get some losses and you go into round two it makes the end of the year and the successes, just feel that much better.”
Contest director Rod Brooks said the forecast is for increasing swell, with the men’s Quiksilver Pro expected to resume on Sunday morning.
“We’re expecting waves to double in size overnight,” he said.
Judges will make a call on the Quiksilver Pro at 6.30am (AEST) on Sunday for a possible 7.30am start.