Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) has withdrawn from the Target Maui Pro, the last women's Championship Tour event of the season. Keely Andrew (AUS), who is confirmed as a 2016 rookie on the Championship Tour, will replace Gilmore when the contest kicks off this Saturday local time.
Gilmore, a six-time World Title winner and reigning World Champion, suffered an injury in April at the Women's Drug Aware Margaret River Pro and was forced to sit out for five events in a row. She returned to competition in October at the Roxy Pro France and finished in ninth place. In contrast, at this point last year Gilmore was in a neck-and-neck race for the World Title, which she won midway through the event. This year Gilmore is ranked No. 12 on the women's Jeep Leaderboard, two spots too low to requalify for the elite Tour in 2016.
Had Gilmore competed at the event her results there would not have impacted the Title race, but they would have been make-or-break for Laura Enever (AUS) (Find out why). As things stand now, Gilmore's return to the Tour in 2016 will depend on whether she is granted a World Surf League wildcard.
Watch the action in Maui live at the WSL website and App daily from November 21-December 4, when a new World Champion will rise.