Bethany Hamilton's Legend Status is Rising in Fiji

Bethany's Knocking
As a wildcard at the Fiji Women's Pro, Bethany Hamilton came up against Jeep Leader Tyler Wright in Round Two, and pulled off a huge upset.

Bethany Hamilton is a model to role models.

The 26-year-old Hawaiian, who lost her arm in a shark attack when she was just 13, continues to shock the world with her refusal to give up on her pro surfing dream. She's already inspired millions, and there's no sign of that light dimming.

On Monday Hamilton opened the latest chapter of her remarkable story, eliminating World No. 1 Tyler Wright from competition at the Fiji Women's Pro. For Wright, who's won three of four events this season, it was just the second time in her career that she's lost as early as Round Two.

Hamilton Powers Through
The event wildcard fires warning shots with another big score during Round Three.

Hamilton pulled the feat off with a solid display of tube riding at Cloudbreak, backed by a flurry of ferocious carves. And she was just getting started.

In Round Three, she faced six-time World Champion Stephanie Gilmore and seventh-ranked Johanne Defay. With waves and wind building, the trio got busy in a hurry, trading blows in what became the biggest slugfest of the day. All three looked sharp, too, but Hamilton's combination of frontside lip bashes and heel-side hooks kept Stephanie and Johanne at bay. She led almost the entire way and advanced directly to the quarterfinals with another stunning win.

Bethany's Reaction
After another huge upset win at Cloudbreak, Hamilton opens up about chasing her dreams, and the honor of inspiring others to do the same.

Can we pause for a little perspective here?

Bethany Hamilton is surfing with one arm. Paddling through waves, to waves, and into waves is supposed to be impossible with a disadvantage like that. And pushing to your feet while dropping into hollow reef waves? Forget about it. It's really not possible. She just refuses to believe it. And her storybook determination makes her the embodiment of the world's best motivational speech.

Highlights: Day Two Fiji
Only eight surfers remain after a huge day of epic battles in Fiji. Check out who made the cut, and who didn't.

The only person who may have been happier than Hamilton was Tyler Wright. "She's the greatest human probably ever," Wright said afterward, and she meant it. The two have traveled together as Rip Curl teammates and have become close friends.

Hamilton, for her part, feels the same way about Wright. "I'm pulling for her to win the world title this year," she said. "She's one of my favorite humans in the world."

Heat of the Day: Round Three, Heat 1
Stephanie Gilmore vs. Johanne Defay vs. Bethany Hamilton at Cloudbreak.

Wright took her early loss in stride. "I wouldn't have done anything different," she says. "I surfed a great heat, and had opportunities to win, but came up short by .1" The smile on Wright's face should concern all those around her who might face her in a heat. She's very comfortable with where she is, and where she's going.

Meanwhile, Stephanie Gilmore, who suffered a Round Four loss to Nikki Van Dijk, seems more confused than ever by her inability to find some traction this year. To be clear, Gilmore is surfing as well as ever, but it's mental mistakes that are costing her again and again. That's a new twist for the six-time world champion, and one that will take some time to work through.

Conlogue On Point
The Californian found a gem of a wave at the Fiji Women's Pro, to earn her second nine-pointer in Round Three.

Courtney Conlogue, on the other hand, is in no need of mental flexing. She's rolling through the early rounds like a prizefighter, sticking and moving her way around the Cloudbreak lineup with some swagger to boot. For the second day in a row she earned the highest score of the day, and with Wright's loss and her win, she'll be reclaiming the rankings leader's yellow jersey.

Carissa Moore and Sally Fitzgibbons made a run at that high score though, putting on backhand clinics at Cloudbreak. Carissa is still hunting for her first finals appearance in Fiji and she'll have to go through Sally to get there. If they both survive their quarterfinal matches they'll meet up in the semis.

Moore Power
The three-time champ scored a 9.63 on her final wave of Round Three in Fiji.

Laura Enever and Bianca Buitendag will round out the quarterfinalists. Enever nabbed the first Perfect 10 of the event during her Round Three heat. But even that wasn't enough to get her past Carissa Moore. They'll meet again in the quarterfinals in what is sure to be a speed-versus-power showdown. Buitendag, meanwhile, is the only other goofyfooter left besides Hamilton. They're on opposite sides of the draw, which may bode well for both of them if the waves keep pumping.

Laura's Perfect 10
The energetic Australian opens her Round Three heat with a perfect score.

Fiji Women's Pro Quarterfinal Matches Heat 1 Bethany Hamilton vs. Nikki Van Dijk
Heat 2 Courtney Conlogue vs. Johanne Defay
Heat 3 Carissa Moore vs. Laura Enever
Heat 4 Sally Fitzgibbons vs. Bianca Buitendag