Stephanie Gilmore has withdrawn from the Cascais Women's Pro due to illness. The six-time world champ is suffering from an ear infection and her physicians have not cleared her to travel.
"Really disappointed to have to withdraw from Portugal," Gilmore said. "I felt like I was finally in a rhythm at Trestles and looking forward to carrying that momentum to Europe. Hoping to heal up in time for France. Good luck to all the girls in Cascais."
Gilmore, who missed the 2015 Cascais event due to injury, won there in 2014, on her way to clinching her sixth World Title. In Cascais, French surfer and European Qualifying Series (QS) champion Pauline Ado will replace Gilmore in Round One, Heat 4. Ado will go up against Bianca Buitendag, who's ranked No. 12 on the Championship Tour (CT), and Courtney Conlogue, who's No. 2.
Also in the mix in Cascais will be event wildcard Teresa Bonvalot. The Portuguese wunderkind will have her work cut out for her: In Round One, she'll face World No. 1 Tyler Wright and CT rookie Keely Andrew. Still, Bonvalot could give the CT women a run for their surfing money, too. At just 16, she's leading the Junior Tour in Europe and is starting to see results on the QS. Just last month, she finished in third place at the Pantin Classic Galicia Pro, where she went down in the Semis to CT surfer Sage Erickson (Ado, meanwhile, finished there as runner-up).
Catch Bonvalot, Ado and the rest of the Top 17 live daily on the WSL website and app, starting Saturday, Sept. 24 at 7:30 a.m. local time.