NewsRoxy Pro Gold CoastTyler Wright

Story Makers of 2016: Steph Sets Snapper on Fire

Six-time WSL World Champion Stephanie Gilmore was injured for most of 2015. As in, she missed six events and dropped down to a career-low 12th in the world type-injured. Certainly, that can do a number on your confidence entering a brand new year, especially if your opponents think you're flying with a broken wing.

Stephanie Gilmore winning her Round 4 heat. Steph Gilmore had jaws dropped with tight arcs like this in her phenomenal Round Two heat on the Gold Coast. WSL / Kirstin Scholtz

And returning to her very first Championship Tour (CT) heat of the year at the Roxy Pro Gold Coast in Round One, Gilmore did look a little shaky.

But then came Round Two against Coco Ho, and Steph threw the gloves off. In perhaps one of the most astounding and gorgeously surfed heats in all of pro surfing history, she tore the lid off of Snapper's rifling righthanders.

Steph vs Coco at Roxy Pro
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Stephanie Gilmore and Coco Ho face off in Round 2 at the Roxy Pro.

With jaw-dropping speed and flow, Steph carved arc after arc, absolutely stunning the other CT competitors watching from the sidelines, building a near-perfect 19.77 heat total. Indeed, the woman was letting go of 8.8's, dropping 9.9's and 9.87's for the impressive win and a near-perfect total score of 19.77 out of a possible 20. And with that, Gilmore achieved a feat that no one touched in 2016, earning the highest heat total of the year among the CT women.

Steph Scorches Snapper
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The six-time world champion delivered the most inspiring performance of the day in Round Two of the Roxy Pro with her beautiful brand of high-performance surfing.

Gilmore didn't end up winning the event. But in that heat in Australia, she proved she still had it inside of her to raise the bar of what women's pro surfing will become.

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