While the Semifinal of the Maui Women's Pro was something of a victory lap for Tyler Wright, for her opponent (and good friend) Stephanie Gilmore, it was another chance to simply dominate. Wright won her second World Title during Thursday's Quarterfinals, but even though the World Title showdown was over, Gilmore was acting if she still had something to prove, six title cups be damned.
"Just for the confidence and everything," Gilmore said afterward. "I always have such great surfs against Tyler. She always pushes me and makes me feel so nervous...I had to win that one."
Gilmore had been on a tear from the very start of the proceedings at Honolua Bay, throwing down near-perfect scores in just about every heat. Maybe it was the allure of the long righthanders, or maybe it was the freedom of not having a serious shot at a seventh World Title this time around. Whatever is was that uncorked Gilmore's formidable competitive mojo in Maui, it was free-flowing and boundless. She went on to win the Final against a recharged Malia Manuel to nab her fourth Maui Women's Pro win and finish off the season ranked No. 2 behind Wright.