Californian Tory Gilkerson has taken out the 2016 Jeep Women's World Longboard Championship presented by Wanning at the pristine left point of Riyue Bay on the Chinese Island of Hainan. Gilkerson came up against Brazilian longboarding prodigy Chloe Calmon in the Final.
Gilkerson had flown under the radar taking out some of the event's biggest names. Her smooth flowing style was rewarded by the judges all event as she posted some of the highest single wave and heat total scores for the entire contest.
Previously, Gilkerson had not made it past the Quarterfinals at the WLC meaning today would have been a memorable day regardless of her result. In the Final she continued her solid approach riding the nose through extended critical sections to post a heat total of 15.93. Calmon was unable to find the required score leaving Gilkerson to take top honors.
"This means a lot to me," Gilkerson said. "It was really stressful out there. I was really stoked to get that 8.00 at the end, it just made it that little bit harder for Chloe. I've been working on staying calm and smooth and I think that really helped me this year. Surfing against the best women longboarders in the world is an honor and I put a lot of pressure on myself to perform at this level. To win the whole thing is just amazing."
In 2015 The World Title was owned by San Clemente as 18-year-old Rachael Tilly won her own first World Title. San Clemente is where it will stay for another year as Gilkerson takes the trophy back to her hometown that will no doubt be beaming with pride.
"I was here last year when Rachael won and as an American it was a really proud moment for all of us. I'm so stoked that I can keep it in California for another year, it means the world to me."
After a number of 3rd place finishes in previous WLC's, Chloe Calmon had for the first time made it to the Final and seemed destined to achieve her dream. That was not the case today as the Brazilian posted her lowest heat total of the contest in the Final. It was an unfortunate end to an amazingly surfed contest with Calmon holding the highest average heat total of the entire event. Calmon will now step back and prepare to go one better in 2017.
"This was not the result I wanted," Calmon said. "I was so nervous in that heat because I knew how well Tory had been surfing all event. I think I let my nerves get the better of me and could not calm myself. I'm upset but I think I'm hungrier to go and learn from my mistakes and come back next year. I believe everything happens for a reason and obviously today wasn't meant to be my day."