Champion surfer and Audi ambassador, Steph Gilmore sets her sights on a record eighth world title.
Australian surfing legend, Stephanie Gilmore, heads to the Rip Curl WSL Finals this month hoping to merge as the most successful female surfer in WSL history.
WSL, Tony Heff and Thiago Diz
2 September, 2021
Gilmore has sharpened her focus on the competition in 2021 and her desire to add that eighth title to the list
It’s 14 years since Stephanie Gilmore seemingly came out of nowhere to win her first World Surfing Title in what was her rookie year. Since then, the kid from Murwillumbah in northern New South Wales has gone on to add another six world titles to her tally to equal the record of fellow Australian, Layne Beachley, as the most successful women’s surfer in history.
Along the way the Audi Ambassador has racked up countless WSL wins and cemented her place at the top of the women’s rankings and this year also saw her representing Australia at the Tokyo Olympics, with surfing added for the first time.
With her last world title win back in 2018 and the competition stopped in 2020 because of the global pandemic, Gilmore has sharpened her focus on the competition in 2021 and her desire to add that eighth title to the list.
That goal has continued to tick along throughout 2021, placing fifth at the Maui Pro, Newcastle Cup, Narrabeen Classic and Surf Ranch Pro as well as second place at the Margaret River Pro and a win at the recent championship event at Barra De La Cruz, Mexico.
Those results have put her squarely in the hunt for her personal holy grail, assuring her road to the Rip Curl WSL Finals this month in San Clemente, California.
Going in, Gilmore sits in equal fourth with French surfer Johanne Defay, with Australian Sally Fitzgibbons just above her in third. But to take that all important prize, Gilmore will ultimately have to take down current world No.1, American, Carissa Moore.
At 33 years of age, Gilmore is very much in her prime and while she’s aware that the competition never gets any easier, she has no doubt that she has what it takes to take the top spot yet again.
At last year’s Surfing Australia Awards she addressed the pressure of the constantly emerging talent in the sport and said that it was a part of what continued to drive her.
“Those young girls are right there, and they don't care how many titles you've got,” she said.
“Maybe they're inspired by you, but they actually want to smash you. So yeah, it's the greatest thing for any athlete to have that competition, that rivalry, that's really when you start achieving things in your career that you surprise yourself with.”
Steph will be looking to take her career to that new high this month from the 9th to the 17th in California, and become the most crowned women’s surfer of all time.
To take that all important prize, Gilmore will ultimately have to take down current world No.1, American, Carissa Moore
Want to ensure you always receive the latest news and features from Audi? Subscribe now to the Audi Magazine newsletter.