• Melanie Bartels Wins Billabong Girls Pro Rio

Latest news from the Billabong Girls Pro Rio. It's now over and Melanie Bartels Wins the Billabong Girls Pro Rio ! Below is a quick recap of what went down during the event:
Stop No. 4 of 8 on the 2008 ASP Women’s World Tour Barra da Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil September 10 – 18, 2008   Melanie Bartels Wins Billabong Girls Pro Rio Stephanie Gilmore's Perfect 10 Not Enough  RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (Thursday, September 18, 2008) – Hawaiian surfer MELANIE BARTELS (HAW), 26, won the 2008 Billabong Girls Pro Rio, defeating fellow finalist SOFIA MULANOVICH (PER), 25, in rifling four foot (1.5 metre) barrels at Barra da Tijuca in Rio de Janeiro yesterday.   Event No. 4 of 8 on the 2008 ASP Women’s World Tour, the Billabong Girls Pro Rio survived through a grueling five-day lay period to culminate in excellent conditions today, with the ASP Top 17 putting in some of the best performances in ASP history.   Bartels, who rockets up from 14th to 6th on the 2008 ASP Women’s World Tour, collects her second career Dream Tour win (her first as a full-time member) with today’s victory at the Billabong Girls Pro Rio.   The Hawaiian, who was unable to make the second event of the season, has rebounded in spectacular form today, defeating the reigning ASP Women’s World Champion STEPHANIE GILMORE (Gold Coast, AUS) during the Semifinals in what some are calling the best heat in women’s professional surfing history (19.00 def.18.50) before taking down MULANOVICH in the Final.   MULANOVICH, who solidifies her position at No. 2 on the ASP Women’s World Tour ratings with today’s runner up finish, continues to collect consistent results in 2008 with her third Finals appearance of the season. The Peruvian is now just 12 points behind GILMORE on the ASP women's world rankings.    GILMORE (AUS), 20, reigning ASP Women’s World Champion and current No. 1 on the 2008 ASP Women’s World Tour, was in sensational form today, netting the event’s only perfect 10-point ride and backing it up with an 8.50, but was still unable to overcome Bartels in the Semifinals.   GILMORE also earned the Kustom Best Wave Award for her phenomenal perfect 10-point backdoor barrel, reiterating her dominating form, but the young Australian is more aware than ever of how close the race for the 2008 ASP Women’s World Title has become.   LAYNE BEACHLEY (Manly, AUS), 36, former seven-time ASP Women’s World Champion was another potential champion this morning, dispatching of local favorite SILVANA LIMA (BRA), 23, in their Quarterfinal bout, but was unable to overcome her Peruvian opponent in the Semifinals.   LIFESTYLE VISION COPY Australian surfer NICOLA ATHERTON (Bronte, AUS) enjoyed the ride of her life in a two-seater plane for a bird’s eye view of Rio de Janeiro’s famous Christ Statue. Rio’s world-renowned landmark, the 75 year-old statue of Christ overlooks the coastal city from 709 metres above sea level. The 2007 Billabong ASP world junior champion posted her worst result in her rookie year at the Billabong Girls Pro Rio with her equal 17th placing but the talented Atherton said the flight was the best ride of her life.   Reigning world champion STEPHANIE GILMORE (Gold Coast, AUS) and SERENA BROOKE (Gold Coast, AUS) used a Billabong Girls Pro Rio down day to visit the local surf club at the Rocinha Favela - one of the many squatter settlement situated on the steep hills of Rio that house twenty per cent of the cities population. The pair handing over surfboards and other surfing equipment in an emotional moment to the Favela’s surf club president Ricardo Bocao - following on a long tradition that has seen many international surfers support the local talent over the years. Highlights from the Billabong Girls Pro Rio can be accessed via http://www.billabongpro.com/rio08/   The next stop on the 2008 ASP Women’s World Tour will be the Beachley Classic in Sydney, Australia from October 9 – 14, 2008.   For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com
Billabong Girls Pro Rio Final Results: 1 – Melanie Bartels (HAW) 14.34 2 – Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 10.60   Billabong Girls Pro Rio Semifinal Results: Semifinal 1: Melanie Bartels (HAW) 19.00 def. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 18.50 Semifinal 2: Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 11.67 def Layne Beachley (AUS) 9.46                                     Here are the current ASP Women’s World Tour Ratings: After Event No. 4 of 8 1 – Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 3516 points 2 – Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 3504 points 3 – Layne Beachley (AUS) 3036 points 4 – Samantha Cornish (AUS) 2628 points 5 – Amee Donohoe (AUS) 2424 points 6 – Melanie Bartels (HAW) 2112 points 7 – Silvana Lima (BRA) 2028 points 8 – Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 1836 points 9 – Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 1824 points 10 – Rebecca Woods (AUS) 1632 points 11 – Megan Abubo (HAW) 1452 points 11 – Julia De La Rosa (PER) 1452 points 13 – Rosanne Hodge (ZAF) 1440 points 14 – Melanie Redman-Carr (AUS) 1260 points 14 – Karina Petroni (USA) 1260 points 14 – Nicola Atherton (AUS) 1260 points 17 – Serena Brooke (AUS) 1080 points 18 – Claire Bevilacqua (AUS) 912 points*