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DDefending event winner and eight-time World Champion, Stephanie Gilmore(AUS), picked up from where she left off last year, winning her Opening Round matchup in excellent form and advancing to the Quarterfinals. Gilmore first posted an 8.17 (out of a possible 10), then backed it up with an 8.00 by landing a fins-free maneuver and several explosive turns. Johanne Defay(FRA) and Tyler Wright (AUS) were left in a competition for second place and will now have to surf the Elimination Round. 

Stephanie Gilmore. Aaron Hughes/WSL

“Every time I come here I have a great experience,” said Gilmore. “This wave is like Lower Trestles right but hollower faster and longer. Any chance we get to surf great waves with no one out is great. This is why I do the Tour. I thought about the fact that this time last year I was in the same position. This time I feel like the pressure is off. But at the same time, I see the young girls surfing well and I want to stay a part of it. I feel like my body is in great shape and my mind is good and hopefully I can repeat it all over again.”

Johanne Defay. Aaron Hughes/WSL
Tyler Wright. Aaron Hughes/WSL