Current ratings leader Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), former ASP Women's World Champion Sofia Mulanovich (PER) and South American phenom Silvana Lima (BRA) are the only three surfers remaining in contention for the 2007 ASP Women's World Title, and the pressure will be on at Honolua Bay to determine who will walk away with surfing's most prestigious title.
Gilmore, who has already recorded one of the best rookie seasons in ASP history with three wins in 2007, will be the frontrunner heading into the Billabong Pro Maui, but knows that Mulanovich and Lima are right there with her in contention.
"I've been trying to approach every event the same way," Gilmore said. "It can be very easy to get caught up in all the world title talk, but I'm just focusing on Round 1 at Honolua."
This will be Gilmore's first event at the infamous righthander, and the stylish natural-footer is one of the favorites heading into the Billabong Pro Maui because of her tenacious forehand attack and explosive repertoire.
"It's a perfect wave, and I've been looking forward to surfing it with only two girls out all year," Gilmore said. "I'm really amped to get some good barrels and just enjoy myself because it's the last event of the year."
Although Gilmore currently leads the ratings, Mulanovich is holding a 17th place finish in her scoreline which, if replaced in Maui, will see her jump ahead in the ratings leaving Gilmore and Lima playing catch up.
"I have a lot of confidence after my win at the Roxy Pro and I am really looking forward to getting over to Maui," Mulanovich said. "Steph and Silvana are incredible surfers and I know they want this bad – I'm just going to stick to my gameplan and focus."
If Mulanovich places 17th in Maui, Lima must finish 1st or 2nd, otherwise Gilmore wins.
If Mulanovich places 9th, Gilmore must finish 5th or better, and Lima must finish 1st or 2nd to claim the crown.
If Mulanovich places 5th, Gilmore must finish 3rd or better and Lima must win the Billabong Pro Maui to claim the title.
If Mulanovich places 3rd, Gilmore must finish 2nd to win, and Lima is out of contention regardless.
If Mulanovich places 2nd, Gilmore must win the event, and if Mulanovich wins the event, she also wins the title.
Given the three's reputation in hollow righthanders, expect a showdown for the ages to ensue as we countdown to the crowning of the 2007 ASP Women's World Champion.
The Billabong Pro Maui pres. By Hawaiian Airlines will begin its waiting period on Dec. 8, 2007 and have until Dec. 20, 2007 to complete the event. Only two full days of competition are required to complete the event, and event organizers will look to run in the best conditions possible.
For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com