Steph Gilmore wrecks Wright’s comeback
MENTOR and close friend Stephanie Gilmore has ended Tyler Wright's stunning comeback run to surfing after 17 months out of the water.
Gilmore, the most successful women's surfer in history, won her fifth Maui Pro, in Hawaii, beating fellow-Australian Wright.
Gilmore arrived at the final in sizzling form after beating 2019 world champion Carissa Moore in the semi-final.
Wright, Australia's two-time world surfing champion, made her return to the season-ending world tour event in Maui after being forced to put her career on hold for 17 months with a debilitating virus.
So serious was the virus, Wright suffered a mess of neurological issues, including her being unable to hold a conversation.
Yet despite returning to the water 10kg lighter, Wright stunned her rivals by progressing all the way to the final.
Wright and Gilmore share a tight bond and their mateship was evident in the final as they traded scores in the decreasing swell.
Gilmore, a seven-time world champion, came up with the superior wave choices and scores, with Wright unable to secure an eight-point ride with six minutes remaining to overtake her counterpart.
The Aussie pair embraced in the water with Gilmore elated to secure yet another tour event victory and Wright thrilled to show she will be a force in 2020.