Paige Hareb (NZL), 21, the hometown hero, finished equal 3rd today after losing to Gilmore in the tight Semifinal. Hareb held the lead for the majority of the heat, until Gilmore caught one of the best waves of the day, pulled in to a clean barrel and punctuated the ride with two massive turns. This equals Hareb's best result on the ASP Women's World Championship Tour and has moved her up the ratings to 7th in the world.
"You get pretty pumped having the support of the hometown crowd,"
Hareb said. "I lost my breath out the back and had to relax and take a few deep breaths. Looking back from the water and seeing friends and family and everyone from Taranaki was cool to see. I'm glad the weather and waves have been great for everyone. In the Semifinal that one bomb wave came through and Steph (Gilmore) happened to have priority at the time. I couldn't do anything about it. I was just left sitting out the back watching her rip it apart all the way to the beach. I'm pretty competitive, so I'm happy with the result. I'd like to get at lest another 3rd in one of the remaining events this year."
Full report to follow here...