Australian Stephanie Gilmore has won a record-equalling seventh world surfing title, matching the accomplishment of countrywoman Layne Beachley.
Gilmore’s first world title in four years was secured when her only remaining challenger, American Lakey Peterson, failed to progress past the second round of the season-ending Maui Pro in Hawaii.
Queenslander Gilmore won her first world championship in 2007 – a year after Beachley’s last – and defended her crown from 2008-10 before she reclaimed it in 2012.
“It’s an honour to sit alongside you Layne,” said Gilmore on the World Surf League broadcast.
“You’ve been a huge inspiration for my entire career and for so many female surfers all round the world.
“To equal you is amazing. What an honour.”
At 30, Gilmore is likely to surpass Beachley as the most successful women’s surfer but quickly played down suggestions that Kelly Slater’s record haul of 11 world titles could be a target.
“I hate that question,” she said when asked if the American legend’s mark was in jeopardy.
“I’m just going to lap up seven. But this is so, so cool.”
Queenslander Gilmore advanced to the third round earlier on Monday with a dominant first round heat win.
She dispatched American Sage Erickson and Alana Blanchard, with the Hawaiian later returning to beat Peterson in round two and seal Gilmore’s latest success.