Stephanie Gilmore wins her 4th ASP World Title in Puerto Rico. Photo by ASP/Cestari.

Today, November 1, 2010, pro surfer Stephanie Gilmore from Australia won her 4th consecutive Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Title at the Rip Curl Women’s Pro Search in Puerto Rico.

Her surfing record is historic for many reasons, including one of the few times that a surfer has clinched the coveted World Title with enough wins on the ASP tour throughout the year, before the big kahuna of surfing events starting this month in Hawaii, the Vans Triple Crown series, and in particular, the Gidget Pro at Sunset Beach -the women’s ASP final event of the year.

Stephanie has won the ASP World Title since her rookie year in 2007 (when she also won Rookie of the Year of course), making her surfing record “prefect” since the day she turned pro. Even 9-time ASP World Champion Kelly Slater and Layne Beachley have not achieved such a claim.

“I guess I haven’t really been thinking about that,” Stephanie Gilmore said after her win in Puerto Rico. “But to hold a record that Layne (Beachley) or even Kelly (Slater) never got is pretty special. I never thought I would even win two, consecutive titles so to win four is a massive achievement for me.”

Stephanie Gilmore makes her moves and scores a 9.8 at one point during the competition.

All Photos by ASP/Cestari.

Today’s ASP Women’s World Title clinching is the latest in a long list of achievements for the 22-year-old Australian, which include: ASP Women’s World Tour Rookie of the Year (2007), two-time Vans Triple Crown of Surfing Titles, 15 ASP Women’s World Tour event victories and four, consecutive ASP Women’s World Titles.

“This Title means a lot to me,” said Gilmore. “The girls on tour this year have been the best they’ve ever been and I’ve been pushed in every one of my heats. The younger girls especially have a whole new approach and they’re gaining in confidence in every surf. The future for the sport is going to be exciting and I can’t wait for it. But for now, I’m going to celebrate my win. Thanks to everyone for all the support.”

Sally Fitzgibbons, 19, comes in 2nd.

In more details of the final stages of the event, it was a challenging afternoon with surf conditions, but Gilmore locked in a near-perfect 9.80 out of a perfect 10 for a searing forehand assault on a rare clean righthander.

“I was just really fortunate that that wave cleaned up for me to do some damage on,” Gilmore said. “Even afterwards, I just couldn’t find a solid backup. Carissa (Moore) has been ripping all event long and she’s so dangerous. I was honored to be in the Final with her and to win it, just makes everything that much bigger.”

With her Runner-Up finish, Carissa Moore moves from 5th to 3rd on the 2010 ASP Women’s World Title Race, recording one of the most impressive rookie seasons in ASP history.

“Of course I wanted to win but to be in the Final with Steph (Gilmore) after she just accomplished what she did was really special,” Moore said. “I’m really thankful to be here in Puerto Rico %u2013 it’s beautiful and warm and really reminds me of home. I’m looking forward to heading back to Oahu to finish the season out.

Sally Fitzgibbons, 19, was one of the form surfers of the event, consistently notching the high single-wave and heat totals each round with unmatched power and ferocity. However, the young Australian was unable to halt a late charge from a rampaging Moore in their Semifinal bout.

“It’s disappointing to lose when you have a strong lead early on,” Fitzgibbons said. “That’s the way it goes sometimes. It’s been a strong event for me, but I’m still looking for that first win. That’s my goal for the next event in Hawaii and I want to finish strong to set me up well for a big year next season.”

For more check out the Rip Curl Women’s Pro Search Puerto Rico webcast: Or televised version in Australia on FUEL TV:

Stay tuned for more surf-related news as we cover the upcoming Vans Triple Crown of Surfing on the North Shore of Oahu over the next 2 months.

Silvana Lima, 26, from Brazil, current ASP World No. 4, came out of this monster to claim the year’s first Perfect 10 for the girls at the Rip Curl Women’s Pro Search Puerto Rico.

Claire Bevilacqua, 27, from Australia, was a standout on Day 1 of the Rip Curl Women’s Pro Search Puerto Rico.