Caroline Marks signature surfing has today earned her the biggest win of her career,
17-year-old Marks had Gilmore under pressure, requiring a near-perfect 9.16 (out of a possible 10) after she posted a 16.33 (out of a possible 20) heat total. Marks kept improving her lead with a third excellent ride to seal the deal and start her 2019 campaign with a guaranteed third-place finish.
“I’ve looked up to Steph (Gilmore) since I started surfing,” said Marks. “It’s incredible to get to surf against her and I’m super humbled to win that because she’s one of the best surfers in the world. I definitely wanted to win that heat and I’m feeling really fired up. I even claimed a couple of waves and I never do that [laughs]. I was going to move down the beach and try a couple of airs, but Steph’s just so good and I didn’t want to leave her on a perfect right to herself because she can easily get a nine.”
“That was really tough,” Gilmore said. “A Quarterfinal finish is still a good result, but it’s just made me hungrier. That hurt a lot, but it also reminded me how much I love doing this and how much I want to win. Caroline (Marks) has always had that fire but she’s piecing it together in heats now and shaking things up.”