3rd Place Finish | 2016 WSL Fiji Pro
Bethany Hamilton, global sporting icon and event wildcard finishes third in the WSL #FijiPro! Earning Bethany the best wildcard result in WSL competition since 2012. #GoBethany
Bethany was in sensational form at Fiji Women’s Pro, eliminating WSL Jeep Rankings’ Leader Tyler Wright (AUS) in Round 2 before charging past six-time WSL Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) and Johanne Defay (FRA) in Round 3 to earn a spot in the event’s Quarterfinals.
Hamilton unleashed clean, powerful snaps to earn a 15.47 heat score. Gilmore, with a 14.77 two-wave score, finished closely behind Hamilton. Defay earned a 7.50 to take control early in the heat, but was not able to find a second score to challenge Hamilton and Gilmore.
“Stephanie, Tyler and Carissa are three of my favorite female surfers, so it was daunting knowing I had Stephanie in my heat,” Hamilton said. “I have so much respect for everyone on Tour. I have been dreaming of surfing and competing here, so I was excited to receive a Wildcard entry into this event. I am honored that I can inspire people. I know I am in a unique position to encourage young girls to make great decisions as they grow into women and to chase their dreams. Even after losing my arm, I am still doing everything I’ve hoped I could do with my future and even more. I think I am a reminder for the young girls that they can do it if they set their mind to it.”
After winning her Quarterfinal heat against Nikki VanDyke (AUS), Bethany advanced to the Semifinals where she surfed against eventual event champion Johanne Defay. Overall an outstanding performance by Bethany, catching the attention of international media, and creating even more excitement leading up to the release of her performance surf film, Surfs Like a Girl.