Gilmore survives WSL elimination round

Seven-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore will take on Nikki Van Dijk in the round of 16 at the Margaret River Pro after surviving the elimination round.

STEPHANIE GILMORE.
STEPHANIE GILMORE. Picture: Sean M. Haffey/Getty Images

Seven-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore has edged a 14-year-old rising star to secure her spot in the round of 16 at the Margaret River Pro.

Gilmore was thrust into the elimination second round after losing her seeding-round heat on Sunday.

It meant the 33-year-old came up against Hawaii's Malia Manuel and 14-year-old Australian wildcard Willow Hardy on Monday, with the top two surfers to progress.

Manuel topped the heat with a two-wave total of 11.57 while Gilmore (10.77) finished second.

Margaret River local Hardy took off on some monster waves but she just lacked the polish and the finish on the way to a score of 5.74.

"I'm never going to forget this, it's one for the memories," Hardy told the WSL broadcast.

"I love getting out there in the pumping waves and trying to send it.

"The girls were really encouraging, and it was so nice to surf with the people I look up to most."

The other elimination heat produced a huge shock with Courtney Conlogue of the US failing to progress.

Conlogue, who finished third at the recent Narrabeen Classic, posted a two-wave total of 11.44, falling just short of Australian Keely Andrew (11.97) and American Sage Erickson (12.50).

Gilmore will take on Nikki Van Dijk in the round of 16.

Sally Fitzgibbons is up against Manuel, Tyler Wright takes on Brisa Hennessy, while four-time world champion Carissa Moore will face Australian Macy Callaghan.