That means she has now matched the record set by fellow Australian, Layne Beachley, who Gilmore described as an “inspiration” and thanked for setting the standard.
The win comes after Lakey Peterson, who was also in contention for the title, was unable to move through the second round of the Maui Pro.
Gilmore gave an emotional interview after she was awarded the title, thanking her family and friends. “Everyone that gets me here, let’s me do what I want to do,” she said.
“Surfing means everything to me. It has given me everything. It is still my first love.
“Layne, it’s an honour to sit beside you. You’ve been a huge inspiration my entire career. And for so many female surfers, all over the world.
“To equal you is amazing, what an honour. Thank you for setting the standard.”
— World Surf League (@wsl) November 27, 2018
Beachley has responded, tweeting that Steph is “just too good”.
When Steph commits her mind to a task it takes something monumental to stop her. I congratulate Lakey for putting up a terrific fight while demonstrating the courage and conviction to achieve greatness. 2018 was Steph’s year, she is just too good.
— Layne Beachley (@LayneCBeachley) November 27, 2018