Stephanie Gilmore is through to the final at Bells Beach.
Stephanie Gilmore is through to the final at Bells Beach.

Gilmore rises to challenge with big Bells win

SIX-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore will leave the Rip Curl Pro as the highest ranked Australian on the world tour after booking a spot in the final on Thursday.

Gilmore has the chance to become the first woman on the current world tour to win four Rip Curl Pro crowns after beating American rookie Caroline Marks in their semi-final.

Teen tyro Marks showed no fear as she took an early lead in the semi-final with an eight-point plus ride.

In a see-sawing heat, Marks took the lead back before Gilmore produced the best score of the day,  a 9.07,  to claim the heat victory and a spot in the final.

Earlier American Tatiana Weston-Webb made her first-ever world tour final with her defeat of Brazilian Silvana Lima in their semi-final.

Like Marks, Weston-Webb is a goofy-footer.

"I just tried to keep it mellow, keep it calm and not make any mistakes,"  Weston-Webb said.


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