"Coming from Spain where I made it into the quarterfinals was a real confidence boost," Hodge said after her first round victory. "I just tried to have the same kind of game plan – do big manoeuvres, relax and get the best waves. I started off slow, fell a couple of times and then ended up getting a 6.4 and backed it up with a 6.9 and I was in first, I couldn’t believe it."
The East London based rookie was seeded against Lima again in round three and it was the Brazilian standout who prevailed, going on to finish second to Australian phenomenon Stephanie Gilmore who repeated her 2006 victory as a wildcard in the richest event on the elite women’s tour.
The result leaves Hodge a further two places down at 14th spot on the rankings, with three events remaining of the 2007 tour – one in Peru and two in Hawaii, needing to rise four places into the Tour’s top ten on the rankings, to automatically re-qualify for another year at the highest level.
Hodge, who has been consulting a sports psychologist to improve the mental aspects of her surfing, needs to equal or surpass her best result of 2007 – a 5th place in Europe last month – in at least two of the three events to make the cutoff even though current World No. 10 Melanie Redman-Carr has withdrawn from the tour as she is pregnant with her first child.
NAB Beachley Classic, Sydney, Australia Final:
Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 15.43 def Silvana Lima (BRA) 15.33
ASP Women’s World Tour Ratings after Stop No. 5 of 8:
1. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 4308
2. Silvana Lima (BRA) 4226
3. Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 3811
4. Samantha Cornish (AUS) 3504
5. Chelsea Hedges (AUS) 3326
14. Rosanne Hodge (ZAF) 1884