Aussie surfer one win from seventh world crown
THE numbers are in and it's official - Stephanie Gilmore can secure a record-equalling seventh world crown with a win at next week's Roxy Pro France.
Gilmore can snap up the world crown with an event in hand if she claims her fourth title this year in France.
The victory would see her equal the record of fellow Australian Layne Beachley who won her crowns - including six successive - between 1998 and 2006.
Only one surfer can prevent Gilmore, who won the first of her six world titles as a rookie in 2007, winning her seventh crown this year and that is American Lakey Peterson.
If Gilmore wins in France she will be crowned world champion but if Peterson prevails the world title race will go to the final event of the world tour in Hawaii.
If Gilmore finishes runner-up and Peterson third or below, Gilmore will also secure the world crown in France.
The only other way for Gilmore to win in France is if she finishes third and Peterson finishes fifth or below.
Anything worse than a fifth placing for Gilmore and the world title race will be decided in Maui in November.
Gilmore's first heat at the French event, won last year by former world champion Carissa Moore, will pit her against American Sage Erickson and Tahitian Vahine Fierro.
Peterson has drawn fellow American Courtney Conlogue and French star Pauline Ado in her first outing.
The waiting period for the Roxy and Quiksilver Pros commences on Wednesday.