Stephanie Gilmore Bashed During Home Invasion
World Surfing Champ Stephanie Gilmore, during a terrifying home invasion at her surfside apartment in Tweed Heads has been bashed with an iron bar which resulted in her being admitted to hospital suffering serious injuries.
The home invasion happened about 9pm on Monday night. The current Bells Beach champ suffered a broken wrist and cuts as she defended herself from the offender. Stephanie was released from hospital yesterday.
A man wielding a metal pole allegedly struck Gilmore twice before fleeing on a pushbike.
The man later allegedly returned to Gilmore’s apartment block where he was seen by friends and neighbours who then performed a citizens’ arrest.
The attack puts Gilmore’s chances of claiming back to back Rip Curl Pro titles in limbo as she faces an uphill battle to be ready for the Easter weekend tournament.
Gilmore said her injuries would mean six weeks “out of the water”, but vowed the attack would not stop her preparation for the 2011 ASP tour.
“Hopefully, I’m on the way to recovery,” she said outside her Hill St unit yesterday afternoon.
“It’s just a little scratch on the head and a fractured wrist.
“Thank you to my family and friends and everyone who supported me. I am happy everyone is OK.
“I’ll have to work on other things but it won’t hurt my confidence.”
Marine Cole, a spokeswoman for Gilmore’s major sponsor Rip Curl, earlier said the champion was in shock.
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“She’s a bit shook up, as you would be,” Ms Cole said.
ASP Australasia’s media manager Steve Robertson said Gilmore’s broken wrist would affect the champion’s chances of claiming her third Rip Curl Pro.
“I don’t know how bad the broken wrist is, but for any surfer a broken wrist is a terrible injury to have,” he said.
“When you take off on a wave all your energy goes into your wrist. It is a vigorous and strenuous movement in your wrist to get on the wave and jump to your feet.
“A wrist injury for a surfer is very similar to a footballer having a knee injury.”
Mr Robertson said Gilmore would more than likely line up at the March tournament, but would be in doubt for the Quicksilver Pro on the Gold Coast in late February.
“She will no doubt be looking at all her options, but I’d be very confident that she will line up at Bells,” he said.
“We are pretty much in January now, and the first major tournament is in late February, so I would say that at this stage it would be doubtful that she would surf at the Gold Coast.
“There have been surfers in the past who have surfed with waterproof casts, so that could be an option.”
Mr Robertson predicted Gilmore would bounce back from the attack and would do everything in her power to win her fifth straight ASP world title.
He said that competition from other talented up and coming surfers could also thwart Gilmore’s chances of lifting up the Bell for a second time in a row.
“The sport has never been so strong; there is lots of emerging talent. While Steph is still young, they are three or four years younger and they are right on her tail.
“I imagine she will bounce back. She is the most naturally talented and gifted surfer there has ever been.”
Gilmore’s alleged attacker was charged with numerous offences including wounding with intent to cause grievous bodily harm.
Police said he was refused bail in Tweed Heads Magistrates’ Court yesterday, and will re-appear via video link from Grafton Correctional Centre on January 10.
We at Soft Boards dot net wish Stephanie Gilmore a speedy recovery!!!