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July 30, 2014

Breaking Waves With Stephanie Gilmore

A Career-Spanning 16mm Documentary on Surfing’s Leading Lady

Surf enthusiast Ava Warbick was in Honolua, Hawaii, in 2007 when she first caught word of Stephanie Gilmore, the first ever rookie to win the Women’s World Championship. Gripped by Gilmore’s consummate skill and poise, the aspiring filmmaker looked to her father, Doug “Claw” Warbrick (founder of surf brand Rip Curl), for pointers, and gained unbridled access to the Australian for three years. The resulting documentary, Stephanie in the Water, released this month, sheds light on the pro surfer’s beginnings at the age of 21 through to her prolific rise to become a five-time world champion, and the pressure to stay at the top of the sport. “Stephanie is radiant and grounded and illustrates true poise,” says Warbick, who captured Gilmore’s elegant swan dive kick-outs in locations that included Micronesia and Puerto Rico. “I was interested in what allows someone to perform and stay present at that elite level,” she adds. Collaborating with an all-female production team, the director completed her debut with an original score from Brooklyn-based producers Fall on Your Sword. Here, Gilmore shares her favorite warm-up music and Diana Vreeland’s timeless bikini advice. 

Who have been some of the women to inspire you over the years?
Stephanie Gilmore: [fellow pro surfers] Lisa Andersen and Kelia Moniz, for they are beauty on a wave. I admire Maria Sharapova's ambition and what she has done for the athletic female image and equality in sport.

You ultimate surf music? 
SG:
Tame Impala is great surf music, Daft Punk just makes me want to party on the wave. And if I'm ever needing to get in the mood to paddle out, I listen to “Sunny" by Marvin Gaye.

One thing we'd be surprised to know about you?
SG:
My pre-heat warm-up song is "100% Pure Love" by Crystal Waters.

Any secret talents?
SG:
I will beat you in table tennis.

You've cited Rihanna as a style icon––what's the most glamorous surf get-up you own? 
SG:
As Diana Vreeland said: “The bikini is the most important thing since the Atom bomb." I guess my whole wardrobe is pretty glamorous.

Stephanie in the Water is available August 5 on iTunes.

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Giles Price: E20 12

The Photographer Hangs Out of a Helicopter for Aerial Views of East London’s Olympic Park

The striking geometry of the London 2012 Olympic Stadium, featuring exposed hockey pitches and tennis courts and Anish Kapoor’s Orbit tower mid-build, are revealed in Giles Price’s awe-inspiring photographs of the ambitious site in Stratford. A former Royal Marine Commando, Price hung out of the side of a twin-engine helicopter to take the arresting aerial images. Depicting areas of the Olympic Park under construction during the past two years, Price’s approach provides unique views dotted with moments of serendipitous, abstract beauty. “At first I started taking pictures around the fencing of the Olympic site, but quickly realized the only way you could really see what is going on is from the air,” he says. “I found that they hadn’t restricted the air space, so anyone could fly over it.” Currently displayed in his E20 12: Under Construction exhibition at the Granary Building in King’s Cross, London, the series includes a sneak peek at the grounds for Danny Boyle’s opening ceremony; the Olympic Village, which will house approximately 16,000 athletes during the two week event; and profiles of some construction workers. Price wanted to recognize the labor that had gone into the gargantuan undertaking of building one of the largest urban parks in Europe constructed over the past 150 years. “I thought it was important to get the workers in there,” explains the photographer. “Boris Johnson [the Mayor of London] and the athletes have been shot a million times.”

STATS FROM ON SET

Number of helicopter flights
Five.

Time in the air
Six hours.

Total number of aerial shots
60 to 70.

Total number of Olympic site workers shot by Price
25.

Number of buildings demolished to accommodate the Olympic Park
200.

Number of construction industry workers involved in building the venues
2.8 million.

Number of Iron Age skeletons excavated from the site
Four.  

Capacity of Olympic Stadium
80,000 people (to be reduced to 25,000 after the Games).

Capacity of all venues combined
Approximately 200,000 people.

Number of times London has hosted the Olympic Games
Three.

Giles Price's E20 12: Under Construction exhibition is at London's King Cross Granary Building until the end of the July.

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Spotlight

Mille Miglia: Auto Italia

Stunning Classic Cars from the Starting Line of the Iconic Vintage Road Race

Photographer Simone Cavadini traveled to Brescia, Italy, to capture the rare wheels and impassioned teams competing in this year’s historical Mille Miglia road race. Around 400 enthusiasts flaunted their prized vintage cars—including Bugattis, Ferraris, Mercedes, and even a rare 1938 Lancia Astura from Verona’s Nicolis museum—for the crowd before heading south to Ferrara. An estimated four million spectators lined the race route, which begins and ends in Brescia, taking in picturesque piazzas through six regions on the way to Rome before doubling back. “It was like a classic postcard of Italy,” says Cavadini of the event. “During the day it was like being back in the 30s with the noise of the old cars, sun and music.” The course has barely changed since the race’s 1927 debut, when a group of Italy’s most famous racing drivers formed the Brescia Automobile Club and organized what would become the “world’s greatest road race,” as declared by Enzo Ferrari. “The most beautiful thing about the competition is discovering the little pieces of Italy. Rome, Firenze, Bologna, Verona,” says Cavadini. Behind the wheel of a 1930s Alfa Romeo, Argentinean duo Claudio Scalise and Daniel Claramunt beat the likes of former F1 driver Jochen Mass and Fiat’s President, John Elkann, to take this year’s coveted prize.

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