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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? 
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?
My pre-heat warm-up song is "100% Pure Love" by Crystal Waters.

Any secret talents?
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? 
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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Ski Flying: Vikersund

The Frosty Rehearsals for Norway’s Vertiginous World Championships

An industrial snowy landscape set the scene for photographer Yann Mingard’s weekend in the Norwegian mountains as he chronicled the run up to the FIS Ski Flying World Championships. Mingard took to the manmade slopes in the quaint village of Vikersund, just outside of Drammen, to capture ski-fliers in training refine their death-defying leaps from a height of 120 meters. "I was surprised by the concentration. When you see these teenagers on the top of the jumps they’re so focused,” says Mingard. “It’s crazy, they jump over 240 meters. It’s not jumping––it’s flying.” The Championships saw over 55 brazen athletes take to the dramatic Vikersundbakken hill to be scored on flight, landing and outrun in front of 25,000 captivated fans. Slovenian Robert Kranjec won the gold medal with a massive leap of 244 meters, only four meters less than Norwegian Johan Remen Evensen's current world record. Vikersund itself is best known for its connection with the world of ski jumping and has been churning out an illustrious list of star athletes since the late 1880s, including the famous trio of Ruud brothers and former world champion Ole Gunnar Fidjestøl. 

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Rafael Nadal's 25th Birthday

Celebrate the Left-Handed Heartthrob’s Quarter Century with Five of Tennis’s Greatest Male Stars

Currently competing in the 2012 French Open at Paris’s Roland Garros, Spanish tennis champion Rafael Nadal turns 25 today. To mark the occasion, NOWNESS unearthed young images of the sport’s other gifted enfants terribles: Las Vegas bad boy Andre Agassi, Ice-cool Björn Borg, John “You cannot be serious!” McEnroe, precocious Boris Becker, and wild-at-heart Goran Ivanisevic have all triumphed at the majors in headline-making style. One of the world’s best current players, Nadal exploded onto the world stage in 2005 by winning the French Open, becoming only the second person to do so at the first attempt. Revered for his virtuosity on clay, in 2008 Nadal reached new heights when he triumphed on the Wimbledon lawns and reached number one in the world rankings, dethroning the formidable Roger Federer. Reaching a Career Grand Slam by winning the US Open in 2010, Nadal’s status has recently been challenged by current number one Novak Djokovic. At the Australian Open earlier this year, the Serb bested Nadal in a nail-biting five-set final that played out over an epic five hours and 53 minutes, the longest in Grand Slam history. Nadal’s progress at Roland Garros this week will determine whether he can crown his birthday with a record-breaking seventh French Open title (he is currently tied with Borg on six), and win the event for the third consecutive year.

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