By Sam Watson

Phillip Island’s Nikki van Dijk has defeated seven time world champion and world number three Stephanie Gilmore in the Rip Curl Rottnest Island Search to move on to the quarter finals. 

Van Dijk, who hasn’t won a World Surf League event since 2017, will face world number five Tyler Wright in the quarter finals.

Wright, like Gilmore has also tasted the ultimate success on multiple occasions but that won’t faze Van Dijk who also helped eliminate world number two Tatiana Weston-Webb in the elimination round. 

A total score of 13.83 saw Van Dijk get the win over Gilmore, who scored 11.1o. 

Her best wave came within the first five minutes of the heat where she scored a 7.83, the second highest wave score of all surfers in the round of 16. 

Van Dijk has lost both of her two meetings with Wright in the past, but their last meeting was in 2016 and the Phillip Island local will be hoping its third times the charm this go round. 

If conditions permit, the two will do battle in the quarter finals tomorrow.