Barriers were broken down today during the historic Final of the Outerknown Fiji Women’s Pro, Stop No. 5 of the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), with California’s Courtney Conlogue (USA) taking the win over Hawaii’s Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW).
Conlogue and Weston-Webb, two of the hardest-charging surfers in the field, battled for the event title in dangerous six-foot barrels at Cloudbreak in front of the world’s best male surfers who stepped aside and reorganized their event schedule to see the Women’s Final run in these critical conditions.
The Final saw the women go all out in waves of consequence for the CT win. Massive walls and heavy barrels lined-up at Cloudbreak to challenge Conlogue and Weston-Webb in their seventh head-to-head matchup. Weston-Webb charged through the fast tubes, but was unable to find the exit to complete her scores. Conlogue plowed through the lineup but got caught up on the lip trying to land extreme maneuvers. The Californian kept fighting and landed big combination moves in critical sections to take the win.
Conlogue claims her seventh career Championship Tour victory and her second of 2017, after a win at Bells Beach earlier this season. The win for the two-time CT runner-up sees her move up one place from 5th to 4th on the Jeep Leaderboard and close the gap on the top three.
“This event has always had a really special spot in my heart,” Conlogue said. “There’s been so many amazing winners and this is one of the best left-hand reef breaks in the world. I’m really stoked the WSL did what they did and thank you Jessi [Miley-Dyer] for really supporting the women. We’re pushing the change and being strong for all the women out there and going for it. Conditions were definitely tricky, but we were stoked to get into a couple.”
Conlogue stormed her way to the Final by defeating reigning WSL Champion and No. 1 on the Jeep Leaderboard Tyler Wright (AUS) and defending event winner Johanne Defay (FRA).
“Two wins is a great way to turn things around,” Conlogue continued. “I have a great support team around me and I’m learning a lot. This win means so much to me and I’m so fired up. So many amazing surfers have won here so I’m really honored to be taking this trophy home.”
The runner-up finish for Weston-Webb sees her jump up two places on the Jeep Leaderboard from 12th and puts her back inside the top 10 after a disappointing start to the season. Today is Weston-Webb’s first Final appearance of 2017 and her best ever result in Fiji.
“It was definitely really challenging and I really wanted to put on a show for everyone,” said Weston-Webb. “I really wanted to get barrelled out there because I knew that’s what they were going to score, but unfortunately I just couldn’t make it out of a few. I really wanted to push it and show everyone that anything is possible. Courtney [Conlogue] relied on turns and was smart. She’s pushing all the women harder than ever with her surfing.”
The young surfer from Hawaii earned her place in the Final with a string of incredible victories that saw her take down two-time event winner Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), 3X WSL Champion Carissa Moore (HAW) and 6X World Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS).
Highlights from the Outerknown Fiji Women’s Pro are available at WorldSurfLeague.com.
The next stop on the 2017 WSL Women’s Championship Tour will be the Vans US Open of Surfing from July 31 – August 6, 2017.
The Outerknown Fiji Men’s Pro is ON now and holds an event window of June 4 – 16, 2017. The event will be broadcast LIVE via WorldSurfLeague.com, the WSL app and on Facebook LIVE via the WSL’s Facebook page. Also check the local listings for coverage on CBS Sports Network in the U.S., Fox Sports in Australia, ESPN in Brazil, Sky NZ in New Zealand, SFR Sports in France and Portugal and as part of the EDGEsport Network.
Outerknown Fiji Women’s Pro Final Result:
1 – Courtney Conlogue (USA) 8.74
2 – Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 5.53
2017 WSL Women’s Jeep Leaderboard (After Outerknown Fiji Women’s Pro):
1 – Tyler Wright (AUS) 36,200
2 – Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 34,700
3 – Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 33,000
4 – Courtney Conlogue (USA) 31,800
5 – Johanne Defay (FRA) 28,200