The Quarterfinalists were decided today at the final stop on 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP Women’s World Championship Tour (WCT), the Target Maui Pro presented by Schick Hydro Silk. The event ran through Rounds 2, 3 and 4 in solid eight foot building surf at Honolua Bay. The World Title race is still very much in play, with each of the three contenders – Australians Stephanie Gilmore, Sally Fitzgibbons and Tyler Wright – through to the Quarterfinals.
Courtney Conlogue (USA) delivered the performance of the event, scoring the first Perfect 10 of the Target Maui Pro and her first ever in WCT competition. She went on to back it up with a 9.40 to steal the win from her Hawaiian opponent Coco Ho with a 19.40 two-wave heat total (out of a possible 20). Conlogue will face World No. 1 Gilmore in the Quarterfinals.
“That was insane, to get the conditions the way they are at Honolua Bay is just incredible,” said Conlogue. “If anyone knows me I love having swell and power. I just had an incredible time out there and it was so much fun. I figured that the waves were perfect so I just needed to surf and find the right ones.
“I’m excited to face Stephanie (Gilmore) in the Quarterfinals. She got me in Round 3 so we’ll see what happens. I’m going to come back fighting harder and I’m definitely looking to be a spoiler.”
Wearing the yellow jersey, Gilmore defeated Conlogue and Johanne Defay (FRA) in Heat 2 of Round 3. The five-time ASP Women’s World Champion used her experience at Honolua Bay to post the highest score of the heat, an 8.93, earn her place in the Quarterfinals and move one step closer to claiming her sixth World Title. If Gilmore makes the Final she is guaranteed the title, win or lose.
“I’d love to go 200% but I didn’t really get an opportunity on a wave to hit the lip or really push my surfing,” said Gilmore. “It comes down to opportunities and I guess I’ll save the best for last. I’m definitely going to try and get a 9.50 on every wave, especially here at this event.
“It’s really crazy that we might have a surf off. I’ve never experienced that in my career but it’s pretty cool and, if it comes down to that, it’ll be great to have three more heats out here at Honolua Bay with just one other surfer in the water.”
Rookie Defay will join Gilmore and Conlogue in the Quarterfinals after she claimed a win over Malia Manuel (HAW) in Round 4.
“Finishing in the Top 10 was my first goal but I would love to earn Rookie of the Year,” said Defay. “I was trying to keep calm out there and get another wave. Malia (Manuel) is such a great surfer so it was a tough heat. The waves were hard today, with big sets coming, and I just wanted to catch some waves. I used my bigger board today and I was feeling better.”
Fitzgibbons secured her Quarterfinal berth after surfing against Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) and Laura Enever (AUS) in Round 3. Despite an excellent 8.83 from the South African the World No. 2 held on to her lead to win the heat. Buitendag won her Round 4 heat and will face Fitzgibbons in the Quarterfinals.
“This morning the conditions were quite small but the swell was building throughout the day,” said Fitzgibbons. “It was really challenging and it was a battle against the ocean. You have the other two competitors but at times you don’t even know they’re there. There’s a lot going on but I’m really happy to make it through that heat.
“The way I’ve structured all my events this season is to consistently build throughout the events, learn from my last performance, piece together what the judges are looking for and push the envelope and my own performance. A world title is definitely the ultimate goal. I’ve still got a shot so I’m going to throw everything at it.”
The third and final World Title contender, Wright, will join Gilmore and Fitzgibbons in the Quarterfinals after defeating Lakey Peterson (USA) and Dimity Stoyle (AUS) in Round 4. Wright delivered another powerful performance to dominate the tricky lineup at Honolua Bay. Stoyle was eliminated in Round 4 while Peterson won her heat to stay in the competition.
“The conditions have changed dramatically throughout the day and it’s really increased,” said Wright. “Luckily I came here with a bunch of boards and I actually changed halfway through that heat. There’s a really strong current ripping through the reef out there so it’s tough paddling back in. I did find a sneaky barrel, which I’m really happy with. I love having fun and playing around out in the water and that’s my carefree, lighthearted way to handle serious situations that aren’t really that serious.
“Thinking about winning doesn’t really phase me. I just love catching good waves in excellent conditions, and that’s what it is out there. These are the best waves we’ve had all year. If I won the World Title I’d celebrate with a massive dance party with everyone on the dance floor.”
Reigning two-time ASP Women’s World Champion, Carissa Moore (HAW), delivered a dominant performance today after her Round 1 upset at the hands of Conlogue. Moore posted an 18.53 two-wave heat total to eliminate wildcard Paige Alms (HAW) in Round 2 and went on to defeat fellow Hawaiians Malia Manuel and Coco Ho with a 16.00 heat total in Round 3.
“I’m so thankful that there’s an event here in Hawaii,” said Moore. “It’s really special be here and I think we’re all so happy to be able to finish off our season in Maui. It’s wonderful to have a huge sponsor like Target come in and support the women’s tour and Honolua Bay is one of the best right-hand pointbreaks in the world. It’s nice to change things up and be somewhere that makes your heart beat a little bit faster.”
World Title scenarios:
- If Gilmore makes the Final at the Target Maui Pro she will win the World Title.
- If Fitzgibbons wins and Gilmore finishes in 3rd place they will be tied.
- If Fitzgibbons wins the event and Gilmore finishes in 5th place,Fitzgibbons wins the World Title.
- If Wright wins the event and Gilmore finishes 5th or below then they also are tied.
- Event organizers will reconvene at 7:30 a.m. tomorrow morning to assess conditions and make the next call. With the forecast looking favorable it is likely that competition will resume tomorrow with the Quarterfinals and see a conclusion to this year’s title race.
Target Maui Pro Round 2 Results (1st Advances to Round 3, 2nd = 13th place):
Heat 1: Dimity Stoyle (AUS) 13.34 def. Pauline Ado (FRA) 12.74
Heat 2: Laura Enever (AUS) 15.50 def. Alessa Quizon (HAW) 13.63
Heat 3: Carissa Moore (HAW) 18.53 def. Paige Alms (HAW) 10.70
Heat 4: Lakey Peterson (USA) 13.34 def. Alana Blanchard (HAW) 12.93
Heat 5: Johanne Defay (FRA) 14.00 def. Paige Hareb (NZL) 13.70
Heat 6: Coco Ho (HAW) 14.17 def. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 8.33
Target Maui Pro Round 3 Results (1st Advances to Quarterfinals, 2nd & 3rd to Round 4):
Heat 1: Carissa Moore (HAW) 16.00, Malia Manuel (HAW) 15.03, Coco Ho (HAW) 10.40
Heat 2: Stephanie Gilmore (USA) 14.30, Courtney Conlogue (USA) 14.30, Johanne Defay (FRA) 12.50
Heat 3: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 16.00, Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 15.00, Laura Enever (AUS) 6.93
Heat 4: Tyler Wright (AUS) 15.27, Lakey Peterson (USA) 9.53, Dimity Stoyle (AUS) 9.50
Target Maui Pro Round 4 Results (1st Advances to Quarterfinals, 2nd = 9th place):
Heat 1: Johanne Defay (FRA) 14.47 def. Malia Manuel (HAW) 12.53
Heat 2: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 19.40 def. Coco Ho (HAW) 9.17
Heat 3: Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 12.00 def. Dimity Stoyle (AUS) 8.76
Heat 4: Lakey Peterson (USA) 10.57 def. Laura Enever (AUS) 4.60
Target Maui Pro Quarterfinal Match-Ups:
Quarterfinal 1: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Johanne Defay (FRA)
Quarterfinal 2: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) vs. Courtney Conlogue (USA)
Quarterfinal 3: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) vs. Bianca Buitendag (ZAF)
Quarterfinal 4: Tyler Wright (AUS) vs. Lakey Peterson (USA)