The Cascais Women’s Pro, stop No. 9 of 10 on the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP Women’s World Championship Tour, got underway today in clean three foot (1 metre) conditions. The event ran through Round 1 at the back-up site of Guincho.
World Title contenders Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Tyler Wright (AUS) and Carissa Moore (HAW) all secured Round 1 wins to advance directly to Round 3, while Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) will have to surf again in elimination Round 2 following a defeat at the hands of Laura Enever (AUS) in Heat 5.
Current ASP World No. 2 Tyler Wright (AUS), fresh from her victory at the Roxy Pro France, kept her momentum going into the Cascais Women’s Pro and posted both the highest single-wave score (9.43) and two-wave heat total (15.96) of the day. Wright found one of the cleanest waves of the morning to dispose of Courtney Conlogue (USA) and Alana Blanchard (HAW) and showcase her powerful and stylish forehand attack in the critical sections of the wave. Wright moves directly to Round 3 while Conlogue and Blanchard will surf again in Round 2.
“Everyone has just arrived from France and it’s hard having back-to-back events, but I think the girls are doing really well. We have fun, funky conditions here today, and I think the girls are making the most out of that,” said Tyler Wright.
Reigning two-time ASP Women’s World Champion and defending event winner Carissa Moore (HAW) came exploding out of the gates in the second heat, to post three solid scores in the opening minutes of the exchange and advance ahead of Dimity Stoyle (AUS) and Alessa Quizon (HAW). In the lead right from the start, Moore kept really busy in the lineup, surfing twice as much as her opponents to fine tune her game on day one.
“Guincho is a tricky beach break, so I just wanted to give myself a lot of opportunities and try to surf as much as I could,” said Carissa Moore. “Every event and every heat is a clean slate, I’m just stoked to be back in Portugal as it holds a very special place in my heart. I really do feel great vibes here and I think we will get a nice few couple of days.”
Current rankings leader Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) took command of her opening heat early on, building on a couple of average first scores to quickly move on to the near-excellent range. With a solid 15.57 on the board, Fitzgibbons had Coco Ho (HAW) and local wildcard Teresa Bonvalot (PRT) in a combination situation, which helped her take the win and a pass directly to Round 3.
“It’s a really nice feeling to start the day with some good scores. There’s a few things to work on, but I’m really happy to move through to Round 3,” said Sally Fitzgibbons. “I feel comfortable competing here in Portugal. I’ve been to probably 9 or 10 events here and my surfing really suits the beachbreak conditions.”
In Heat 5 Australia’s Stephanie Gilmore and Laura Enever went head-to-head in the opening exchange of the exciting 30-minute bout while Paige Hareb (NZL) was left chasing two better waves. Enever’s backhand form gave her a slight edge and eventually the heat win when the five-time ASP Women’s World Champion fell on her final effort. Gilmore will have to surf again in Round 2 where she will face event wildcard Teresa Bonvalot (PRT).
“The heat with Steph (Gilmore) was hard because we are staying together here in Portugal and I’m on Team Steph for the World Title,” said Laura Enever. “But the end of the day I’m here to come as far as I can. I would love to win the event so I’m just trying to do my best. I’m so stoked to skip Round 2 and to be performing and getting some scores.”
Earlier in the day Pauline Ado (FRA) took maximum risks in the first heat of Round 1 to send Malia Manuel (HAW) and compatriot Johanne Defay (FRA) to the elimination round. Looking for a solid score to turn the heat, Ado selected a clean set wave to perform a good turn and finish it with a big blast on the closing section to net a 7.50 and her ticket into Round 3.
“It was really tricky to know which waves to catch but I’m so happy to get the win,” said Pauline Ado. “It’s great for us Europeans to compete on this leg as we have family and friends around. I’ve been competing here in Guincho and Carcavelos for many years so it’s a place I’m familiar with. I really want to represent Europe in the best way I can and get some points for the ratings too.”
ASP World No. 7 Lakey Peterson (USA) rounded up the day’s action with a dominant performance to join most of the top seeds in Round 3. Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) and Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) will battle it out in elimination Round 2 when competition recommences.
“It’s really nice to skip a Round,” said Lakey Peterson. “It felt good out there, I love Portugal, it’s beautiful and I’m just blessed to be here. The Title Race is so close right now so this is going to be a cracker of an event. I’m here to win, so I’m trying to do that and just focus on my game.”
Cascais Women’s Pro Round 1 Results (1st advances to Round 3, 2nd & 3rd to Round 2):
Heat 1: Pauline Ado (FRA) 13.00, Johanne Defay (FRA) 12.00, Malia Manuel (HAW) 11.84
Heat 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) 13.54, Dimity Stoyle (HAW) 10.67, Alessa Quizon (HAW) 7.40
Heat 3: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 15.57, Coco Ho (HAW) 8.24, Teresa Bonvalot (PRT) 6.67
Heat 4: Tyler Wright (AUS) 15.96, Courtney Conlogue (USA) 12.87, Alana Blanchard (HAW) 8.70
Heat 5: Laura Enever (AUS) 14.00, Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 13.37, Paige Hareb (NZL) 8.30
Heat 6: Lakey Peterson (USA) 15.07, Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 13.10, Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 10.00
Cascais Women’s Pro Round 2 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Dimity Stoyle (AUS) vs. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS)
Heat 2: Johanne Defay (FRA) vs. Alessa Quizon (HAW)
Heat 3: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) vs. Teresa Bonvalot (PRT)
Heat 4: Malia Manuel (HAW) vs. Alana Blanchard (HAW)
Heat 5: Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) vs. Paige Hareb (NZL)
Heat 6: Courtney Conlogue (USA) vs. Coco Ho (HAW)