The fifth stop of the 2015 Samsung Galaxy WSL Championship Tour started today with round one of the women’s event, kicking things off with a solid swell at Cloudbreak. With the swell steadily increasing, the day saw big scores, barrels and upsets, including defending event winner Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) being sent to elimination Round 2 at the hands of Laura Enever (AUS).
Check the highlight reel below
The first heat of the day was Lakey Peterson (USA) battling it out with Alessa Quizon (HAW) and rookie Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW). Peterson came though the heat on top, just beating a strong looking Western Webb who on the last wave just fell short, putting her and Quizon to the try and avoid last place in the elimination of Round 2.
“It’s such an amazing wave and it’s really challenging and tricky,” said Peterson. “All the girls have really been charging and we’re all really excited about pushing the sport.”
Heat 2 was the highlight of the day with defending event winner Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) and Laura Enever (AUS) against Coco Ho (HAW). With both of the two highest heat totals of the day being in the same heat Fitzgibbons and Enever had only 0.13 between them at the end of the heat. Fitzgibbons started well, setting the pace with an 8.00 on her first wave, then getting a good 6.83 as her back up score to leave her opponents in a combo land. Enever answered back with a near-perfect 9.43 for three solid hacks on one of the biggest waves of the heat. Fitzgibbons produced a 9-point ride of her own to increase her lead. In the final moments Enever scored an 8.37 to snatch the lead from the current world no. 6, sending her to elimination Round 2 for the first time this year and causing the upset of the day.
“It’s a big relief to skip Round 2,” Enever said. “I’m so stoked. It really started pulsing for our heat and we were going wave for wave. I feel really comfortable out there. It’s been awesome, all the girls are ripping and I hope we get some more waves.”
Jeep rankings leader Carissa Moore (HAW) continued her excellent run having only lost one heat this year posted the score of the heat with ten minutes remaining, finding a barrel for an 8.50 and securing her place in Round 3 with a back-up 6.10. Dimity Stoyle (AUS) and wildcard Mahina Maeda (HAW) will have to battle again in Round 2 when competition continues.
“I’m stoked that I got to come here early and experience some bigger surf,” Moore said. “It’s definitely really tough and I know that there’s girls like Sally (Fitzgibbons) and Courtney (Conlogue) who have a lot of experience here so I’m trying to catch up.”
The Fiji Women’s Pro will be webcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com.
Fiji Women’s Pro Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: Lakey Peterson (USA) 12.00, Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 11.00, Alessa Quizon (HAW) 6.83
Heat 2: Laura Enever (AUS) 17.80, Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 17.67, Coco Ho (HAW) 11.17
Heat 3: Carissa Moore (HAW) 14.60, Dimity Stoyle (AUS) 12.83, Mahina Maeda (HAW) 7.66
Heat 4: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 11.50, Johanne Defay (FRA) 7.83, Keely Andrew (AUS) 5.50
Heat 5: Tyler Wright (AUS) 11.93, Sage Erickson (USA) 11.13, Silvana Lima (BRA) 10.23
Heat 6: Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 17.06, Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 15.57, Malia Manuel (HAW) 14.40
Fiji Women’s Pro Round 2 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Silvana Lima (BRA) vs. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS)
Heat 2: Coco Ho (HAW) vs. Alessa Quizon (HAW)
Heat 3: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) vs. Mahina Maeda (HAW)
Heat 4: Malia Manuel (HAW) vs. Keely Andrew (AUS)
Heat 5: Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) vs. Sage Erickson (USA)
Heat 6: Johanne Defay (FRA) vs. Dimity Stoyle (AUS)