Tour Rookie Tatiana Western Webb dominated today’s action at the WSL CT, Fiji Pro, Cloudbreak. The action continued today in the women’s event with the completion of rounds 2 and 3.
Defending event winner Sally Fitzgibbons suffered a perforated eardrum in the heavy conditions.
Tatiana Weston-Webb claimed both of the two highest heat totals and the highest single wave score. Weston-Webb had an impressive run of form, looking confident and at ease on her forehand in the sizable surf. She started with a convincing victory over Sage Erickson in Round 2, pulling into the wave of the day for a long, deep tube and earning a near-perfect 9.73 (out of a possible 10). The young Hawaiian went on to face current No. 1 and two-time World Champion Carissa Moore and Coco Ho in Round 3 where another nine-point ride saw her take the top spot and a place in the Quarterfinals, sending her opponents to Round 4.
“I really love this wave, it’s pretty magical to be out here with just two other girls,” Weston-Webb said. “I think the whole week I was kind of frustrated because it’s really hard to surf it with lots of people out so I’m really appreciating these moments. I’m really stoked to beat Carissa (Moore). She’s one of the toughest to beat right now so I’m really happy I did. Cloudbreak is a wave where you really have to commit but I don’t have much fear out here for reason!”
highlight reel below
Fitzgibbons managed to avoid an early exit after winning through her Round 2 heat against wildcard Mahina Maeda despite suffering a perforated eardrum after pulling into a barrel and being sucked over the falls. Fitzgibbons was able to continue competing and went on to face Lakey Peterson and Laura Enever in Round 3. Both Australians posted impressive nine-point rides in the closing minutes of the heat but it was Fitzgibbons who came out on top, earning a Quarterfinal berth and sending her opponents to Round 4.
“It was a tough one today,” said Fitzgibbons. “That first heat I ruptured my left eardrum and everything started swaying but I just wanted to get back up and give it another go. I just love surfing in Fiji and I didn’t want it to end that way or that soon. I have to thank all the medical crew for really helping me out.”
World No. 2 Courtney Conlogue also earned her place in the Quarterfinals after defeating Johanne Defay and Bianca Buitendag with a solid 15.60 heat total. Fresh from back-to-back wins in Margaret River and Rio, Conlogue is looking for another strong result in Fiji to keep herself in contention for this year’s world title. Defay previously stole a win from Dimity Stoyle in Round 2 with an 8.27, eliminating the Australian in equal 13th.
“I’m so happy to be out here competing,” said Conlogue. “It’s tricky today but the forecast looks amazing. I’m just sticking to my game plan and I’m sure Carissa (Moore) is sticking to hers. She’s going to be hard to beat in Round 4 and I’m sure we’ll see her in the quarters. I’m just focusing on myself because if you worry about other people it starts to hinder your performance.”
Fiji Women’s Pro Round 2 Results:
Heat 1: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 12.70 def. Silvana Lima (BRA) 11.66
Heat 2: Coco Ho (HAW) 16.34 def. Alessa Quizon (HAW) 13.66
Heat 3: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 11.06 def. Mahina Maeda (HAW) 8.57
Heat 4: Malia Manuel (HAW) 12.87 def. Keely Andrew (AUS) 8.27
Heat 5: Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 18.23 def. Sage Erickson (USA) 11.17
Heat 6: Johanne Defay (FRA) 15.10 def. Dimity Stoyle (AUS) 14.17
Fiji Women’s Pro Round 3 Results:
Heat 1: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 17.10, Laura Enever (AUS) 14.77, Lakey Peterson (USA) 13.07
Heat 2: Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 17.67, Carissa Moore (HAW) 14.87, Coco Ho (HAW) 13.44
Heat 3: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 15.60, Johanne Defay (FRA) 13.16, Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 6.33
Heat 4: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 11.27, Malia Manuel (HAW) 10.50, Tyler Wright (AUS) 8.67
Fiji Women’s Pro Round 4 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Laura Enever (AUS) vs. Coco Ho (HAW)
Heat 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Lakey Peterson (USA)
Heat 3: Johanne Defay (FRA) vs. Tyler Wright (AUS)
Heat 4: Malia Manuel (HAW) vs. Bianca Buitendag (ZAF)