A great first day of surfing at Landes.
The world’s best female surfers commenced Roxy Pro France action in fine fashion today, showcasing the characteristic talent, strength and speed of the ASP Top 17 as they completed the opening three rounds of competition in three-to-four foot (1 - 1.5 metre) waves.
Event No. 8 of 10 on the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP Women’s World Championship Tour, the Roxy Pro France reignites this season’s race for the world surfing crown in one of the most hotly-contested title battles in history.
Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), current ASP Women’s World No. 1, has posted two wins this season (Rio de Janeiro and Fiji) and is in the frontrunner position for a long sought-after maiden world title. Fitzgibbons stumbled early this morning, losing her opening round heat and edging through Round 2 before finding her form in this afternoon’s Round 3.
“It’s been a long day but it feels good to finish with a strong performance,” Fitzgibbons said. “I was a bit lost in my Round 1 heat this morning and I narrowly escaped Lee-Ann (Curren) in Round 2. I think I was just out of rhythm and I felt a lot stronger and a lot more comfortable in this afternoon’s Round 3. Quarterfinals is a good result already, but I’ll be focused on making another Final here in France and hopefully walking away with the win.”
Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), five-time ASP Women’s World Champion and current World No. 2, was dominant in her opening round performance this morning but struggled in this afternoon’ deteriorating conditions. Gilmore’s Round 3 loss relegates her to the elimination Round 4 where she’ll face Lakey Peterson (USA).
“Boards feel good and surfing feels good,” Gilmore said. “The conditions changed a lot between this morning and this afternoon and Courtney (Conlogue) and Bianca (Buitendag) found themselves on the waves with potential while I didn’t really get anything going. Will look to regroup for Round 4.”
Courtney Conlogue (USA), current ASP World No. 12, went into the 2014 season as a major threat to the ASP World Title, but an ankle injury sustained while training for Bells Beach saw her sidelined for much of the year. Returning to competition at the Swatch Women’s Pro at Trestles last week, Conlogue’s first event back was less-than stellar, but solid performances in Rounds 1 and 3 today have re-cemented her as a major force to contend with amongst the world’s elite.
“I just feel great being here in France and getting through heats again,” Conlogue said. “It was hard to be injured for so long and then to come back at Trestles and not get the result I was hoping for. I’m feeling good and I think I’m surfing strong so it feels amazing to get into the Quarterfinals. Hopefully the waves continue to pump.”
Carissa Moore (HAW), reigning two-time ASP Women’s World Champion and current ASP World No. 3, looked solid in her opening round heat this morning and survived a hard-fought Round 3 bout in the final affair of the day.
“It was another great day for women’s surfing,” Moore said. “All the girls are surfing so well this year that anyone can win any heat. Fortunate to be in the Quarterfinals and hoping for good conditions for the remainder of the event.”
Malia Manuel (HAW), current ASP World No. 5, rebounded from a Round 1 stumble this morning with two impressive performances in Rounds 2 and 3, eliminating compatriot Alana Blanchard (HAW) in Round 2 and advancing past Pauline Ado (FRA) and Tyler Wright (AUS) in Round 3.
“I love being back in France and I have some really good boards under my feet,” Manuel said. “I feel like I’ve been surfing well all year and I am confident in competing against the world’s best.”
When competition resumes, up first will be Pauline Ado (FRA) and Johanne Defay (FRA) in the opening heat of Round 4. Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow morning at 7:30am to assess conditions for a potential 8am start.
Surfline, official forecasters for the Roxy Pro France, are calling for:
WNW swell to continue through the end of the week. Reinforcing swell due for the weekend, continuing into Monday of next week.
Roxy Pro France Round 1 Results (1st advances to Round 3, 2nd & 3rd to Round 2):
Heat 1: Pauline Ado (FRA) 10.76, Malia Manuel (HAW) 7.34, Dimity Stoyle (AUS) 3.54
Heat 2: Tyler Wright (AUS) 10.50, Laura Enever (AUS) 9.40, Alessa Quizon (HAW) 6.17
Heat 3: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 13.13, Sally Fitzgibbons (HAW) 12.40, Lee-Ann Curren (FRA) 9.80
Heat 4: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 16.17, Johanne Defay (FRA) 14.17, Alana Blanchard (HAW) 5.54
Heat 5: Carissa Moore (HAW) 14.76, Paige Hareb (NZL) 10.16, Coco Ho (HAW) 3.43
Heat 6: Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 15.77, Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 10.10, Lakey Peterson (USA) 9.74
Roxy Pro France Round 2 Results (1st advances to Round 3, 2nd finishes Equal 13th):
Heat 1: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 10.44 def. Laura Enever (AUS) 9.07
Heat 2: Dimity Stoyle (AUS) 13.33 def. Alessa Quizon (HAW) 5.44
Heat 3: Sally Fitzgibbons (HAW) 11.53 def. Lee-Ann Curren (FRA) 10.97
Heat 4: Malia Manuel (HAW) 12.50 def. Alana Blanchard (HAW) 7.16
Heat 5: Lakey Peterson (USA) 15.00 def. Paige Hareb (NZL) 8.60
Heat 6: Johanne Defay (FRA) 13.17 def. Coco Ho (HAW) 11.53
Roxy Pro France Round 3 Results (1st advances to Quarterfinals, 2nd and 3rd to Round 4):
Heat 1: Malia Manuel (HAW) 14.93, Pauline Ado (FRA) 12.43, Tyler Wright (AUS) 7.83
Heat 2: Sally Fitzgibbons (HAW) 16.56, Dimity Stoyle (AUS) 10.14, Johanne Defay (FRA) 10.00
Heat 3: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 16.00, Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 15.84, Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 11.40
Heat 4: Carissa Moore (HAW) 12.07, Lakey Peterson (USA), Nikki Van Dijk (AUS)