Quarterfinalists were decided yesterday for the Roxy Pro Gold Coast presented by BOQ, stop No 1 of 10 on the Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour, in pumping three-to-four-foot waves at Snapper Rocks.
The day saw the completion of rounds 2, 3 and 4 with Australia’s Stephanie Gilmore, Sally Fitzgibbons and Tyler Wright advancing into the quarterfinals alongside Carissa Moore (HAW), Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) and America’s Courtney Conlogue and Lakey Peterson, while the losers will have to refocus on the upcoming event in Western Australia.
Five-time ASP women’s world champion Stephanie Gilmore earned her place in the quarterfinals after getting the best of her opponents in both heats. Gilmore squared off against rookie Nikki Van Dijk in round 2, threading barrels and blending rail turns with progressive hits to collect an impressive 15.23 (out of a possible 20) and the win. Gilmore faced an on-fire Courtney Conlogue (USA) and Paige Hareb (NZL) in round 3. Gilmore mixed power turns and barrels, as the Californian applied her own brand of dynamic surfing, to take the win and advance to the quarterfinals.
‘This is my favourite event of the year,’ said Gilmore. ‘We get to be the only ones out there and the waves are insane. I get nervous and want to catch every single wave that comes through. Courtney (Conlogue) is dangerous so I knew I just had to put everything I had into it. I put 200 per cent into every single turn and every single wave.’
Carissa Moore (HAW), reigning two-time ASP women’s world champion, was unstoppable, dropping near-perfect scores seemingly with ease as she unloaded a barrage of beautifully destructive turns and carves. Moore won the Roxy Pro Gold Coast in 2011 and, after posting a monster 9.90 (out of a possible 10), she finished with 19.50 out of a possible 20 in her round 3 bout and she’s on track for another strong showing this year. Moore will take on fellow Hawaiian Malia Manuel in the quarterfinals when competition resumes.
‘I’m so stoked they ran the women’s event today; there are some fantastic waves out there,’ said Moore. ‘I was a little nervous going out this round because I broke my favourite board this morning. I was a little rattled but this board is feeling good. I had so much fun out there.’
Snapper Rocks continued to deliver this afternoon as defending event champion Tyler Wright collected a solid barrel ride and capitalised with more waves in the dying moments of the heat, securing her place in the quarterfinals.
‘The waves were pumping out there. These are fantastic conditions for everyone to be surfing in right now,’ said Wright. ‘You just get pumped on women’s surfing and where the level is going. It’s exciting for me to be a part of it.’
Sally Fitzgibbons faced a tough match-up in trials winner and wildcard Keely Andrew in the elimination round 2, but came out on top. She put on another exciting show in the final heat of round 3, snatching the win from Lakey Peterson (USA) who posted the heat’s highest score. Rookie Alessa Quizon (HAW) went to town on her backhand, but it was Fitzgibbons’s consistency and impressive rail game that landed her the heat win and a ticket straight to the quarterfinals where she will match-up against Peterson again.
‘That was a really good match-up,’ said Fitzgibbons. ‘Whenever the three of us (Peterson and Quizon) are out there together we try to really raise the level. We all want to win so I was fighting for it and just wanted to get my wave count up. I feel like I’m slowly improving and it feels really nice to skip through to the quarterfinals. It’s the first event of the year and it’s definitely a jewel on the schedule. You know amazing surfing has to be put forward to take it.’
Roxy Pro Gold Coast Quarterfinal Match-Ups:
Quarterfinal 1: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) v Courtney Conlogue (USA)
Quarterfinal 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) v Malia Manuel (HAW)
Quarterfinal 3: Tyler Wright (AUS) v Bianca Buitendag (ZAF)
Quarterfinal 4: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) v Lakey Peterson (USA)
Roxy Pro Gold Coast Round 4 Results:
Heat 1: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 12.83 def Pauline Ado (AUS) 10.73
Heat 2: Malia Manuel (HAW) 10.83 def Paige Hareb (NZL) 8.60
Heat 3: Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 16.77 def Alessa Quizon (HAW) 12.93
Heat 4: Lakey Peterson (USA) 15.37 def Dimity Stoyle (AUS) 6.64
Roxy Pro Gold Coast Round 3 Results:
Heat 1: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 16.34, Courtney Conlogue (USA) 14.84, Paige Hareb (NZL) 5.83
Heat 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) 19.50, Malia Manuel (HAW) 14.34, Pauline Ado (FRA) 10.64
Heat 3: Tyler Wright (AUS) 14.14, Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 9.20, Dimity Stoyle (AUS) 8.43
Heat 4: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 14.43, Lakey Peterson (USA) 13.20, Alessa Quizon (HAW) 12.30
Roxy Pro Gold Coast Round 2 Results:
Heat 1: Lakey Peterson (USA) 13.43 def Alana Blanchard (HAW) 11.04
Heat 2: Malia Manuel (HAW) 14.33 def Coco Ho (HAW) 13.00
Heat 3: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 12.24 def Keely Andrew (AUS) 7.30
Heat 4: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 18.50 def Johanne Defay (FRA) 9.83
Heat 5: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 15.23 def Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 12.64
Heat 6: Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 10.66 def Laura Enever (AUS) 9.33