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Beautiful conditions greeted competitors this morning in Biarritz and the Roxy Pro finally started with the opening heat of the day entering the water at 7:30am. Sunny and warm weather along with 3-5Ft clean waves were on offer throughout the day and allowed the girls to showcase their excellent surfing in front of the growing Biarritz crowds.
Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 21, had a slow start to her day, losing in Round 1 and had to surf in the second round where she blew up in front of an excited massive crowd who came to support her opponent Johanne Defay (FRA). Fitzgibbons scored the highest heat total of the day, an excellent 18.15 out of 20 earned by aggressively surfing two long righthanders all the way to the beach.
First round is tough, specially with the small amount of waves I just didn't have that rythmn and I really feel like I got back into the groove in that one.. Fitzgibbons stated. I'm definitely feeling confident in my surfing and found the right waves. I think beachbreaks here in France just have a mind of their own and I was just trying to link up with that and predict its next move you know 'Côte des Basques' sort of changes every five minutes. I'm loving the challenge of trying to find those fun little waves !
Roxy's Fitzgibbons, currently second in the World Title race, will need a strong result in France to stay in contention for the World Title, and later confirmed in Round 3 when she won and qualified for the quarter-finals sending Coco Ho (HAW) and Lakey Peterson (HAW) in the Round 4.
It was good to get Round 2 and 3 sort of under the belt, Fitzgibbons commented. I really got to loosen up in those heats and got some good and long running waves. It's good to be moving through and I feel like I'm building my surfing throughout the event.
ASP ratings leader Stephanie Gilmore looked really self-confident with 2 consecutive wins today. Quiksilver's team rider dominated her Round 1 against Paige Hareb and Jacqueline Silva to qualify straight to the 3rd round where she defeated Malia Manuel and Sofia Mulanovich. Four time world Champion qualified for the quarter finals and keeps her chances of being crowned in France alive (if she wins the event and Sally doesn't reach the final !).
Tyler Wright (AUS) 18, was another stand-out performer this afternoon as the swell got bigger and the waves allowed her to display her power. The young Australian netted the second single highest scoring ride of the event so far, a near perfect 9.10 with a combination of two radical manoeuvers to move straight into the quarter-finals.
I feel pretty good, it was really tricky this morning and that was good to get through that first round. Wright said. I'm super stoked because I don't usually surf small waves like that, but it's picked up now and it's a little more suited to me so I'm enjoying it !
Tyler Wright, being part of the new generation of progressive up-and-comers, brought excitement to the Round 3 when she tried a massive aerial but fell off just short of landing it. Coming from a strong family of surfers and with a big brother well known for his aerial skills, there's no doubt Tyler will lead the path for surfer girls to follow.
I took off on that wave and I thought it was going to be a two turns kind of wave, but it did something funky in the middle and I thought like, well I might as well try something big ! It didn't pay off this time, I didn't land it but well..
Roxy's Johanne Defay (FRA) 18, who won the trials that earned her a wildcard spot in the Roxy Pro Biarritz, was eliminated in the second round opposed to the Australian Sally Fitzgibbons. Europe's current Junior Champion has learned a lot from this event and will go back to the Junior and Star tour amped to improve her surfing and try to qualify for the elite level.
I've learned a lot at this event, Defay stated. I now understand a little better that you've really got to step up and give your everything on each wave ! It may be a good idea to surf safely a couple waves to have your score basis but then you got to push really hard all your turns and take a maximum of risks. I think on my best days I'm not too far from the level required on the World Tour but I know I have to be a lot more consistent. I had a 7.25 on my last wave and it felt good !
Despite surfing at home and being supported by crowd and friends, the 2 french girls Justine Dupont and Pauline Ado got eliminated in the second round of the event. Their chances of getting requalified next year on Tour are really poor and they will both need to perform on the last ASP Stars events this year to stay in the Top 18 in 2013.
Tomorrow call at 9:00 am local time for a possible start at 9:30 am.
Roxy Pro Round 1
Heat 1: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 14,50 pts, Sarah Mason (NZ) 13,15 pts, Coco Ho (Haw)9,00 pts
Heat 2: Tyler Wright (AUS) 12, 05 pts, Lakey Peterson (USA) 10, 65pts, Sage Erickson (USA) 8,10 pts
Heat 3: Rebecca Woods (AUS) 11,30 pts, Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 10,00pts, Johanne Defay (FRA) 6,60 pts
Heat 4: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 13,20 pts, Page Hareb (NZ) 10,80 ps, Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 7,75 pts
Heat 5 : Carissa Moore (HAW) 17,30 pts, Justine Dupont (FRA) 14,90 pts, Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 5,00 pts
Heat 6 : Laura Enever (AUS) 14,50 pts, Malia Manuel (HAW) 12,15 pts, Pauline Ado (FRA) 7,40 pts
Roxy Pro Round 2
Heat 1 : Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 12,75 pts, Sarah Mason (NZ) 12,40 pts
Heat 2 : Lakey Peterson (USA) 15,25 pts, Sage Erickson (USA) 13,35 pts
Heat 3 : Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 18,15 pts, Johanne Defay (FRA) 11,00 pts
Heat 4 : Malia Manuel (HAW)15,75 pts, Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 11,00 pts
Heat 5 : Coco Ho (HAW) 16,00 pts, Justine Dupont (FRA) 15,15 pts
Heat 6 : Page Hareb (AUS) 10, 65 pts, Pauline Ado (FRA) 7,50 pts
Roxy Pro Round 3
Heat 1 : Tyler Wright (AUS) 15,10 pts, Courtney Conlogue (USA) 14,40 pts, Rebecca Woods (AUS) 11,30 pts
Heat 2 : Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 13,40 pts, Coco Ho (Haw) 11,50 pts, Lakey Peterson (USA) 8,35 pts
Heat 3 : Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 16,00 pts, Malia Manuel (HAW) 13,70 pts, Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 9,60 pts
Heat 4 : Carissa Moore (HAW) 14,00 pts, Laura Enever AUS) 9,25 pts, Paige Hareb (NZ) 6,10 pts
Credit : Greg Rabejac / Roxy