RAINBOW BAY, Queensland/Australia (Sunday, March 3, 2013)
– The world’s best female surfers got down to business today as Round 1 of the Roxy Pro Gold Coast presented Land Rover was completed in clean, three-to-four foot (1 metre) waves at Rainbow Bay.
Five-times ASP Women’s World Champion, STEPHANIE GILMORE (Aus) commenced her world title defense with an opening heat win. The 25 year-old, defending event champion used better wave selection by utilizing her home-break advantage and posting a heat high 8.77 to leave American SAGE ERICKSON, 21, and wildcard, DIMITY STOYLE, 21, (Aus) on the back foot. Gilmore shut the gate with an 8.07 in the final minutes of the match-up to advance directly into round three. Erickson and Stoyle both relegated into the sudden death round two heats.
Gilmore said that home-break advantage was a factor.
Nineteen year-old LAKEY PETERSON (USA), posted the highest single-wave and heat score of the round with a 9.8 and 9.33 in the last heat of the day. The world number seven dominated from start to finish with Hawaiian MALIA MANUEL finishing second and South Africa's BIANCA BUTENDAG in third. The long touted Peterson announced herself as a real threat for this year’s Roxy Pro title finishing with a heat tally of 19.13 out of a possible 20. Peterson moves directly though to round three with Manuel and Butenday forced into the sudden death round two heats.
World no.2 SALLY FITZGIBBONS also sent warning bells through the ranks of the Women's ASP World Tour today with the second highest heat score of the round - 17.77 (out of a possible twenty). Fitzgibbons, 22, opened quickly with an 8.77 then backed up with a near-perfect 9.00 in excellent conditions to advance through to round three. Brazil's SILVANA LIMA and Peru's SOFIA MULANOVICH relegated to round two after failing to catch the runaway Fitzgibbons.
France’s PAULINE ADO demonstrated scintillating form in the first heat of the day, scoring an 8.50 (out of a possible 10 points) and backing it up on her next wave with a 7.67 in a seesawing battle with 20 year-old American COURTNEY CONLOGUE. Australia’s LAURA ENEVER forced into third place after failing to complete her two highest scoring rides and will surf again in round two with runner-up Conologue. Ado said that she was relieved to win through to round three off the event.
In a dramatic second heat Hawaii’s COCO HO took a last-minute victory over Australian’s TYLER WRIGHT and World Tour veteran REBECCA WOODS. Wright dominated the heat right up until the final minute scoring an 8.17 early and then 7.17, before Ho found a wave and linked several swooping turns to score an 8.10 to back her initial 8.77.
Hawaii's CARISSA MOORE posted two great scores in heat five to better New Zealand's PAIGE HAREB and fellow Hawaiian, Alana Blanchard. Hareb found a great wave early on in the heat to post an 8.3, but failed to find a high-scoring second wave to back it. Hareb and Blanchard with surf again in round two, whilst Moore will advance directly through to round three of the event.
ROXY PRO GOLD COAST ROUND 1 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Pauline Ado (FRA) 16.17, Courtney Conlogue (USA) 13.66, Laura Enever (AUS) 12.97
Heat 2: Coco Ho (HAW) 16.87, Tyler Wright (AUS) 15.34, Rebecca Woods (AUS) 10.83
Heat 3: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 16.84, Sage Erickson (USA) 11.90, Dimity Stoyle (AUS) 8.54
Heat 4: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 17.77, Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 17.43, Silvana Lima (BRA) 13.67
Heat 5: Carissa Moore (HAW) 16.66, Paige Hareb (NZL) 11.60, Alana Blanchard (HAW) 7.76
Heat 6: Lakey Peterson (USA) 19.13, Malia Manuel (HAW) 14.36, Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 11.27
ROXY PRO GOLD COAST ROUND 2 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Paige Hareb (NZL) vs. Bianca Buitendag (ZAF)
Heat 2: Laura Enever (AUS) vs. Rebecca Woods (AUS)
Heat 3: Tyler Wright (AUS) vs. Dimity Stoyle (AUS)
Heat 4: Courtney Conlogue (USA) vs. Sofia Mulanovich (PER)
Heat 5: Malia Manuel (HAW) vs. Alana Blanchard (HAW)
Heat 6: Silvana Lima (BRA) vs. Sage Erickson (USA)