Thursday saw two complete rounds of competition unfold at New Plymouth's Back Beach at the Subaru Pro TSB Bank Women's Surf Festival in New Zealand. Upon completing round two in the morning, event organizers made the call to get after round three later that afternoon in an effort to make up for time lost when wild winds waylaid the festival's earlier rounds.
Notable results from round two included world number seven, Sofia Mulanovich's defeat at the hands of Copacabana's Rebecca Woods, Coco Ho's close victory over tour rookie Alana Blanchard (11.0 to 10.35), and French tour rookie Pauline Ado's knock out of fellow freshman, Laura Enever. In round three, four-time and defending world champ Stephanie Gilmore fell to Coco Ho, forcing a rare appearance in the round four repechage heats.
The afternoon session gave way to world numbers one, two and three: Carissa Moore, Sally Fitzgibbons and Tyler Wright, respectively winning their heats and punching a ticket to the quarterfinals.
"It's almost like feedback getting good scores, it means I'm on the right track," Fitzgibbons told the ASP of the highest scoring performance of the round (9.75 and 9.25 for a combined total of 19.0). After winning last week's Rip Curl Pro Fitzgibbons shows no signs of slowing down, "I guess I just have a lot of confidence right now," she added. "I feel like my surfing was improving especially at the start of the year and I really wanted to bring that to my events and try to showcase some of the things I've been working on."
New Zealand's latest greatest hope, Paige Hareb, is still afloat but must negotiate Hawaiian Melanie Bartels in round four to move onto the awaiting Coco Ho. Gilmore is set to face-off against veteran Chelsea Hedges for a shot at the awaiting Fitzgibbons in what will be an exciting all-Aussie scuffle.
Subaru Pro TSB Bank Women's Surf Festival Round 2 Results:
Heat 1: Chelsea Hedges (AUS) 13.75 def. Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 12.65
Heat 2: Rebecca Woods (AUS) 10.50 def. Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 7.25
Heat 3: Silvana Lima (BRA) 12.00 def. Sarah Mason (NZL) 8.10
Heat 4: Tyler Wright (AUS) 14.40 def. Claire Bevilacqua (AUS) 13.25
Heat 5: Coco Ho (HAW) 11.00 def. Alana Blanchard (HAW) 10.35
Heat 6: Pauline Ado (FRA) 14.75 def. Laura Enever (AUS) 7.25
Subaru Pro TSB Bank Women's Surf Festival Round 3 Results:
Heat 1: Tyler Wright (AUS) 15.00; Silvana Lima (BRA) 13.50; Rebecca Woods (AUS) 10.75
Heat 2: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 16.35; Carissa Moore (HAW) 14.50; Pauline Ado (FRA) 12.60
Heat 3: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 19.00 ; Chelsea Hedges (AUS) 12.40; Melanie Bartels (HAW) 10.40
Heat 4: Coco Ho (HAW) 14.65; Paige Hareb (NZ) 12.50; Stephanie Gimore (AUS) 11.00
Subaru Pro TSB Bank Women's Surf Festival Round 4 Draw:
Heat 1: Silvana Lima vs. Pauline Ado (winner meets Tyler Wright in Round 5)
Heat 2: Carissa Moore vs. Rebecca Woods (winner meets Courtney Conlogue)
Heat 3: Chelsea Hedges vs. Stephanie Gilmore (winner meets Sally Fitzgibbons)
Heat 4: Paige Hareb vs. Melanie Bartels (winner meets Coco Ho)