Photo: Malia Manuel © ASP/Robertson
Women's Finalists Determined on Ladies Day at Margaret River
Massive swell and perfect winds forecast for Mens action on Friday
Global Surf News, 22 March, 2012 Margaret River, WA, Australia – The swell dropped to the 4 to 5 foot (2 meter) range for Day 3 of the Telstra Drug Aware Pro with pristine conditions on offer. The call was made by contest officials to run three Rounds of the Women's event and cull the field down to just the eight Quarterfinalists.
Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), four-time ASP Women's World Champion and current world No. 1, showed once again that she's the one to beat after she posted a near perfect 18.87 (out of a possible 20) in her opening heat at the Telstra Drug Aware Pro today. Gilmore will now come up against Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) in the Quarterfinals most likely on Saturday.
"It's nice to surf some challenging waves for a change," Gilmore said. "Most of the waves on the ASP Women's World Championship Tour are beachbreaks, so to be at Margaret River surfing waves like this is amazing. It's been hard adjusting to not having the priority system. Sometimes I feel like it's more of a struggle to win an ASP Star event than an ASP Women's World Championship Tour because of that. It is good fun to have more girls in the line-up though and it's better for the people watching."
Malia Manuel (HAW) was one of today's standouts, consistently posting scores in the excellent range thanks to her smooth yet powerful approach. Manuel has now advanced through to the Quarterfinals and will take on Pauline Ado (FRA) when competition resumes.
"I'm excited!" Manuel said. "I surfed three times today and I'm into the Quarterfinals. With each heat I'm figuring things out and I'm more confident. It was awesome to have a heat against Steph (Gilmore), she's my hero. It's nice to have this type of arena on tour. I brought six boards so I was prepared for any type of conditions and I'm looking forward to the Finals."
Nikki Van Dijk (AUS), the 17-year-old Victorian surfer advanced to the Quarterfinals after defeating Rip Curl stablemate Bethany Hamilton (HAW). Van Dijk advanced through three very tough heats today, cementing her status as one of Australia's future surf stars.
"I was so happy to get through my Round of 24 heat against Steph (Gilmore)," Van Dijk said. "Then to make it into the Quarterfinals is even better. I'm having so much fun here, I love Margaret River. I think when I'm having fun I do well in the contests."
Nikki Van Dijk © ASP/Robertson
Pauline Ado (FRA) is in her second year on the elite ASP Women's World Championship Tour, but suffered a shock early loss at the season opening Roxy Pro Gold Coast. Ado is using this event to help prepare for the up and coming Rip Curl Pro Bells.
"I had a lot of fun in my first heat today," Ado said. "But I was really nervous for my second one because I was against Alizee (Arnaud) and Lee Ann (Curren). We are all from France and we're used to competing against each other all the time. This year the ASP Women's World Championship Tour is really hard and it's great to do 6-Star evens as preparation and as a back-up."
The southerly wind set in by early afternoon and the girls had to adjust to accommodate the extra difficulty. Gilmore was flawless with her unmistakable style and preciseness in the water going through easily to the quarterfinals. "I'm happy to make it through and I am looking forward to Saturday, I think the swell is meant to be great," she said. "The waves are challenging here and thats something that we're missing on the women's tour, but out here its something different."
Pauline Ado © ASP/Robertson
It was a shock exit for Bethany Hamilton who had dominated earlier in the day with one of the highest wave scores, only to be defeated by Nikki Van Dijk and Pauline Ado at the end of the day.
Defending champ Courtney Conlogue held down the lead in her first heat and was impressive on the waves, admitting there was an added pressure having won the event last year. "I'm just going to take this heat by heat, but hopefully I can get through the next couple of rounds," she said. Conlogue had a nail biting finish in the last heat of the day, with the judges giving her final score as the siren blew, putting her back in first place. Joining Gilmore in the quarterfinals on Saturday are top seeds Malia Manuel and Courtney Conlogue.
All of the top men will surf tomorrow, when a massive swell and perfect winds are forecast for Margaret River. Whilst the competition has enjoyed fantastic waves to start the week, many are predicting that Friday might offer up some of the best waves ever seen at Margaret River for a professional surfing event.
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UPCOMING TELSTRA DRUG AWARE PRO WOMEN'S QUARTERFINALS:
QF 1: Malia Manuel (HAW) vs. Pauline Ado (FRA)
QF 2: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) vs. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS)
QF 3: Rebecca Woods (AUS) vs. Laura Enever (AUS)
QF 4: Kirby Wright (AUS) vs. Courtney Conlogue (USA)
TELSTRA DRUG AWARE PRO WOMEN'S ROUND OF 12 RESULTS:
HEAT 1: Malia Manuel (HAW) 14.67, Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 13.60, Laura Macaulay (AUS) 6.10
HEAT 2: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 14.10, Pauline Ado (FRA) 9.20, Bethany Hamilton (HAW) 6.10
HEAT 3: Rebecca Woods (AUS) 9.70, Kirby Wright (AUS) 8.83, Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 3.90
HEAT 4: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 9.47, Laura Enever (AUS) 9.37, Amandine Sanchez (FRA) 9.03
TELSTRA DRUG AWARE PRO WOMEN'S ROUND OF 24 RESULTS:
HEAT 1: Malia Manuel (HAW) 15.83, Pauline Ado (FRA) 11.10, Alizee Arnaud (FRA) 8.60, Lee Ann Curren (AUS) 7.40
HEAT 2: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 16.34, Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 13.47, Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 12.67, Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 8.37
HEAT 3: Bethany Hamilton (HAW) 10.06, Laura Macaulay (AUS) 7.70, Felicity Palmateer (AUS) 5.30, Claire Bevilacqua (AUS) 5.26
HEAT 4: Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 11.77, Courtney Conlogue (USA) 11.23, Joanne Defay (FRA) 9.30, Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 6.43
HEAT 5: Kirby Wright (AUS) 12.77, Laura Enever (AUS) 12.00, Sarah Baum (ZAF) 6.83, Naomi Stevic (AUS) 6.20
HEAT 6: Amandine Sanchez (FRA) 9.43, Rebecca Woods (AUS) 8.87, Rosanne Hodge (ZAF) 8.34, Dimity Stoyle (AUS) 6.00
TELSTRA DRUG AWARE PRO WOMEN'S ROUND OF 48 RESULTS:
HEAT 1: Malia Manuel (HAW) 16.20, Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 14.77, Suelen Naraisa (BRA) 10.17, Suelen Naraisa (ARG) 3.54
HEAT 2: Pauline Ado (FRA) 13.10, Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 11.27, Francisca Santos (PRT) 7.84, Nage Melamed (HAW) 6.66
HEAT 3: Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 14.00, Alizee Arnaud (FRA) 11.14, Melanie Redman-Carr (AUS) 10.93, Nao Omura (JPN) 7.20
HEAT 4: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 18.87, Lee Ann Curren (FRA) 14.17, Erica Hosseini (USA) 6.77, Ellie-Jean Coffey (AUS) 5.30
HEAT 5: Bethany Hamilton (HAW) 16.16, Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 7.71, Georgia Fish (AUS) 5.57, Anne Cecile Le Talle (FRA) 3.33
HEAT 6: Felicity Palmateer (AUS) 15.44, Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 8.17, Gabi Cope (HAW) 6.40, Freya Prumm (AUS) 4.66
HEAT 7: Joanne Defay (FRA) 10.17, Claire Bevilacqua (AUS) 9.72, Codie Klein (AUS) 8.77, Sage Erickson (USA) 6.93
HEAT 8: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 12.70, Laura Macaulay (AUS) 9.73, Brittani Nicholl (AUS) 8.13, Faye Zoetmulder (ZAF) 0.00
HEAT 9: Laura Enever (AUS) 9.63, Amandine Sanchez (FRA) 7.83, Bruna Schmitz (BRA) 7.20, Mikaela Greene (AUS) 4.47
HEAT 10: Sarah Baum (ZAF) 13.00, Dimity Stoyle (AUS) 10.87, Sarah Beardmore (GBR) 6.07, Hannah Massey (AUS) 3.43
HEAT 11: Rebecca Woods (AUS) 12.00, Kirby Wright (AUS) 10.26, Philippa Anderson (AUS) 9.56, Nicola Atherton (AUS) 5.97
HEAT 12: Rosanne Hodge (ZAF) 10.30, Naomi Stevic (AUS) 7.50, Paige Hareb (NZL) 7.17, Alana Blanchard (HAW) 4.30
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