Conlogue Lives To Fight Another Day in France

Courtney Conlogue is not known as a shrinking violet. As one of the supreme athletes on tour, the Californian also boasts the mental fortitude to match her physical power. So when put up against a wall by way of a round one loss in the Roxy Pro France yesterday, meaning she needed to make at least the semi finals - winning at least four more heats - to have any chance of sending the title race to Maui, Conlogue was always going to come out fighting.

In her do-or-die heat, Courtney Conlogue managed to keep the World Title out of Tyler Wright's hands for a little while longer.

Rookie Chelsea Tuach meanwhile has not had an easy run of things this season against the world's best female surfers, and a second round billing against a fired up Conlogue looked foreboding from the outset.

After a slow, stuttering start, Conlogue, winner of the previous event in Cascais, Portugal showed veteran's patience to wait until mid-way through the encounter before delivering any significant scoreboard damage. Soon putting pay to any premature talk of the world title being awarded this afternoon in the French sunshine by backing up almost immediately with an emphatic suit of backhand power turns, Conlogue exuded the kind of cage-rattled ferocity her peers have learned better than to invite from her.

Sally Fitzgibbons scored huge results with a 9.33, despite less than ideal conditions, eliminating Lakey Peterson.

"Nope, not yet… hopefully not ever" laughed the Californian afterwards when asked about the notion of the Tyler Wright camp popping champagne corks at the beach today, perhaps more out of relief and vented steam than mirth. "Conditions suited backhand surfing… I was watching for about an hour and a half with Luke (Egan) before the heat and every 15 minutes it's been changing constantly. It was tricky but in the end I had a lot of fun out there."

Whether Courtney can keep dodging bullets throughout proceedings as the Roxy Pro gets down towards the business end remains to be seen. But if today's performance is anything to go by, she shows no sign whatsoever of going down without scrapping to the bitter end.