WatchCascais Women's ProMalia Manuel

In Battle of Titans, Carissa Moore Comes Out on Top

The second heat of the day at the Cascais Women's Pro pitted Carissa Moore, Stephanie Gilmore and Malia Manuel against each other for a chance to jump directly to Round Three. It was quickly apparent, however, that this was a battle between the two titans -- six-time World Champ Stephanie Gilmore and three-time Champ Carissa Moore. Moore opened up with the heat lead and closed the proceedings with a score that won it back. Manuel, meanwhile, surfing just her second event since injuring herself at Margaret River, appeared to still be finding her feat and her competitive rhythm.

As Manuel did her best to get in the game, Gilmore and Moore traded shots, from the former's attacking hacks, to the latter's increasingly frequent -- and seamless -- air-reverses. In the end, however, with just a few minutes to go, it was Moore who wrestled the lead back and capped it all off with the highest score of the heat. Of the three, Moore arrived in Portugal with the most to gain: She currently sits at No. 9 on the women's rankings -- unnervingly close to the re-qualification cutoff at No. 10. Despite her ever-sunny disposition, there is no doubt that she knows exactly what is on the line, and is going to unleash whatever it takes to keep her job in 2018.

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