Date: Saturday, March 1, 2013
Schedule: Round 1 (Heats 1 - 6) of the Roxy Pro Gold Coast
Conditions: Two-to-Three foot (1 metre) waves at Snapper Rocks. Light wind. Clear skies.
Heat 1: Alessa Quizon (HAW) 11.83, Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 9.93, Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 7.00
Goofy-footers Bianca Buitendag and Alessa Quizon open up with small scores on their backhand before five-time ASP Women's World Champion and local favorite Stephanie Gilmore blasts a 7.00 with a powerful forehand assault.
Gilmore's knowledge and experience at the venue allow her to find the most critical sections on waves to maximize scoring potential.
Dropping from the morning high tide, conditions are somewhat broken up and all three surfers find themselves catching rail at certain points during the bout.
Rookie Quizon answers back with a 7.93 out of a possible 10 for an explosive series of backhand turns. Unflinching in the face of her more established competitors, Quizon draws an uncharacteristic interference on Gilmore, effectively taking the veteran out of heat contention and relegating her to the elimination Round 2.
Heat 2: Pauline Ado (FRA) 11.93, Courtney Conlogue (USA) 11.83, Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 9.04
Courtney Conlogue gets the best of the opening exchange over French standout Pauline Ado and rookie Victorian Nikki Van Dijk with a series of powerful forehand hacks.
Ado battles back in the latter half of the bout, surpassing Conlogue for the lead via a pugnacious assault on a Snapper set wave to the score of a 6.33.
Conlogue immediately answers back to Ado's effort, falling just shy of a Round 1 win.
Heat 3: Carissa Moore (HAW) 15.57, Malia Manuel (HAW) 12.96, Keely Andrew (AUS) 8.93
Wildcard Keely Andrew commences the heat with a busy start on her forehand before her more experienced Hawaiian counterparts open up their respective accounts.
Manuel is stylish and progressive, netting scores in the 6-point range with strong surfing in the Snapper walls.
Reigning two-time ASP Women's World Champion Carissa Moore builds momentum throughout the heat before locking in the day's high single-wave score of a 9.00 for an unparalleled display of power and variety.
The Hawaiian, who took out the Hurley Australian Open Qualification Series (QS) event earlier this season, continues to make a statement about her intentions for the year.
Heat 4: Tyler Wright (AUS) 16.06, Johanne Defay (FRA) 12.50, Alana Blanchard (HAW) 11.00
Defending Roxy Pro Gold Coast Champion Tyler Wright gets the best of an opening exchange against Hawaiian Alana Blanchard and rookie Johanne Defay with a 7.67 while her fellow competitors only garner throwaway scores.
Wright remains consistent, backing up her opening score with a 7.93 for a series of forehand turns, placing Blanchard and Defay in a combination situation.
Defay works to battle back midway through the heat collecting a series of small scores, but is unable to find an excellent ride needed to break her combination situation.
The French surfer eventually finds an excellent righthander, delivering an impressive array of maneuvers to earn a 7.73 and break the combination situation.
Blanchard opens her campaign late in the heat, but connects three fully-committed turns to break her combination situation with five minutes remaining.
Wright punctuates her heat with an 8.13, opening her Roxy Pro campaign with a dominant Round 1 performance.
Heat 5: Paige Hareb (NZL) 12.23, Laura Enever (AUS) 11.90, Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 11.50
Low-tide, punchy conditions greeted Sally Fitzgibbons, Paige Hareb and Laura Enever in Heat 5 of Round 1 of the Roxy Pro Gold Coast.
While perennial title threat Fitzgibbons consistently netted mid-range scores, it was Hareb who capitalized late in the affair on her backhand, the powerful goofy-footer punctuating the Snapper walls with style, punch and bite.
Heat 6: Dimity Stoyle (AUS) 17.13, Lakey Peterson (USA) 14.67, Coco Ho (HAW) 10.17
Coco Ho draws first blood after a series of throwaway scores, belting an 5.67 on a long Snapper righthander. Rookie Dimity Stoyle answers on the following wave, making her Roxy Pro Gold Coast debut in strong fashion with an excellent 8.00 to take an early lead due to a series of ferocious forehand turns.
Peterson fights to earn her way back in to the heat, scoring a pair of midrange scores.
Stoyle builds momentum off of her 8-point ride, dismantling an additional Snapper set wave, earning the day's high single wave score of a 9.13 for a barrage of powerful forehand gouges.
Peterson continues to battle, unloading a fully committed tail-out maneuver on an inside section for an 8.50.