Date: Wednesday, April 2, 2014
Schedule: Round 1 (Heats 1-6) of the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro
Conditions: Three-to-Five foot (1 - 1.5 metre) waves at Main Break. Onshore wind.
Following Men's Round 1 competition, the ASP Top 17 would take to the water in rippable three-to-four foot waves.
Heat 1: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 13.83, Coco Ho (HAW) 7.16, Alana Blanchard (HAW) 5.13
Courtney Conlogue would strike first to kick off the Women's Drug Aware Margaret River Pro with a solid 7.33 for a series of powerful turns on a steep righthander.
The American would back up the ride with a 6.50 in what would prove to be a one sided affair, with both Ho and Blanchard hunting for scores throughout the heat's entirety. Conlogue's win would see the American advance directly to Round 3 while relegating the Hawaiians to elimination Round 2.
Heat 2: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 9.16, Paige Hareb (NZL) 6.77, Pauline Ado (FRA) 3.46
Heat 2 would see five-time ASP Women's World Champion and current World No. 1 Stephanie Gilmore take on Kiwi Paige Hareb and French talent Pauline Ado in challenging afternoon conditions.
Hareb would jump out to an early lead via a series of backhand blasts on a Main Break right, but Gilmore would battle back, logging two consecutive rides, securing her first Round 1 victory of the 2014 season.
Heat 3: Carissa Moore (AUS) 11.43, Laura Macaulay (AUS) 11.04, Alessa Quizon (HAW) 6.13
Deteriorating conditions through the afternoon continued to challenge competitors through Round 1 as reigning two-time ASP Women's World Champion Carissa Moore took on rookie Hawaiian Alessa Quizon and local wildcard Laura Macaulay.
Despite the challenging conditions, Moore kept a level head and dissected the the righthanders at Main Break with surgical precision to take the heat win and advance directly to Round 3.
Heat 4: Tyler Wright (AUS) 11.50, Johanne Defay (FRA) 10.76, Dimity Stoyle (AUS) 7.86
With onshore conditions strengthening even further, Tyler Wright and rookies Johanne Defay and Dimity Stoyle would navigate the choppy righthanders at Margaret River.
Wright would hold a small victory throughout the heat with a pair of midrange scores, but Defay would battle back, locking in a 7 point ride in the dying minutes of the heat for a polished two-turn combination followed by a closeout reentry.
Defay would find another wave with just seconds remaining on the clock, but was unable to earn the score needed to surpass Wright for the win.
Heat 5: Malia Manuel (HAW) 12.50, Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 9.17, Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 7.57
Nearing the final heats of the day and the evening conditions cleaned slightly for the Heat 5 bout between Sally Fitzgibbons, Malia Manuel and Nikki Van Dijk.
Manuel, drawing on her Hawaiian experience, blended powerful turns and savvy wave selection to hold an early lead and stave off a late charge from Fitzgibbons.
Heat 6: Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 14.40, Lakey Peterson (USA) 8.27, Laura Enever (AUS) 7.20
While many of the ASP Top 17 struggled to find a rhythm in the challenging wind-blown conditions, South African Bianca Buitendag put together an impressive performance, notching the Round's high heat total while solidifying a position directly in to Round 3.
Buitendag would carry her momentum from a Final appearance on the Gold Coast, igniting both the lefts and rights on offer with impressive combinations to take the win.