Date: Thursday, April 3, 2014
Schedule: Round 2 (Heats 1-6) of the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro
Conditions: Two-to-Four foot (1 - 1.5 metre) waves at Main Break. Offshore wind.
Following a full day of competition on the opening day of the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro waiting period, Round 2 of Women's action would see the Top 17 take to the water for the sudden-death round in offshore two-to-four foot (1 metre) waves.
Heat 1: Dimity Stoyle (AUS) 9.34 def. Alana Blanchard (HAW) 6.07
The day would would kickoff with inconsistent conditions and would see two restarts in Heat 1 between Stoyle and Blanchard. The Australian would strike first, connecting two frontside carves on a righthander for a midrange score.
Stoyle would go on to find a backup score despite the inconsistent conditions, advancing to Round 3 while eliminating Blanchard from competition.
Heat 2: Paige Hareb (NZL) 12.84 def. Pauline Ado (FRA) 10.16
Clean surf continued for the second match of the morning between former event winner Paige Hareb and France's Pauline Ado.
In somewhat strong offshore winds, Hareb's pugnacious approach on her backhand netted a series of mid-range scores and put pressure on her opponent.
Ado struggled with the minimal opportunity and will look to regroup again before Bells Beach.
Heat 3: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 17.17 def. Laura Macaulay (AUS) 12.27
The third heat of the day would see perennial ASP World Title contender Sally Fitzgibbons take on trials winner and local standout Laura Macaulay. The Western Australian would utilize her local knowledge, striking first with a midrange score.
Fitzgibbons would answer back, delivering fluid carving combinations on the rights to net a 5.17 and 6.83. While Macaulay would donate a strong performance, Fitzgibbons would continue to extend her lead, belting the highest scores of women's competition on both a left and several rights to secure a convincing victory over the local.
Heat 4: Johanne Defay (FRA) 11.34 def. Lakey Peterson (USA) 10.10
Match No. 4 would see a scrappy heat between French rookie Johanne Defay and progressive American Lakey Peterson.
Defay and Peterson would deliver a series of exchanges on the shallow righthanders, but the French talent would clinch an upset and a position in Round 3.
Heat 5: Coco Ho (HAW) 11.83 def. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 11.57
Hawaiian Coco Ho would take on Victorian rookie Nikki Van Dijk for Heat 5, with the evenly-matched heat witnessing impressive forehand exchanges from both Ho and Van Dijk.
A flurry of waves would unfold in the final minutes of the affair, but the Hawaiian would hold on for the win, handing Van Dijk her second consecutive Round 2 loss this season.
Heat 6: Laura Enever (AUS) 14.83 def. Alessa Quizon (HAW) 14.43
The final heat of Round 2 would see a series of high scoring exchanges from Australian Laura Enever and Hawaii's Alessa Quizon.
Enever would light up the rights with explosive two-turn combinations on her forehand, while Quizon would attack the sets with big backhand turns. While Quizon would lead the heat throughout the entirety. Enever would find the score needed in the dying minutes to advance to Round 3.
Women's competition would continue, with the event's early round standouts immediately following in Round 3.
Heat 1: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 13.50, Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 11.57, Johanne Defay (FRA) 8.77
Courtney Conlogue, two time winner at Margaret River, would take on five-time ASP Women's World Champ and current rankings leader Steph Gilmore and rookie Johanne Defay to open Round 3.
Conlogue would command the heat from start the finish, unloading impressive combinations of powerful carves, fins free turns and unmatched commitment with finishing maneuvers on the reef. While Gilmore and Defay would log scores of their own, Conlogue would convincingly take the win, advancing directly to the Quarterfinals.
Heat 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) 15.33, Malia Manuel (HAW) 10.66, Dimity Stoyle (AUS) 7.30
Conditions continued to clean up through the mid day as reigning two-time ASP Women's World Champion Carissa Moore, Hawaiian Malia Manuel and rookie Dimity Stoyle took to the lineup.
Manuel opened her account up with some stylish surfing to collect some mid-range scores, but it was her compatriot Moore that blew the heat apart with some electric performances on her forehand.
Heat 3: Tyler Wright (AUS) 16.46, Laura Enever (AUS) 10.00, Coco Ho (HAW) 9.87
Heat three would see another dominant performance from the top seed, with Tyler Wright convincingly leading the three-woman battle from start-to-finish.
Wright would combine powerful slashes and big carves in the one sided affair, securing a Quarterfinals berth.
Heat 4: Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 17.50, Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) Paige Hareb (NZL) 10.27
Bianca Buitendag would continue to navigate the tricky lineup at Main Break with ease, igniting the steep rights with unmatched backhand panache. Buitendag's efforts would result in the highest scores of Drug Aware Margaret Pro competition, with her sizzling backhand combinations earning an excellent 17.50 out of 20 heat total while marching to the Quarterfinals.
Heat 1: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 11.10 def. Dimity Stoyle (AUS) 9.10
Women's competition steamed into Round 4 at the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro this afternoon and first up was current ASP WCT No. 1 Stephanie Gilmore against rookie Dimity Stoyle.
Despite her inexperience, Stoyle bolted out to an early lead as her opponent suffered from wave selection and priority mistakes.
Gilmore, however, would find a wave mid-bout that would turn the tide slightly and hold on through the back end of the heat.
Heat 2: Malia Manuel (HAW) 12.50 def. Johanne Defay (FRA) 7.50
With the winds gently shifting onshore, Hawaiian Malia Manuel would combat French rookie Johanne Defay in the challenging conditions.
Manuel would jump out to a quick lead, with a 6.17 and would ride only one other wave in the 30 minute affair, posting a 6.33. Manuel's two waves would prove enough for the win in the wave-starved affair, securing a slot in the Quarterfinals.
Heat 3: Laura Enever (AUS) 7.80 def. Paige Hareb (NZL) 7.60
North Narrabeen's Laura Enever would battle Kiwi Paige Hareb for a slot in the Quarterfinals and with increasing onshore conditions beginning to tear apart the lineup, both competitors would struggle to find any substantial scores.
Both Enever and Hareb would look to the rights to earn their scores, but Enever would come out on top, earning her first Quarterfinals berth of the season.
Heat 4: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 15.37 def. Coco Ho (HAW) 10.44
Swell continued to pulse for the final heat of the day as Australian Sally Fitzgibbons faced off against Hawaiian Coco Ho.
With the onshore wind strengthening, both surfers struggled to find form early on before Fitzgibbons tore apart a couple of righthanders to put the pressure on her opponent.
Wave selection proved paramount in the final moments as Ho opted for a wave that provided less opportunity than she needed and was eliminated from the event.