Date: Wednesday, May 7, 2014
Schedule: Men's Round 1 (Heats 1-6)
Conditions: 3-foot (1 metre) waves at Barra Da Tijuca.
Heat 1: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 14.20, Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 13.47, Coco Ho (HAW) 13.17
The Hawaiian immediately found her rhythm, blending seamless turns on both her forehand and backhand, establishing an early lead. Buitendag looked deadly on her forehand, belting the lefts with vertical snaps, overtaking the lead with a 7.50 and a 5.97.
The third lead switch would unfold in the dying seconds when Nikki Van Dijk found a crucial lefthander. The Australian detonated three consecutive backhand bashes, vaulting the rookie into the lead for a last second win.
Heat 2: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 12.50, Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 9.17, Dimity Stoyle (AUS) 7.24
While the three were unable to post any excellent rides, Fitzgibbons put her veteran experience to good use, picking off crucial set waves, leading the heat from start-to-finish.
Heat 3: Carissa Moore (HAW) 12.77, Paige Hareb (NZL) 12.00, Silvana Lima (BRA) 11.77
Heat 3 contestants took tries early on but waves were shutting down too quickly, before any one surfer could manage a high-scoring maneuver or a commanding lead. Paige Hareb (NZL) found a rhythm first, scoring a 6.50 on a series of cutbacks but was immediately overtaken by Carissa Moore (HAW) who made the most of a two-carve wave, lifting her fins above the lip.
In the second half of the heat, Moore found a curtain to work with, accomplishing the first barrel in the women's event and improving her combined score by a point. Hareb answered back, chasing down a solid double combo wave to close the margin but remained in second place. Moore kept pace, using progression to maintain the lead through the horn.
Heat 4: Tyler Wright (AUS) 12.60, Pauline Ado (FRA) 11.87, Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 9.27
Defending event champion Tyler Wright (AUS) had much less to work with compared to the conditions that brought her top honors in 2013 but made the most of her two-turn waves with strong backhand maneuvers.
Heat placement shuffled throughout 30-minute affair. Pauline Ado (FRA) kept up a steady pace and surpassed Wright mid-heat. With five minutes left, Wright took advantage of priority, ducking into a short barrel and hitting the closeout with a forehand stomp. The ride improved her bottom score to a 6.23 and the next wave brought her total up again, high enough to carry her through to the end of the heat at the top.
Heat 5: Laura Enever (AUS) 11.53, Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 9.60, Alana Blanchard (HAW) 6.20
Heat 5 saw a battle between five-time ASP Women's World Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Laura Enever (AUS) and Alana Blanchard (HAW). The affair got off to a slow start, with Gilmore establishing an early lead for a few small scores.
Gilmore's small lead left the door open for a new frontrunner and Laura Enever capitalized, belting a solid 6.83, overtaking the champ for the lead. Each competitor would stay busy throughout the final minutes of the heat, but Enever would hold on for the win.
Heat 6: Lakey Peterson (USA) 12.67, Malia Manuel (HAW) 10.30, Alessa Quizon (HAW) 8.40
The competitors in Heat 6 picked up the pace with a busy back-and-forth emerging between Malia Manuel (HAW) and Alessa Quizon (HAW) early on. Manuel was able to maintain a top position scoring consistent mid-range rides while Quizon struggled to overcome a low bottom score.
In the final 10 minutes, Lakey Peterson (USA) used her powerful tail-throws to edge by Manuel, clocking a 6.07 on a well executed three-turn ride. A 6.60 with strong vertical snaps in the lip left the Hawaiians in need of excellent scores to lead. Peterson stayed busy and earned the direct advance to Round 3.