BELLS BEACH, Victoria/AUS (Saturday, March 30, 2013) - The Rip Curl Women's Pro Bells Beach presented by Ford, Stop No. 3 of 7 on the 2013 ASP Women's World Championship Tour, completed a mammoth day of competition today with Rounds 2, 3, 4, the Quarterfinals and the Semifinals all ran in pumping four-to-six foot (1.5 - 2 metre) waves at Bells Beach.
Tyler Wright (AUS), 18, current ASP WCT No. 1, put on an inspired performance throughout today's five rounds of competition, blending her energetic approach with unmatched power in the Bells Bowl. The young natural-footer closed her day out with a Semifinal win over a rampaging Courtney Conlogue (USA), 20, in classic Bells conditions.
"That was my fourth surf of the day so I am exhausted," Wright said. "Courtney (Conlogue) has been impressive all day and I knew it was going to be a battle on my hands. Fortunately I had a strong start because Courtney came back in a big way towards the end and had opportunity on her last wave if she didn't fall. Great heat and let's see what tomorrow brings."
This afternoon's Semifinal win earned Wright her third, consecutive Finals berth of 2013 - a Final that can be run as early as tomorrow.
"Tomorrow's my third straight Final this year, it's my birthday and it's Easter so yeah, it's going to be a big day if we run," Wright said. "Look, Bells is an event I've been watching since I was a kid. It's prestige is second to none and we have waves on tap. I'm just really excited for tomorrow."
Conlogue, despite the near miss in the Semifinals, had a sensational day of competition, posting scores in the excellent range before coming up just short of Wright this afternoon.
"Always tough to lose when you have opportunity but congrats to Tyler (Wright)," Conlogue said. "I had a good day, we had great surf and it's a good result for me. I'll just take the confidence and regroup for New Zealand."
Carissa Moore (HAW), 20, 2011 ASP Women's World Champion, closed out the day's action with one of the highest-scoring bouts in women's surfing history against California powerhouse Lakey Peterson (USA), 18, in this afternoon's Semifinals.
"I'm so proud to be a part of women's surfing right now," Moore said. "Everyone was so inspiring today. The waves pumped, the girls ripped. It's just a really really exciting time for women's surfing and we're really fortunate to have such great waves for this event.
Moore will now face Wright in a rematch from the previous event's Final in Western Australia.
"Back-to-back Finals for me and Tyler (Wright)," Moore said. "It's really cool and we both have one event win each this season so we'll really be fighting hard to get the second win of the year. She's surfing really well so it will be a good battle."
Peterson, into her sophomore year amongst the women's elite, was electric throughout today's competition, consistently posting excellent scores en route to her Semifinal clash with Moore.
"That was probably the most exciting heat of my life," Peterson said. "I was out of it for so long and then was able to come back with two big scores. It's disappointing to rally and fall short, but that's competition and congratulations to Carissa (Moore). Good result though and I'll carry that with me to New Zealand."
This morning saw reigning five-time ASP Women's World Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 25, confirm the sustaining of a small undisplaced fracture of the bone in her left foot from her Round 1 heat two days ago. After consulting with physicians and receiving treatment for the injury from on-site medical staff, the phenomenal natural-footer proceeded to surf through three rounds of competition, posting mammoth scores before falling agonizingly close to Wright in this afternoon's Quarterfinals.
"Alana (Blanchard) accidentally ran me over in Round 1 the other day and it resulted in a small fracture in my foot," Gilmore said. "I was a bit touch and go yesterday as to what I was going to do about it, but I spoke to the doctors and got some treatments this morning from the medical staff on-site and it feels okay. I guess four surfs in one day may have been a bit much on it, but I was still posting solid scores, just came up short to Tyler (Wright)."
Today's Equal 5th place finish marks a relative lowilight in an otherwise incredible run at the Rip Curl Women's Pro Bells Beach (previously collecting three wins, a runner-up and 3rd).
When women's competition resumes, Wright and Moore will go head-to-head in the 2013 Rip Curl Women's Pro Bells Beach Final.
The 2013 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach will be webcast LIVE via www.live.ripcurl.com and broadcast live on Fuel TV in Australia and Portugal, ESPN in Brazil and MCS Extreme in France, Luxembourg, Belgium, Switzerland and Africa. You can also watch the event live via the Rip Curl Pro iPhone app, available free in the iTunes App Store.
CoastalWatch, official forecasters for the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, have called for: A mid period SW swell eases into Saturday with light WNW winds throughout the day. A stronger increase in long period SW groundswell arrives over the Easter long weekend, peaking on Sunday morning under moderate to strong WSW winds. Another long period SSW groundswell arrives on Wednesday 4 and eases into Thursday 5 April. SW swell may fade to very low levels over the weekend of Saturday 6 April.
For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com