BARRA DA TIJUCA, Rio de Janeiro/Brazil (Friday, May 10, 2013) - The Colgate Plax Girls Rio Pro completed a massive opening day of competition, running through four rounds of competition to decide the Quarterfinalists in peaky two-to-four foot waves at Barra Da Tijuca.
Stop No. 5 of 7 on the ASP Women's World Championship Tour (WCT), the Colgate Plax Girls Rio Pro saw dominant performances from the event's top seeds, tightening up an already exciting ASP World Title Race as the world's best surfers move through the back half of the season.
Carissa Moore (HAW), 20, 2011 ASP Women's World Champion, displayed an amazing variety of power and progression to open her Colgate Plax Girls Rio Pro campaign. Moore dominated both her Round 1 and Round 3 affairs today, securing her Quarterfinals berth.
"It feels good to move onto Quarterfinals," Moore said. "With a beachbreak situation it can be tricky and random so it's a relief to skip that Round 4."
Moore, current frontrunner for the 2013 ASP Women's World Title Race, is out to further the gap over the field in Rio in hopes of securing a second crown, but knows this year's race is far from over.
"I'm not thinking about the world title when I'm in the water, but I've definitely thought about it and I'm excited to be in the race," Moore said. "My whole family is behind me, but I've got a long road ahead of me and still have a lot of work to do."
Tyler Wright (AUS), 19, was another ASP World Title contender to standout in the shifty Barra Da Tijuca beachbreak today. Wright was responsible for the day's highest scores including a 9.27 for a barrel-to-turn combo as well as a 17.04 heat total and eventually found her way to the Quarterfinals, topping Coco Ho (HAW), 22, in Round 4.
"I felt in my last heat that I didn't get started at all and I hate losing like that," Wright said. "I wanted to make sure I caught a lot of waves in that heat. I knew Coco (Ho) had a 6 and a 7 so I knew I was going to have to catch a lot of waves. I was frustrated with my last heat and I really wanted to push my turns."
Wright, current No. 2 on the ASP Women's WCT, is well within the hunt for a maiden ASP Women's World Title, but the Australian remains casual in her approach for the frontrunner position.
"I'm not paying attention to the World Title at all," Wright said. "All I want to do is surf. I'm having fun, surfing is what I love doing and I have a good board. I've just surpassed my best result in Rio and there's no sense in thinking about the numbers for the World Title because in the end it just makes you come undone."
Lakey Peterson (USA), 18, current No. 6 on the ASP WCT, was lethal on the opening day of competition, taking commanding Round 1 and Round 3 wins with some of the day's top scores. Peterson wasted little time in her Round 3 bout, notching an 8.97 and 7.17 within the first 10 minutes to leave Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), 22, and wildcard Alessa Quizon (HAW), 19, chasing massive scores for the remainder of the heat.
"It's always nice when you get two great waves sent to you," Peterson said. "It was looking really small for Round 2 and it's picked up again for Round 3. I'm just having fun and although I had the early lead there was 20 minutes for the other girls to get back in to it, so I was watching them too. It was a good heat for me and it's always nice to skip Round 4."
Malia Manuel (HAW), 19, was in deadly form throughout the day despite being relegate to Round 2 in a heated exchange with Tyler Wright (AUS), 19, in Round 1. The talented Hawaiian built momentum throughout the rounds, eventually advancing to the Quarterfinals with a convincing Round 3 heat win in a rematch against Wright.
"I saw these rights that keep peeling down the beach, but my highest score was on a left," Manuel said. These beachbreak conditions change so much with the tide and different swells so you just have to trust your instincts and move around if it's not working for you.Tyler and I had a good battle this morning and that round was good payback for me."
Courtney Conlogue (USA), 20, took an impressive buzzer-beating heat win in Round 3 to earn her Quarterfinals berth. In need of a solid score in the dying seconds, Conlogue unleashed a series of committed backhand turns on a racing lefthander, earning a 7.33 ride and the heat win over Pauline Ado (FRA), 22, and Coco Ho (HAW), 22.
"That last heat was a battle," Conlogue said. "It was more a battle against myself in that heat though. I was feeling off in that heat with the conditions, there was chop and I was catching my edge everywhere. With 15 seconds left I thought I'll just give it a shot and milk it to the beach. It ended up being a good wave and I'm happy to get through."
Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow morning at 6:15am for a possible 6:30am start.
Highlights from the Colgate Plax Girls Rio Pro will be available via http://wctbrasil.com/rio13
For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com