- WSL / Kirstin Scholtz
- WSL / Kirstin Scholtz
Winning Twist at Margaret River
After missing events in 2014 , Courtney Conlogue found herself on top of the podium at the 2015 event at Margaret River.

Condensed Heats: Women's | Men's
Recaps: Round 1 | Rounds 2, 3 and 4
Event Site | Full Results

With offshore wind and solid swell for the women's finals day at the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro, there was only one question: After three event wins in a row, can anyone beat Carissa Moore (HAW)?

Short answer: Yes.

Before it was all over, a few people tried: In the Quarters, Championship Tour (CT) rookie Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) was the first to battle the titan. A win for Weston-Webb wouldn't have been out of the question. In her first two events as a member of the Top 17, she has earned a Semifinal and Round 4 finish, turning heads with her searing, backhand hacks along the way.

But in this faceoff she was no match for Moore, who scored a pair of eight-point-range rides to dominate out of the gate.

Next, in the Semis, Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) took an early lead with a combined 6.33 and 7.50. But Moore, true to form, answered back with her signature power and fluidity to earn a 9.33, needing only a 4.50 to take the lead.

Colongue's Semifinal Attack
The powerhouse surfer kicked off her heat with a big ride -- and a big score to match.

Fitzgibbons increased her lead with a 6.77, but Moore locked in a 5.40 for the top spot, leaving the Australian searching for a 7.24 as the clock ticked down. With less than a minute left, Fitzgibbons found a wave. But it wasn't enough, giving Moore a win by barely half of a point. The heat was their 22nd matchup in a Championship Tour (CT) event. As of the Drug Aware Pro, they have 11 wins apiece.

But in the Final, the playing field shifted with a head-to-head battle with Courtney Conlogue (USA). Conlogue suffered a severe ankle injury last year, but proved to be a threat when she returned. She made it to the Final in France and to the Semifinals in the women's last event of the year, the Target Maui Pro.

Moore's Big Score
Trailing Sally Fitzgibbons in the Semifinals, Carissa Moore deployed her power surfing and got herself back in the heat a big way.

Maui also marked Moore's resurgence as a dominant force on Tour, and saw her hit a stride that didn't stop when the season got going again. In an emotional victory, she redeemed what for her had been a less-than-stellar season, and kept the momentum going in 2015 first on the Gold Coast and then at Bells. With such a hot streak -- plus ten 9-point-range rides already this year -- her win at Margaret River seemed all but imminent.

Her Final at Margaret River took a different direction. It was Conlogue who found the first notable score of the heat, a move that put Moore on the defense from the get-go. As the waves grew bigger, the Hawaiian snagged the lead -- but not for long. Conlogue found a 4.63 to steal it back and win the event in a glow of palpable joy. The win was arguably a redemption of her own after a long struggle back.

"It's just phenomenal," said Conlogue. "Carissa's been on such a stellar run and I was thinking, 'maybe I can end it.' I had a bit of a tricky start to this event and was feeling out of rhythm. On the off days I just went surfing a lot and have a bunch of fun and I think that it got me all psyched and happy for the end of the event."

Conlogue is now No. 2 in the World, leaving the yellow jersey to Moore -- for the time being. See how she fares when the elite women compete next, at the Oi Rio Pro May 11 - 22.

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