After three days of tough competition, 19-year-old Courtney Conlogue claimed her first ever World Tour victory when she defeated Hawaiian Malia Manuel at the The Commonwealth Beachley Classic at Dee Why Point. Earlier, Conlogue defeated pal Sally Fitzgibbons in the Quarterfinals and then Rebecca Woods in the Semifinals. She now sits at No. 4 on the ASP world’s ranking and took home the $30,000 prize money for her win.
Throughout the day, Conlogue was able to select the best waves in all of her heats, including one wave that earned her a 9.0 in the Quarterfinals against Fitzgibbons (the highest score of the day). In the final, her patience paid off as she was able to unleash multiple whips and powerful turns on the best wave of the small conditions. As Conlogue made her way to the shore after her victory wave, Steph Gilmore and Sally Fitzgibbons lifted the champ on their shoulders and carried her all the way to the stage.
“I’m speechless right now!” Conlogue said. “It’s been two years on the ASP Women’s World Championship Tour where I kept losing in the Quarterfinals…I’m really stoked to have won this event and it meant a lot to me to have Steph and Sally chair me up the beach…I love what Layne has done for women’s surfing and for all of her support.”
Manuel also put on a nail-biting performance as she defeated the No. 1 ranked Steph Gilmore in the Quarterfinals and Tyler Wright in the Semis. Her rookie year has been quite impressive, as she is now sixth on the ASP World Championship Tour and is now the highest ranked 2012 rookie. In 2011, she was only the second woman to grace the cover of TransWorld Surf magazine in its 10 years of print (the first was Stephanie Gilmore in 2010).
“Of course the best part of the event was making it to the finals and being a part of our community here,” said Malia. “I looked up to Layne all my life and to see her accomplish so much as a surfer, still be behind women’s surfing and be a strong voice for us means a lot.”
Contest director and seven-time WCT women’s champ Layne Beachley expressed how proud she was of the ladies and the level of competition.
“Outstanding astonishing, spectacular! I’m really proud of all the girls and how they’re surfing. It was extremely difficult conditions at the (Dee Why) Point yesterday and they performed strong,” said Beachley. “The girls are taking surfing to the next level and are leading the charge. I would just like to see the Tour continue to prosper and grow.”
The next stop on the Women’s World Championship Tour is the Billabong Pro Rio de Janiero, and the waiting period is scheduled to begin May 9. For more information, go to aspworldtour.com.
DAY THREE RESULTS:
COMMONWEALTH BANK BEACHLEY CLASSIC FINAL RESULTS:
1: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 13.17
2: Malia Manuel (HAW) 11.56
COMMONWEALTH BANK BEACHLEY CLASSIC SEMIFINAL RESULTS: SF 1: Malia Manuel (HAW) 12.67 def. Tyler Wright (AUS) 10.50 SF 2: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 14.33 def. Rebecca Woods (AUS) 10.10
COMMONWEALTH BANK BEACHLEY CLASSIC QUARTERFINAL RESULTS: QF 1: Tyler Wright (AUS) 14.43 def. Laura Enever (AUS) 12.50 QF 2: Malia Manuel (HAW) 13.00 def. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 11.47 QF 3: Rebecca Woods (AUS) 11.73 def. Coco Ho (HAW) 8.73 QF 4: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 14.97 def. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 13.34
CURRENT ASP WOMEN’S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TOUR TOP 6 (after the Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic): 1: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 2: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 3: Tyler Wright (AUS) 4: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 5: Carissa Moore (HAW) 6: Laura Enever (AUS) 6: Malia Manuel (HAW)
(For those interested in day-By-Day Action Reporting from the start of The Commonwealth Beachley Classic continues on page 2)