April 19, 2012

After several days of non-stop rain, Day One at The Commonwealth Beachley Classic welcomed a day of ideal beach conditions as 17 of the world’s most elite women surfers graced the waves at Dee Why in Manly Beach, Australia.

Put on by seven-time women’s world champ Layne Beachley, this competition is known for being the richest surfing event on the women’s ASP tour, as the ladies vie for a piece of the $130,000 total prize purse.

Though every competitor displayed strength and athleticism as they met the volatile jade waters with power and grace, it was ASP’s current No. 1 seed Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) and No. 2 Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) who dominated the day, as Gilmore finished with a score of 17.75 as Fitzgibbons brought in an 18.65.

Heat Four featured a neck-to-neck battle between Coco Ho and No. 2 ranked Carissa Moore. Ho carried the heat until the last 30 seconds when Moore upset her with a score of 14.05 to take the first position.

When asked about navigating the infamous Dee Why reef, Courtney Conlogue said, “If you don’t get the timing right, you definitely get a beating out there.”

Sage Erickson (USA) and Malia Manuel (HAW) went head-to-head in Round Two, Heat Two where waves became increasingly difficult to pick out, with the increase in wind and chop. However, it was Malia who emerged as the winner in a tight scoring match up with a score of 10.20 over a 9.10 posted by Erickson.

April 20, 2012

For a second year, The Commonwealth Beachley Classic was blessed by the big waves that make Dee Why Point a premiere spot to hold competition. Competition kicked off at 8 a.m. sharp, as waves consistently broke 6-7 feet with occasional sets that hit the double overhead mark in the morning heats.

Heavy conditions and chop on the face created tricky takeoffs for the competitors, with impressive drops, and those who could handle the larger waves earned the most points.

In Heat Two of Round Three, Manuel went against Stephanie Gilmore and Sofia Mulanovich as waves consistently opened up for short-lived barrels that resulted in close outs each time. However, every athlete fought with power, finesse and precision with approving applause from the fans. Manuel upset the former world champs with excellent wave selection as she carved across the waves with huge roundhouse cutbacks impressing the judges.

In Heat Three, Carissa Moore, Lakey Peterson and Coco Ho put on a show as the surf awoke with non-stop wave after wave for the 30-minute non-elimination encounter. Although Moore sat in first position for the majority of the heat, both Ho and Peterson slid into first and second positions in a matter of four waves, with only 0.50 points separating each position. An elated Ho skipped Round Four and advanced directly into tomorrow’s Quarterfinals.

“It’s been a hard beginning of the year for me,” Ho said. “I don’t know what happened. I’ve had a really unlucky few events. This heat on paper was by far my best of the year. It was finally one of those heats where the three of us could surf good waves constantly. I’m really happy that my luck has turned.”

The last heat of the day proved to be an exciting face-off between Courtney Conlogue and Carissa Moore. Conlogue defeated Sally Fitzgibbons in Heat Four and came back to eliminate Moore from the competition in the last heat of the day. Wave selection was limited to huge air drops as each competitor demonstrated strength and control to stay on their boards as they free fell to the open face of the wave. A question of interference on Moore came up with under six minutes to go, when she paddled for a wave that Conlogue had priority on. However, after judges deliberated for several minutes, it was determined that the wave had no markability and was not called.

“It was really tricky out there to read the waves because there is so much water by the point, but I’m stoked to win and go onto tomorrow,” said Conlogue. “Carissa has been ahead of me on the numbers since we got on tour and it’s nice to finally beat her…I’m super excited I won that heat.”

Eight surfers remain in the final day of the Beachley Classic tomorrow.


  HEAT 1: Laura Enever (AUS) 11.25 def. Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 4.85
 HEAT 2: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 12.50 def. Justine Dupont (FRA) 7.00
  HEAT 3: Rebecca Woods (AUS) 8.00 def. Lakey Peterson (USA) 6.55 
HEAT 4: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 13.55 def. Carissa Moore (HAW) 13.50

HEAT 1: Tyler Wright (AUS) 11.25, Laura Enever (AUS) 9.40, Justine Dupont (FRA) 8.25
HEAT 2: Malia Manuel (HAW) 15.00, Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 13.00, Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 4.50
HEAT 3: Coco Ho (HAW) 16.75, Lakey Peterson (USA) 16.60, Carissa Moore (HAW) 16.25
HEAT 4: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 14.25, Courtney Conlogue (USA) 10.40, Rebecca Woods (AUS) 7.75

HEAT 3: Laura Enever (AUS) 12.50 def. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 10.50
HEAT 4: Justine Dupont (FRA) 12.15 def. Paige Hareb (NZL) 10.50
HEAT 5: Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 12.75 def. Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 6.75
HEAT 6: Rebecca Woods (AUS) 9.00 def. Sarah Mason (NZL) 7.80

QF 1: Tyler Wright (AUS) vs. Laura Enever (AUS)
QF 2: Malia Manuel (HAW) vs. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS)
QF 3: Coco Ho (HAW) vs. Rebecca Woods (AUS)
QF 4: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) vs. Courtney Conlogue (USA)

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