Carissa Moore Leads Quarterfinals Charge at Gidget Pro Sunset Beach

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SUNSET BEACH, Oahu/Hawaii (Friday, November 27, 2009) – The Gidget Pro Sunset Beach, Event No. 6 of 7 on the 2009 ASP Women’s World Tour, completed Rounds 1 and 2 today in solid six foot (2 metre) surf at the iconic location of Sunset Beach and saw future 2010 ASP Women’s World Tour rookie Carissa Moore (HAW), 17, lead the world’s finest female surfers into the Quarterfinals.

The Gidget Pro Sunset Beach, the second stop on the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing, not only plays a crucial role in the hunt for the 2009 ASP Women’s World Title, but in all surfers’ campaigns for requalification for the 2010 ASP Women’s World Tour.

Moore earned her advancement into the Gidget Pro with a solid win in this morning’s Trials, eliminating fellow 2010 ASP Women’s Tour rookie Lee Ann Curren (FRA), 20, while advancing into the main event.

“I’m super stoked to have made it into the main event and I was really looking forward to it,” Moore said. “I knew it was going to be a tough heat because the girls I was surfing against, I’ve grown up with, and they have been ripping really hard. Sunset’s really shifty and hard, but I just tried to do my best and have fun.”

Moore dove into her Round 1 heat by posting the day’s highest total of 14.83 out of 20 by combining an aggressive forehand attack with polished, swooping forehand carves on the solid Sunset Beach surf to take out the heat win over reigning two-time ASP Women’s World Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 21, who advanced in second.

“I was a little nervous going into the trials and I’m always a little nervous going into every heat,” Moore said. “I’ve been surfing a lot out here (Sunset) with Pancho (Sullivan) and it’s been fun, so it was great to have that first Trials heat under my belt before surfing against Steph (Gilmore).”

Gilmore, reigning two-time ASP Women’s World Champion and current No. 1 on the ASP Women’s World Tour ratings, locked in one solid wave in her opening bout against the young Hawaiian phenom, proving to be enough for second place and a crucial Quarterfinals berth. The Australian champ is also looking forward to seeing Moore on next year’s ASP Women’s World Tour as a full-time competitor.

“Carissa (Moore) got the best waves and she’s got local legend Pancho Sullivan helping her out,” Gilmore said. “I’m definitely looking to have her on tour next year. She deserves to be on tour. She’s an incredible surfer and has a great personality and I’m sure she’ll push the girls even more.”

Gilmore is currently leading the tight ASP Women’s World Title race at the moment and would love to wrap up her third consecutive crown at Sunset Beach, but knows the task will be no easy feat.

“It’d be nice to sew it up here at Sunset, but it’s going to be pretty difficult,” Gilmore said. “It’s really close and I doubt it’ll wrap up here, but you never know.”

Malia Manuel (HAW), 16, issued the upset of the day when she eliminated former ASP Women’s World Champion Sofia Mulanovich (PER), 26, from Round 2 competition, significantly hindering the Peruvian’s chances at a repeat title in 2009.

“Soph (Mulanovich) is such a great person and I’m really bummed that she was eliminated,” Manuel said. “Unfortunately, that’s just how it goes. I know she’s going for the world title, so I’m bummed for her, but I’m also really happy to make it through.”

Manuel, along with Moore, was another trialist to advance into the Quarterfinals today, and although she has little experience at Sunset Beach, she’s looking to capitalize on the experience gained at the premier break to further her blossoming career.

“It was really great to get the heat win out there,” Manuel said. “This is my first real surf at Sunset and I was having fun at the trials heat and Round 1 and Round 2 were great practice and the waves are fun.”

Gidget Pro Sunset Beach officials will reconvene tomorrow for a 7am to make a call on the day’s proceedings.

The Gidget Pro Sunset Beach will be webcast LIVE via www.triplecrownofsurfing.com

For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com

GIDGET PRO SUNSET BEACH ROUND 1 RESULTS:

Heat 1: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 8.00, Bruna Schmitz (BRA) 5.57, Coco Ho (HAW) 5.07, Laurina McGrath (AUS) 4.77

Heat 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) 14.83, Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 8.90, Rebecca Woods (AUS) 8.23, Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 1.53

Heat 3: Megan Abubo (HAW) 12.66, Chelsea Hedges (AUS) 8.50, Melanie Bartels (HAW) 6.77, Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 6.60

Heat 4: Silvana Lima (BRA) 9.17, Samantha Cornish (AUS) 8.24, Malia Manuel (HAW) 7.00, Rosanne Hodge (ZAF) 6.20

Heat 5: Alana Blanchard (HAW) 9.60, Paige Hareb (NZL) 8.90, Bethany Hamilton (HAW) 8.84, Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 2.07

GIDGET PRO SUNSET BEACH ROUND 2 RESULTS:

Heat 1: Melanie Bartels (HAW) 10.87, Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 9.50, Coco Ho (HAW) 8.14, Rebecca Woods (AUS) 6.97, Rosanne Hodge (ZAF) 6.80

Heat 2: Malia Manuel (HAW) 9.23, Bethany Hamilton (HAW) 8.90, Laurina McGrath (AUS) 6.80, Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 6.70, Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 6.26

GIDGET PRO SUNSET BEACH ROUND 3 MATCH-UPS:

Heat 1: Melanie Bartels (HAW), Chelsea Hedges (AUS), Megan Abubo (HAW), Laurina McGrath (AUS)

Heat 2: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Jacqueline Silva (BRA), Samantha Cornish (AUS), Carissa Moore (HAW)

Heat 3: Silvana Lima (BRA), Paige Hareb (NZL), Alana Blanchard (HAW), Malia Manuel (HAW)
Heat 4: Coco Ho (HAW), Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Bruna Schmitz (BRA), Bethany Hamilton (HAW)