SNAPPER ROCKS, Queensland/Australia (Saturday, March 5, 2011) - After six, consecutive lay days, the Roxy Pro Gold Coast presented by Land Rover roared back to life today with the world's best female surfers contesting Rounds 2 and 3 in building surf at Snapper Rocks.
The opening stop of the 2011 ASP Women's World Title season, the Roxy Pro Gold Coast saw a return to form for reigning four-time ASP Women's World Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 23, who bounced back after an uncharacteristic Round 1 loss to dispatch wildcard Sarah Mason (NZL), 16, in Round 2, before exacting revenge upon rookie gunslinger Tyler Wright (AUS), 16, in Round 3.
"It was a hard heat," Gilmore said. "It doesn't get any easier now, especially with them (Enever and Wright) and without the jet skis. It really tests the fitness of all of the girls. It boosted my confidence to win against Sarah Mason and I definitely wasn't expecting to surf against both Tyler and Laura in Round 3. It was tough."
Recovering from both an extended stay out of the lineup earlier this year and a surprise Round 1 loss, Gilmore's performance today provided a much-needed rejuvenation for Australia's golden girl.
"I definitely feel some relief," Gilmore said. "It's just such a giant mixed bag of emotions. There are nerves still because I made some mistakes in that last heat. I guess it's learning again. Every year is like starting again and this year with the time off because of the injury I feel like I'm starting at the back of the pack. It's cool though, I kind of enjoy that. It's something to work towards and it's a good challenge."
Silvana Lima (BRA), 26, two-time ASP Women's World Runner-Up (2008, 2009), secured the day's highest heat total, a 15.27 out of a possible 20, during her Round 3 bout against Pauline Ado (FRA), 20, and Sofia Mulanovich (PER), 27. The progressive Brazilian surfed with unparalleled speed and aggression, advancing directly to the Quarterfinals.
"The conditions are really hard and I knew I had to hassle," Lima said. "I felt confused about the waves, some were fat and I didn't know which ones to choose. I didn't want to lose, I feel like I always have to win. I got a few at the end, so I'm happy to get through."
Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), 20, 2010 ASP Women's World Runner-Up, continued her momentum-building Roxy Pro campaign today, besting opponents Coco Ho (HAW), 19, and Courtney Conlogue (USA), 18, in their Round 3 clash. Under the new ASP Women's World Title event format, Round 3 is a three-woman, non-elimination round with the winner advancing directly to the Quarterfinals and second and being relegated to Round 4.
"I'm pretty excited for the Quarterfinals," Fitzgibbons said. "There's this swell that is coming, and they will probably run the men in the best conditions seeing that they have the most competitors left, but there should be a little window for us to score some good conditions and get the Snapper we know it for."
Chelsea Hedges (AUS), 27, former ASP Women's World Champion (2005), capped off the day's action with the highest single-wave score of the day, an 8.17 out of a possible 10, for a sensational backhand campaign on the biggest set of the day. The veteran campaigner is looking fit and dangerous as she moves into the business end of the Roxy Pro Gold Coast.
Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow morning at 6:30am to assess conditions for a possible 7:30am start.
When competition resumes, up first will be the rookie battle between Pauline Ado (FRA), 20, and Tyler Wright (AUS), 16.
Highlights from the Roxy Pro Gold Coast will be available via http://www.roxypro.com.au
The event will also be broadcast LIVE on free-to-air with One HD.
For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com
ROXY PRO GOLD COAST ROUND 2 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 12.67 def. Rebecca Woods (AUS) 8.33
Heat 2: Pauline Ado (FRA) 13.60 def. Paige Hareb (NZL) 5.83
Heat 3: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 14.24 def. Sarah Mason (NZL) 10.50
Heat 4: Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 11.30 def. Claire Bevilacqua (AUS) 8.50
Heat 5: Chelsea Hedges (AUS) 11.83 def. Alana Blanchard (HAW) 7.67
Heat 6: Laura Enever (AUS) 7.57 def. Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 7.10
ROXY PRO GOLD COAST ROUND 3 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Silvana Lima (BRA) 15.27, Pauline Ado (FRA) 14.27, Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 10.43
Heat 2: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 10.67, Laura Enever (AUS) 9.83, Tyler Wright (AUS) 8.84
Heat 3: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 11.57, Coco Ho (HAW) 8.67, Courtney Conlogue 7.80
Heat 4: Chelsea Hedges (AUS) 12.67, Carissa Moore (HAW) 8.66, Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 3.13
ROXY PRO GOLD COAST ROUND 4 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1:Pauline Ado (FRA) vs. Tyler Wright (AUS)
Heat 2:Laura Enever (AUS) vs. Sofia Mulanovich (PER)
Heat 3:Coco Ho (HAW) vs. Jacqueline Silva (BRA)
Heat 4:Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Courtney Conlogue (USA)
QUIKSILVER PRO GOLD COAST ROUND 2 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Bede Durbidge (AUS) vs. Matt Banting (AUS)
Heat 2: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Mitch Crews (AUS)
Heat 3: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Marc Lacomare (FRA)
Heat 4: Michel Bourez (PYF) vs. Raoni Monteiro (BRA)
Heat 5: Chris Davidson (AUS) vs. Cory Lopez (USA)
Heat 6: Jadson Andre (BRA) vs. Gabe Kling (USA)
Heat 7: Damien Hobgood (USA) vs. Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 8: Kieren Perrow (AUS) vs. Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Heat 9: C.J. Hobgood (USA) vs. Kai Otton (AUS)
Heat 10: Brett Simpson (USA) vs. Patrick Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 11: Taylor Knox (USA) vs. Fredrick Patacchia (HAW)
Heat 12: Heitor Alves (BRA) vs. Bobby Martinez (USA)