The 2009 Roxy ASP Women's World Longboard Championships entered its business end today with Round 2 and the Quarterfinals of the world title deciding event being completed in consistent three foot (one meter) waves at La Côte des Basques. Pressure was on all faces and competitors stepped-up to deliver spectacular surfing, event favorites taking a commanding lead over low-seeded surfers to advance through to the final-four of the 2009 edition.
From low-scoring tricky heats to fantastic performances, Justine Dupont (FRA) was the woman of the day, the 17-year-old Lacanau resident posting the two best heat scores of the day to make her intentions clear towards her maiden ASP Women's World Longboard title. Dupont, who had to display her best moves to defeat Kelia Moniz (HAW) in Quarterfinal No. 1, waited until the last two minutes of their encounter to get back ahead, leaving the water relieved.
"I am over the moon right now," Dupont said. "It was a very tough heat against Kelia (Moniz) who surfed well, and she is on the event poster so it put more pressure (laughs). I got that good wave right at the start but then it went her way and I had to wait a lot which reminded me of the final two years ago where nothing came and I stressed out a little."
Dupont, who hasn't done worse than a 5th place finish since she started competing in the Roxy Jam two years ago, bettered her 2008 result today advancing through to the Semifinals for a shot at the title when competition resumes tomorrow. Dupont's performances in both short and longboard divisions have made her a favorite at any event she attends, her Semifinal match-up against Coline Menard (REU) promising a good exchange.
"It's still two heats to go before I can relax and the support I have is really great," Dupont said. "I am stoked to surf against Coline (Menard) who is a good friend of mine and I am just going to go out there relaxed to have fun with her. I can't wait to surf tomorrow in the Semifinals."
Both Dupont and Menard will meet in a 100% French Semifinal first thing tomorrow, a guarantee for the cheering crowds to see a French representative in the 2009 final of the 2009 Roxy Jam, and possibly a first ever ASP Women's World Longboard champion from France.
Other favorite to make her intentions clear today was unstoppable Gold Coast resident from Coolangatta Chelsea Williams (AUS), 2008 ASP Women's World Longboard No. 2, who got through both rounds confidently besting Isabelle Braly (AUS) and Roxy team rider and favorite Kassia Meador (USA).
Williams, who remains the event's best scorer with a 16.50 point heat result in Round 1, surfed well enough to secure her Semifinal berth and stay in the race for her maiden ASP Women's World Longboard title.
"I am still hanging in there after the Quarters so I am pretty happy," Willaims said. "Kassia (Meador) and I are usually relaxed and there wasn't any tension out there other than me being a bit nervous because I was waiting to hear a 7 or an 8 come through [for Kassia] in the end and it didn't happened, luckily."
Williams will match-up against Californian and 2007 ASP Women's World Longboard Champion Jennifer Smith (USA) when the Semifinals get underway on the final day. With both surfers being favorites for the 2009 crown, Semifinal No. 2 will be a much awaited and balanced clash of titans if the expected increasing waves deliver clean defined peaks at La Côte des Basques. Smith, who knows what it takes to clinch the prestigious crown and have her name next to surfing's world champions, may have a solid game plan.
"I know Chelsea (Williams) is able to score long nose-rides and that she can hang ten as well so I will definititely step up," Smith said. "I've had the title before and I won't be too disappointed I guess it goes wrong. I think this next heat that I am in is going to be a final, we've surfed each other in the past and she has beat me and I have beat her so it is going to really tight but definitely a great one."
The 2009 Roxy ASP Women's World Championships' showdown is scheduled for a possible 11.15 AM start, tomorrow Tuesday, July 14, 2009.
UPCOMING ROXY ASP WWLC SEMIFINALS
Heat 1: Justine Dupont (FRA) Vs Coline Menard (REU)
Heat 2: Chelsea Williams (AUS) Vs Jennifer Smith (USA)
ROXY ASP WWLC QUARTERFINALS RESULTS
Heat 1: Justine Dupont (FRA) 15.50 pts Def. Kelia Moniz (HAW) 11.65 pts
Heat 2: Coline Menard (REU) 9.25 pts Def. Geodee Clark (HAW) 8.55 pts
Heat 3: Chelsea Williams (AUS) 12.50 pts Def. Kassia Meador (USA) 12.15 pts
Heat 4: Jennifer Smith (USA) 12.50 pts Def. Julie Cox (USA) 10.65 pts
ROXY ASP WWLC ROUND 2 RESULTS
Heat 1: Justine Dupont (FRA) 16.00 pts Def. Yoko Furuchi (JPN) 8.50 pts
Heat 2: Kelia Moniz (HAW) 10.75 pts Def. Leah Dawson (USA) 10.30 pts
Heat 3: Geodee Clark (HAW) 8.90 pts Def. Rachel Barry (USA) 7.10 pts
Heat 4: Coline Menard (REU) 10.70 pts Def. Summer Romero (USA) 9.15 pts
Heat 5: Chelsea Williams (AUS) 13.00 pts Def. Isabelle Braly (AUS) 6.75 pts
Heat 6: Kassia Meador (HAW) 9.25 pts Def. Miku Uemura (HAW) 8.05 pts
Heat 7: Jennifer Smith (USA) 13.75 pts Def. Kelly Nicely (USA) 10.90 pts
Heat 8: Julie Cox (USA) 7.15 pts Def. Yuko Shimajiri (JPN) 5.25 pts