Podium of the 2014 Swatch Girls Pro France. Photo: ASP/Masurel
After a week of challenging conditions, Australian she-shredder Nikki Van Dijk claimed the 2014 ASP 6-Star Swatch Girls Pro France over Mahina Maeda in clean 1-to-2 rippable surf yesterday.
Hailing from Victoria, the talented natural-footer was first to take action in the 30-minute final, starting with two good waves to collect a 7.67 and back it up with a 6.00 point ride. In a wave starved final, the first two scores picked up early on proved sufficient to give her the win.
“I’m just so stoked, this was a hard final and I think I only took two or three waves but I’m definitely over the moon,” Van Dijk stated. “It’s a little bit rough with the CT and the QS being so close, I really needed the points here.”
Van Dijk, ranked No.7 before this event on the QS series, takes a big leap forward to the number three spot and a step closer to spending a second season amongst the ASP Top17.
“I had a really rough event here last year, with two interferences I had to leave the water,” Van Dijk added. “It makes the victory even sweeter. My brother was maybe a good luck charm here, he’s going to have to keep coming with me now! I’ve had a great week here, surfing everyday, it’s probably one of my favorite countries to come to.”
Runner-up Maeda had a great start to her final day at the Swatch Girls Pro France, netting the overall single highest wave score, an excellent 9.25 out of 10. Three heats later in the final, she unfortunately couldn’t find enough scoring opportunities on the dying swell.
“I wasn’t too stoked about that final, there weren’t as many opportunities as I would have hoped,” Maeda said. “Nikki and I really had a fun time out there though, sort of fooling around I was a little out of it. I’m really stoked for Nikki and am excited to go to Pantin now.”
Maeda, who finishes the highest ranked QS surfer of this event, was also notified at the awards ceremony that she received a wildcard into the Swatch Women’s Pro Trestles in September, making her debut against the World’s Best.
“I’m really excited, this is going to be my first time competing in a CT event,” Maeda commented. “It’s going to be a new experience, I’ve always watched the wildcard surfers with a little jealousy. I always look up to Carissa, Coco, Malia and Alessa as well. I surf everywhere with them and I’m excited to surf against them in an event, most young Hawaiians don’t have that opportunity. ”
Tatiana Weston-Webb, current World No.18 needed a big result in Seignosse and placed equal 3rd, netting a crucial 2080 ranking points in the process. Adding a third excellent result on her season tally, Weston-Webb jumps to fourth in the qualification race.
“I’m really excited to go this far in this contest,” Weston-Webb said. “I wanted a good result here in France and got it, I’m super stoked to have more points now and hopefully solidify my spot. The whole event was really fun, I’ve had a good time here !”
Despite a really strong start in the morning, Weston-Webb saw her French campaign cut short in the semis, having trouble managing her priority advantage in a woman-on-woman scenario.
“I think I did a couple wrong calls but this happens often to every competitor,” Weston-Webb reflected. “Every single wave that I paddled for simply backed off, and the ones Nikki paddled for, broke. It could have gone either way, I just got unlucky.”
Holly-Sue Coffey (AUS) 16, runner-up of the Swatch Girls Pro France Junior on Saturday, spent the majority of her semi-final bout scouring the lineup, unable to find a wave to start on. The powerful natural-footer couldn’t rival Maeda’s rhythm and eventually placed equal third.
“Sure I am disappointed to have lost the semifinal, but it has been a fantastic week.” Coffey said. “I’ve made the final in the junior and semis of the main event and this third place in the QS is my best ever career result. Plus the ranking points are huge. Now I’ll go to compete in Pantin, Spain full of confidence and hope to build on this performance.”
SWATCH GIRLS PRO FRANCE FINAL RESULTS:
1 – Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 13.67
2 – Mahina Maeda (HAW) 4.20
SWATCH GIRLS PRO FRANCE SEMIFINALS RESULTS:
SF 1: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 10.53 def. Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 8.60
SF 2: Mahina Maeda (HAW) 11.00 def. Holly-Sue Coffey (AUS) 5.77
SWATCH GIRLS PRO FRANCE QUARTERFINALS RESULTS:
QF 1: Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 8.50 def. Keely Andrew (AUS) 7.20
QF 2: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 10.50 def. Ellie-Jean Coffey (AUS) 8.20
QF 3: Mahina Maeda (HAW) 12.74 def. Anali Gomez (PER) 4.30
QF 4: Holly-Sue Coffey (AUS) 12.50 def. Coco Ho (HAW) 7.50
SWATCH GIRLS PRO FRANCE ROUND OF 12 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 15.00, Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 9.50, Laura Enever (AUS) 9.25
Heat 2: Ellie-Jean Coffey (AUS) 11.75, Keely Andrew (AUS) 11.55, Pauline Ado (FRA) 8.90
Heat 3: Mahina Maeda (HAW) 16.00, Holly-Sue Coffey (AUS) 10.50, Silvana Lima (BRA) 9.10
Heat 4: Anali Gomez (PER) 7.15, Coco Ho (HAW) 5.40, Quincy Davis (USA) 3.25