At 14-years-old Carissa Moore (HAW) is 20-years younger than seven-time ASP Women's World Champion Layne Beachley (AUS). Twenty-nine minutes into their 30-minute clash in Round 3 of the Roxy Pro today, the only numbers that mattered were those being doled out by the judges.
Moore's 9.33 single wave score (the day’s highest) was just one-tenth of a point less than Beachley's combined heat total of 9.34 – an equation that left Beachley needing a combination of two good scoring rides to win their Round 3 clash.
Moore, who earned entry into the main event after winning the Roxy Pro Trials on Monday, beat Beachley 15.66 to 9.34 to advance. “I’m super stoked, but I was honored just to be out there with Layne," Moore said. "She’s such a great person, so I’m just excited."
Moore watched fellow competitor and 2007 ASP Women’s World Tour Rookie Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) win the event as a wildcard in 2005, but, in her signature style, remained humble about whether she thinks she could accomplish the same feat. "Steph definitely destroyed that contest - she did awesome," Moore said. "I don’t know if I can do that but I’m looking forward to having fun and surfing in the contest."
Beachley, the reigning ASP Women’s World Champion, is no stranger to drawing wildcards and has come up short in a couple of highly-publicized bouts against them – namely in Gilmore. As the No. 1 seed, and with Gilmore now a tour staple, Beachley can now add Moore to her list of grommets to be wary of.
“She’s such a polite girl," Beachley said. “When we were coming in she was like, 'Thank you so much for surfing against me,' and I was like, 'Well thank you so much for smashing me!' When you are the top seed you’re going to come up against unpredictable 14-year-old wildcards that are going to kick your butt. Carissa had nothing to lose out there, nothing to prove and she went out there with such confidence."
Beachley, who finished runner-up to Melanie Redman-Carr (AUS) in the Roxy Pro last year, was quick to give Moore the credit she deserved.
“I can’t find any excuses for what happened to me today," Beachley said. "I’m not going to beat myself up too hard about it. I think the conditions today were quite good and obviously if Carissa could score a 9.00, then being seven-time World Champ, I should be able to too. It was just a matter of being patient and I was impatient towards the end of the heat – that’s what got me."
Gilmore’s Round 3 win over Claire Bevilacqua (AUS) will see her through to the Quarterfinals. She sits opposite the draw from Moore and could potentially draw her if they both advance through their Quarter and Semifinal heats. “I would love to make the final with Carissa, although she would probably smash me," Gilmore said. "It will be really interesting to see how far she will go in this event, and no doubt, it will be pretty far."
Gilmore, a Snapper Rocks regular, will now meet fellow local and close friend Chelsea Hedges (formerly Georgeson) in the next round. "I was kind of hoping that wouldn't happen, because I would love to make the final with Chelsea," Gilmore said. "We’ll meet up in the Quarters, which will be really difficult, but hopefully I’ll just do my best and make it through. She’s surfing just amazing right now so it’s going to be pretty hard."
Hedges, who won a world title in 2005 and finished the 2006 season No. 4 in the world, would love to win at home but is equally disappointed about having to face her friend Gilmore in the next round. "It’s a bummer that we’re meeting up in the Quarters, but it’s going to be a good heat and I’m look forward to it for sure."
Silvana Lima (BRA) missed the Hawaiian leg of the 2006 ASP Women's World Tour due to injury and a subsequent knee operation, but found the strength to post the day's highest heat total, 16.33 out 20.00 possible points. Lima eliminated fellow Brazilian and 2004 Roxy Pro Gold Coast Champion Jacqueline Silva to advance.
Reigning Roxy Pro Gold Coast Champion Redman-Carr, Amee Donohoe (AUS), Rebecca Woods (AUS) and Megan Abubo (HAW) are also through to the Quarterfinals after winning their Round 3 heats today.
The Foster’s Surf Showdown, the dynamic new nation versus nation exhibition format replacing last year’s Foster’s Expression Session, ran this afternoon in front of a capacity crowd at Snapper Rocks. Featuring six teams in Australia, America, Brazil, South Africa, Hawaii and the Foster’s Rookies, the Surf Showdown was a resounding success as the two-man teams comprised of the Foster’s 45 battled it out in the 2 to 3 foot (0.6 to 0.9 metre) surf.
“This was the inaugural Foster’s Surf Showdown and we were treated to some exciting nation versus nation action in a teams format," Foster’s Surf Ambassador Toby Martin said. “We’re excited that today’s event went so well, and although we’re still toying with the format, we expect that the exhibition will be a great success this season. Today proved that the Foster’s Rookies were the top dogs to beat showing an incredible array of talent."
The Foster’s Rookies, captained by local Josh Kerr (AUS) who surfed alongside Jeremy Flores (FRA), took down a heavily favored team Australia comprised of Mick Fanning (AUS) and Joel Parkinson (AUS).
“I’m just so stoked we’ve come out on top," Kerr said. “Jeremy (Flores) and I just went out there and tried to go big. I’ve been surfing here my whole life so it feels great to get one off of Joel (Parkinson) and Mick (Fanning). I’m really excited, we have a really deep talent pool in the rookies and I’m looking forward to the rest of the event."
The next call will be made at 6am tomorrow morning.
Roxy Pro Round 3 Results - 1st advances to Quarterfinals, 2nd eliminated
Heat 1: Amee Donohoe (AUS) 12.83 def. Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 11.16
Heat 2: Rebecca Woods (AUS) 11.00 def. Melanie Bartels (HAW) 10.93
Heat 3: Megan Abubo (HAW) 10.16 def. Samantha Cornish (AUS) 6.96
Heat 4: Carissa Moore (HAW) 15.66 def. Layne Beachley (AUS) 9.34
Heat 5: Melanie Redman-Carr (AUS) 11.67 def. Rosanne Hodge (ZAF) 7.67
Heat 6: Silvana Lima (BRA) 16.33 def. Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 12.66
Heat 7: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 14.33 def. Claire Bevilacqua (AUS) 7.67
Heat 8: Chelsea Hedges (AUS) def. Caroline Sarran (FRA)
Roxy Pro Quarterfinal Match-ups - 1st advances to Semifinals, 2nd eliminated
Quarterfinal 1: Amee Donohoe (AUS) vs. Rebecca Woods (AUS)
Quarterfinal 2: Megan Abubo (HAW) vs. Carissa Moore (HAW)
Quarterfinal 3: Melanie Redman-Carr (AUS) vs. Silvana Lima (BRA)
Quarterfinal 4: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) vs. Chelsea Hedges (AUS)