Laura Enever came out on top after a thrilling day of competition at the Fiji Women’s Pro. Image: ASP / Robertson
Round 3 and two heats of Round 4 ran at Restaurants yesterday in pumping 4 – 6 foot surf. The first time in ASP history that the women’s competition has run heats at the world-class wave of Restaurants.
Five-time champ Steph Gilmore wasted little time establishing a lead in the first heat of the day over the shallow lefthander, with two excellent rides and advancing directly to the quarters.
“When you’re here on the island and you see these perfect lefthanders out front at Restaurants it’s hard not to have the competition here,” said Steph. “All girls are stoked on the decision. I love Restaurants, it’s a challenging wave but it’s also so mechanical so you can get into a rhythm and really do your thing. It went really well out there so I’m pleased”.
However, it was fellow Australian ripper Laura Enever who shone as the day’s highest scorer, skilfully combining tubes and turns.
“I think it’s so new for us to be surfing here in Fiji. That was my first surf at Restaurants and I thought, I just need to catch a wave and see what happens on it,” commented Laura Enever post-heat. “I can’t believe that just happened but I’m so stoked. I think everyone is having the best time here. It’s windy out there but it’s fine and I’m so stoked that I got two fun ones.”
While top seed Carissa Moore failed to win her Round 3 heat, the defending world title champ fought hard to come back in Round 4 for a place in the quarters thanks to a polished display of rhythmic backhand surfing.
“I’m super relieved to get through that heat this afternoon as Tatiana (Weston-Webb) was on fire,” said Carissa. “She has shown how strong she is in various conditions between Rio and now here in Fiji. We had great waves for our heat, a little windy, but plenty of sets. It’s a challenging wave and I was doing my best to stick and move on my manoeuvers. I’m really pleased to be into the quarter finals and I hope we continue to get great surf for the remainder of the event.”
Upcoming Fiji Women’s Pro Round 4 Match-ups:
Heat 3: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) vs. Tyler Wright (AUS)
Heat 4: Malia Manuel (HAW) vs. Paige Hareb (NZL)
Fiji Women’s Pro Round 4 Results:
Heat 1: Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 16.90 def. Alessa Quizon (HAW) 14.84
Heat 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) 17.07 def. Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 15.13
Fiji Women’s Pro Round 3 Results:
Heat 1: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 16.33, Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 16.30, Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 8.60
Heat 2: Dimity Stoyle (AUS) 14.17, Carissa Moore (HAW) 10.87, Alessa Quizon 10.50
Heat 3: Laura Enever (AUS) 18.84, Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 15.07, Paige Hareb (NZL) 14.93
Heat 4: Johanne Defay (FRA) 13.30, Malia Manuel (HAW) 12.73, Tyler Wright (AUS) 10.33