SAN CLEMENTE, CA/USA (Saturday, September 12, 2015) – The stage is set for a thrilling Finals Day at the Hurley Pro and Swatch Women’s Pro with the Men’s Quarterfinalists and the Women’s Semifinalists decided following an exciting day of action today. Stops No. 8 and 7 respectively on the Samsung Galaxy World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT) ran through Women’s Round 4 and the Quarterfinals as well as Men’s Rounds 4 and 5. The fourth consecutive day of competition at Lower Trestles also saw surfing icons Shaun Tomson, Wayne “Rabbit” Bartholomew, Simon Anderson, Cheyne Horan and Michael Ho showcase their skills during a Heritage Series Expression Session.
Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) was first to earn her place in the Semifinals of the Swatch Women’s Pro today when she defeated Nikki Van Dijk (AUS). Van Dijk claimed an early lead but the powerful South African, current world No. 4, came back with less than ten minutes remaining to post an 8.67 and take the heat.
“Performance is about so much more than just physical ability,” Buitendag said. “I’ve realized that you really have to put hard work in and things don’t always go as planned.”
Lakey Peterson (USA) delivered a huge upset by eliminating the world No. 1 Courtney Conlogue (USA) in the Quarterfinals. Peterson, who is currently in 5th place on the Jeep Leaderboard, started with a bang and delivered an 8.93 for a series of beautiful, wrapping turns. She continued her impressive performance and backed up her first score with a 7.83 for a convincing lead. Despite a valiant effort, Conlogue couldn’t find the 8.84 required. Peterson heads to the Semifinals and Conlogue goes home in 5th place.
“I was really focused in that heat,” said Peterson. “Courtney is just so good and she’s been one of the best surfers out here all week so I was trying to stick to my game plan. I’m stoked to be at Lowers, it’s just so much fun, and to get passed the Quarterfinals.”
“That heat was a bit of a bummer, I thought that first wave was going to be amazing,” said Conlogue. “Things didn’t go my way but there’s still three events left this year and I’m going to hold my head high, learn from my mistakes and look forward.”
Two-time WSL Champion Carissa Moore (HAW) got the better of current world No. 7 Tyler Wright (AUS) in the third Quarterfinal today. Wright netted an incredible 9.93, the highest score of the day, for a series of huge power turns on her opening wave and left Moore battling to turn the heat. Each of the surfers took a wave in the final minutes and Wright looked to better her back-up while Moore hoped for a 7.77. The pair waited anxiously for the scores to come through and Moore got the edge. The emotional, last-minute victory for the Hawaiian will see her take the ratings lead and Jeep leader jersey from Conlogue heading into the upcoming Cascais Women’s Pro.
“It was really tough to keep my head after Tyler started off with a near-perfect score,” said Moore. “I’m so thankful and happy that it worked out at the end — I was praying so hard for the score to come in.”
“What I can take away from that heat is that I really went out and surfed how I wanted to,” said Wright. “This is the most emotional I’ve been after a heat loss and it’s the hardest one I’ve ever had. This event things have really started to come together for me and I feel like my competitive spirit has come back.”
In another upset Dimity Stoyle (AUS) defeated world No. 3 Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) to earn her first Semifinal berth of the season and her second ever on the CT. Today was the first head-to-head match-up for the pair and Stoyle managed to steal the advantage with ten minutes remaining. Fitzgibbons fought back to reclaim the lead but the heat came down to a final exchange. Stoyle took the win with an 8.57 to Fitzgibbons’ 8.43 and moves ahead.
“It’s unbelievable,” said Stoyle. “I haven’t had many opportunities this year but those losses I’ve had have just made me work harder. My goal was just to go out there and surf good and it’s worked. I’ve made some heats and I’m really happy.”
Mick Fanning (AUS) defeated Kelly Slater (USA) today to earn his place in the Quarterfinals of the Hurley Pro.
Image: WSL/Sean Rowland
The Hurley ran through Rounds 4 and 5 today and 12 competitors fought for a place in the Quarterfinals.
Filipe Toledo (BRA) was the first surfer to advance on after a thrilling all-Brazilian match-up in Round 4 against Miguel Pupo (BRA) and Italo Ferreira (BRA). The action-packed heat saw the three Brazilians put on a spectacular display, posting big scores in the 8-point range and above. It was fleet-footed Toledo who took the win by just 0.96 with the a heat-high 9.20.
“We’re all really good friends but we’re also really passionate about our sport,” said Toledo. “I would have been really angry if I didn’t win that heat because I really want a good result at this event.”
Pupo went on to face Joel Parkinson (AUS) in Round 5. The 2012 WSL Champion dominated the opening half of the heat to leave Pupo in need of two good scores. The young Brazilian was able to break the combination with an excellent 8.90 but couldn’t find a back-up score and is eliminated in 9th place. Parkinson moves through to the Quarterfinals where he will face Toledo.
“Filipe and I are two really different types of surfers,” said Parkinson. “It will be a good showdown for everyone to watch. I feel like I’m getting stronger and I’m so inspired to surf at the moment.”
Jeep Leaderboard No. 1 Adriano de Souza (BRA) also earned his place in the Quarterfinals after he won through his Round 4 heat against Parkinson and rookie Wiggolly Dantas (BRA). Wiggolly went on to defeat Ferreira in Round 5 and also advances on to the Quarterfinals.
“It was a slow heat and it was lucky that I started fast and put some pressure on,” said De Souza. “It was my goal in this contest to make the Quarters so I’m really pleased to get through. I’m going to work hard to make sure I’m 100% for Finals Day.”
A stacked match-up played out in Round 4 Heat 4 when Owen Wright (AUS), Kelly Slater (USA) and Gabriel Medina (BRA) went head-to-head fighting for the direct advance to the Quarterfinals. Medina, the reigning WSL Champion, took the win with a 16.90 heat total and just two waves surfed.
“That was a good heat and it’s always fun to come up against Owen and Kelly,” Medina said. “Owen’s my favorite goofy and Kelly’s Kelly. I’m stoked to get the win and make it through to the Quarterfinals. I’m just really hungry to win an event.”
11-time world champion Slater took to the water for a second time today when he faced three-time WSL Champion Mick Fanning (AUS) in a huge Round 5 clash, each battling for a place in the Quarterfinals. Slater showed progression and took to the air while Fanning used his rail game to build the better heat total and take the advantage. The exciting duel saw both surfers take a wave in the final seconds with the six-time Trestles winner getting the better of the exchange. Despite this, Fanning’s solid scoreline sees him take the win and move through to the Quarterfinals where he will face Adrian Buchan (AUS).
“Everytime you come up against Kelly it’s always going to be a huge heat,” Fanning said. “It was definitely tough so I’m stoked to make it through. Kelly’s a great champion and I’ve looked up to him my whole career — he really brings out the best in me.”
“Mick really had me in a situation so I had to fight hard,” said Slater. “It’s just been one of those events for me when all my heats have been slow and I haven’t finished my waves too well. I’m really going to think hard about whether or not to go to Europe now. This result really puts me out of the title race for this year so it would be good to have some time off.”
Nat Young (USA) upset world No. 3 Owen Wright (AUS) in Round 5 today, sending him home in 9th place. Neither surfer caught a wave for the opening 22 minutes of the heat and it was Young that was first to post a score. A frustrated Wright waited until the three-minute mark before catching his first wave and didn’t have enough time to build his scoreline.
“Me and Owen were being pretty stubborn and neither of us wanted to give up the inside position,” said Young. “Then I looked at my watch and saw we only had 8 minutes remaining so I thought I should have a go and at least get a small score.”
“Nat and I are both competitors and neither of us wanted to give in,” said Wright. “It’s disappointing but that’s how things go. Nat got the better wave and I wish him luck for the rest of the competition.”
Caption: The Heritage Series Expression Session ran today with five surfing icons showing off their talents at Lower Trestles.
The WSL Heritage Series, which is designed to celebrate and honor the icons of the sport, ran an Expression Session today with surfing legends Shaun Tomson, Wayne “Rabbit” Bartholomew, Simon Anderson, Cheyne Horan and Michael Ho showcasing their skills at Lower Trestles. They were supported by legends Mark “MR” Richards, “PT” Townend and Ian Cairns on the broadcast.
“Surfing Trestles with just a few guys out is exceptional and so much fun,” Ho said. “I think we were all trying to show each other up and we were definitely competitive.”
The event will also see World Champions Lisa Andersen and Sofia Mulanovich match-up in a historic battle during the Swatch Women’s Pro for the first event women’s Heritage Series Heat.
The Hurley Pro and Swatch Women’s Pro Trestles event started on September 9 and could run through September 20, 2015. Fans can follow all the action LIVE via webcast on WorldSurfLeague.com and on the WSL mobile app.
Fans around the world can also follow the broadcast LIVE on Fox Sports in Australia, MCS Extreme in France, EDGE Sports in China, South Korea, Malaysia and other territories and on Globo TV in Brazil.
Swatch Women’s Pro Round 4 Results:
Heat 1: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 15.73 def. Sage Erickson (USA) 13.83
Heat 2: Lakey Peterson (USA) 17.37 def. Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 11.84
Heat 3: Carissa Moore (HAW) 17.33 def. Johanne Defay (FRA) 15.10
Heat 4: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 17.93 def. Alessa Quizon (HAW) 14.20
Swatch Women’s Pro Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 15.50 def. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 15.43
QF 2: Lakey Peterson (USA) 16.76 def. Courtney Conlogue (USA) 15.26
QF 3: Carissa Moore (HAW) 15.10 def. Tyler Wright (AUS) 14.86
QF 4: Dimity Stoyle (AUS) 15.50 def. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 14.16
Swatch Women’s Pro Semifinal Match-Ups:
SF 1: Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) vs. Lakey Peterson (USA)
SF 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Dimity Stoyle (AUS)
Hurley Pro Round 4 Results:
Heat 1: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 17.93, Miguel Pupo (BRA) 16.97, Italo Ferreira (BRA) 16.17
Heat 2: Adriano de Souza (BRA) 13.10, Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 13.00, Joel Parkinson (AUS) 12.86
Heat 3: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 16.36, Mick Fanning (AUS) 14.44, Nat Young (USA) 14.37
Heat 4: Gabriel Medina (BRA) 16.90, Owen Wright (BRA) 16.40, Kelly Slater (USA) 8.37
Hurley Pro Round 5 Results:
Heat 1: Joel Parkinson (AUS) 16.57 def. Miguel Pupo (BRA) 13.73
Heat 2: Wiggolly Dantas (BRA) 16.37 def. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 13.67
Heat 3: Mick Fanning (AUS) 16.10 def. Kelly Slater (USA) 14.90
Heat 4: Nat Young (USA) 12.17 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 6.00
Hurley Pro Quarterfinal Match-Ups:
QF 1: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Joel Parkinson (AUS)
QF 2: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Wiggolly Dantas (BRA)
QF 3: Adrian Buchan (AUS) vs. Mick Fanning (AUS)
QF 4: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Nat Young (USA)