GUINCHO, Portugal (Saturday, May 8, 2010) – The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Estoril Surf Billabong Girls 6-Star Women’s event completed two rounds to decide the eight quarter-finalists who will battle it out on the final day of competition tomorrow at this $US35.000 event.
With heavy rain and a building swell throughout the morning the Estoril Surf Billabong Girls turned on 4-5ft (1-1.5m) waves at the backup site of Guincho under clear skies and warm sunshine during the afternoon session of competition. Being slightly protected from the strong southerly winds Guincho offered long lefts for the girls to do battle in.
Courtney Conlogue (USA) competing in her first ASP Women’s Star Series event here in Portugal qualified for the quarters behind defending champion Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS). With the day’s highest heat total this morning of 15.75 (out of a possible 20) in her round four heat Conlogue entered her final heat of the day confident of what she had ahead of her.
However with the building swell and lowering tide Conlogue found herself searching from one peak to another in an attempt to better her scores. The young natural-footer took home some valuable experience from what turned out to be a very complicated heat.
“You really need to know what you are doing out there and keep to your plan something I definitely didn’t do in this heat because when I got out there the waves were coming in everywhere and you just need to trust yourself and stick to that one area and hopefully you get a few exchanges and not what I did.”
“I was so lucky to get through that heat and as Sally and I were paddling back and forth and she got a few exchanges that were better and I was really lucky to get through so hopefully that is behind me and tomorrow I can come back fresh and new.”
Conlogue also spent the majority of the day either in the water or watching the break in her wetsuit. Starting with a free surf in the morning followed by her first heat and then remaining suited up until her next round encounter during the rain and wind she definitely earned her way through to the quarter-finals for shear enthusiasm.
“Maybe a little,” smiled Conlogue of her marathon day spent in her wetsuit. “But it got me warmed up before my heats and it paid off. I feel comfortable here because I have surfed here the last few days and it is definitely a different wave because it has that side wave so you have to time it right and if you get the right one you’re stoked.”
Jacqueline Silva (BRA) and Sage Erickson (USA) made it through their heat to also advance to the quarter-finals obtaining their best results this year on the ASP Women’s Star Series. Silva summed up how difficult it became late in the afternoon to compete in the rising swell.
“This morning we started with small conditions and easier to get waves and now the conditions are really hard with the swell picking up so fast during the day and it is so hard to find your two good waves. I hope that now we will get good waves at the main site at Sao Pedro tomorrow.”
Nikita Robb (ZAF) 21, advanced claiming her best result for the 2010 tour and reaching the quarters for the second consecutive year at the Estoril Surf Billabong Girls. Like the other competitors she found the going tough but managed to get things going late in her heat to come away with a win.
“I was struggling at the start because I actually went to the right to try and maybe get a few but it was so rippy and so much paddling to do that I couldn’t just grab the good ones out there so I headed across to the lefts and that’s where I got my next score.”
“There were so many waves out there and we were only three in the water so it was good out there but if it had of been a bit more inconsistent like this morning it would have been a lot more of a struggle.”
Also advancing with comfortable wins were defending title holder Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) and fellow Australian Tyler Wright. The scene is set for a possible semi-final show down between the two in-form surfers of the Estoril Surf Billabong Girls 2010.
The Estoril Surf Billabong Girls is stop nº 1 of four in the European Women’s Series which will eventually crown this year’s European Women’s Champion.
For all results, photos, press releases and daily highlights log on to www.aspeurope.com
UPCOMING QUARTERFINAL MATCH-UPS ESTORIL SURF BILLABONG GIRLS
QF 1: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) Vs Alana Blanchard (HAW)
QF 2: Courtney Conlogue (USA) Vs Tyler Wright (AUS)
QF 3: Jacqueline Silva (BRA) Vs Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS)
QF 4: Sage Erickson (USA) Vs Nikita Robb (ZAF)
RESULTS ROUND 5 ESTORIL SURF BILLABONG GIRLS
Heat 1: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 11.75, Courtney Conlogue (USA) 9.05, Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 7.85
Heat 2: Tyler Wright (AUS) 13.00, Alana Blanchard (HAW) 10.00, Claire Bevilacqua (AUS) 7.40
Heat 3: Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 8.30, Sage Erickson (USA) 7.90, Laura Enever (AUS) 1.60
Heat 4: Nikita Robb (ZAF) 8.70, Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 8.35, Paige Hareb (NZL) 6.65
RESULTS ROUND 4 ESTORIL SURF BILLABONG GIRLS
Heat 1: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 15.75, Tyler Wright (AUS) 11.65, Erica Hosseini (USA), 8.50, Nage Melamed (HAW) 7.40
Heat 2: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 15.25, Claire Bevilacqua (AUS) 10.00, Nicola Atherton (AUS) 6.85, Bruna Schmitz (BRA) 6.65
Heat 3: Alana Blanchard (HAW) 11.15, Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 9.05, Joanne Defay (FRA) 9.00, Pauline Ado (FRA) 8.40
Heat 4: Sage Erickson (USA) 9.80, Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 9.75, Sarah Baum (ZAF) 7.50, Bethany Hamilton (HAW) 7.35
Heat 5: Laura Enever (AUS) 10.75, Nikita Robb (ZAF) 10.25, Tarryn Chudleigh (ZAF) 7.75, Laurina McGrath (AUS) 6.00
Heat 6: Paige Hareb (NZL) 10.30, Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 9.15, Ornella Pellizzari (ARG) 9.00, Anastasia Ashley (USA) 6.90 (ASPWORLDTOUR:14162)