LES BOURDAINES, Seignosse/France (Saturday, May 15, 2010) – Courtney Conlogue (USA) today claimed the inaugural Swatch Girls Pro Junior title in a closely fought 35-minute final at Les Bourdaines as she maintained her status as the inform surfer of the entire Swatch Girls Pro Junior. Today also saw The Swatch Girls Pro run through to complete Round 4 with excellent surfing witnessed in the stormy conditions setting up a great finals day tomorrow with the crowning of the Swatch Girls Pro Champion.
Overnight gale force winds whipped up the swell generating peaky 4-5ft waves at the main site at Les Bourdaines. During the entire day conditions remained contestable with many displays of physical fitness as the surfers entered the water various times during the day of competition.
Courtney Conlogue (USA) had surfed brilliantly the entire week and had just one more hurdle to overcome before claiming the Swatch Girls Pro Junior title and the young 17-year-old did not let herself down by remaining focused in the very physical conditions which pounded the main site late in the afternoon.
“There was definitely a lot of duck diving and running back up to the peak in that final for sure and anyone who got out there and managed to be in the right spot deserved the waves they caught.”
Conlogue and her fellow finalist Coco Ho (HAW), Laura Enever (AUS) and Nage Melamed (HAW) are all good friends and have made big impressions also in the main event here this week making it through to the final day of competition tomorrow.
“It hasn’t really hit me yet this win here because of all the work we had to do today so I am really tired but I’m super stoked to be out there with Laura and Coco and Nage. It was great and to be a part of that group in the final because they are such good surfers was really special.”
The victory was sealed with a 7.50 out of a possible 10 surfing on her backhand performing a series of critical turns from start to finish.
“When I saw that wave I just thought I have to go and see how it goes because in these conditions you never know if the wave is going to be good or bad so you have to go and just experiment and hope it comes out right. That particular wave stood up right and it went all the way through and I got a great score.”
“I felt very confident out there,” continued Conlogue. “I wasn’t just out there sitting in the middle I actually managed to position myself and get the waves I needed and to win the final in the end.”
Coco Ho (HAW) finished second in the Swatch Girls Pro Junior and dominated the Swatch Girls Pro advancing to round 5 with a combined two wave total of 17.90 out of 20 the highest in the main event so far. Looking comfortable in the rugged conditions Ho has gained confidence in each heat she faces.
“It turned out to be conditions I have never surfed before but that is the fun of these events with the challenge of the waves and it was really similar to the US Open last year and that is where Courtney excels the most.”
“I would be very unhappy if I lost today in the WQS and then have this performance in the final but I had a good run in the main event this morning and had a really good heat so I’m stoked and happy to be a part of this event for the first time. I am definitely looking forward to tomorrow and hopefully the swell has gone through its crazy stage today and we can have some good waves for the finals tomorrow.”
Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 3-times ASP Women’s World champion along with current World ranked No. 2 Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) both advanced to the final day of competition at the Swatch Girls Pro with comfortable wins in their respective heats and are ready for a possible showdown in the final tomorrow. Gilmore surfed her first heats of competition today and although starting slowly has quickly got her momentum going and is a huge threat to her fellow rivals.
“The waves are here now and there are some really good banks so everyone is really happy with how it has picked up today but it is a little messy. The scores are high so that’s also good for all the people who are down here on the beach today and for us too.”
“I’m happy with how that heat went and I am still getting into the groove of things so it is good to be in the next round and see what happens tomorrow.”
Sarah Baum (ZAF) 16, currently ranked No. 33 on the ASP Women’s One World ranking has clinched one of her best results of the year by advancing through to round 5 after finishing strongly to overtake Bethany Hamilton (HAW) with a solid 6.00 out of a possible 10 to advance behind Fitzgibbons.
“The whole 25 minutes just paddling and duck diving under waves so you have to find the ones which connect up to the inside section through to the beach. It is a really hard contest with all the girls surfing so well at the moment so I am stoked to get through to the next round. I surfed in the WQS at Margret River and I didn’t do too well so this result is really good for my year.”
After suffering a knee injury in her first heat of the day Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) put in a courageous effort to get back into the water this afternoon and finish first in the final heat of Round 4. Believing it is an old injury come back to haunt her campaign at the Swatch Girls Pro, Miley-Dyer was able to concentrate on wave ion and ignore the uncertainty of a possible serious knee injury.
“In my previous heat I went to do a last turn and fell awkwardly so they have had a look at it and I haven’t torn anything so I am not going to destroy my knee if I go surfing but all the same without having a scan I am not sure. I have had a similar injury before and it feels the same this time so it is a bit strange standing up at least it doesn’t hurt and it is strapped fairly heavily and I just tried to put it out of my mind.”
“It’s my front leg so I just sat out there and waited for the good waves to come through and knew to just get some turns on my back foot and I am stoked to get through that heat,” explained Miley-Dyer of her heat strategy. “I will be surfing tomorrow for sure. I am going home to get some ice on it and just forget about it because I was really down when I did it and thought I have come all the way to France and in the end I have to pull out.”
The Swatch Girls Pro Junior an ASP Grade-2 event was run in conjunction with the Swatch Girls Pro bringing together a fantastic blend of both European and overseas talent for this second event on the ASP European Women’s Pro Junior Series.
The ASP 6-Star Swatch Girls Pro and ASP Grade-2 Swatch Girls Pro Junior run from May 12 to 16 at Les Bourdains in Seignosse, France. The event is web LIVE at www.aspeurope.com where all results, photos, daily press releases and videos will be available.
RESULTS SWATCH GIRLS PRO JUNIOR FINAL
1 – Courtney Conlogue (USA) 11.30
2 – Coco Ho (HAW) 10.60
3 – Nage Melamed (HAW) 9.00
4 – Laura Enever (AUS) 7.50
UPCOMING ROUND 5 MATCH-UPS SWATCH GIRLS PRO
Heat 1: Tyler Wright (AUS), Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Felicity Palmateer (AUS)
Heat 2: Laura Enever (AUS), Rosanne Hodge (ZAF), Courtney Conlogue (USA)
Heat 3: Coco Ho (HAW), Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Tarryn Chudleigh (ZAF)
Heat 4: Claire Bevilacqua (AUS), Sarah Baum (ZAF), Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS)
RESULTS ROUND 4 SWATCH GIRLS PRO
Heat 1: Tyler Wright (AUS) 14.05, Laura Enever (AUS) 13.50, Nage Melamed (HAW) 9.90, Cannelle Bulard (REU) 9.35
Heat 2: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 14.10, Rosanne Hodge (ZAF) 12.25, Alana Blanchard (HAW) 9.85, Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 9.85
Heat 3: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 14.50, Felicity Palmateer (AUS), 9.00, Justine Dupont (FRA) 7.50, Nicola Atherton (AUS) 6.80
Heat 4: Coco Ho (HAW) 17.90, Claire Bevilacqua (AUS) 10.05, Paige Hareb (NZL) 7.40, Nikita Robb (ZAF) 5.85
Heat 5: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 12.20, Sarah Baum (ZAF) 9.00, Bethany Hamilton (HAW) 8.65, Sage Erickson (USA) 3.85
Heat 6: Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 12.25, Tarryn Chudleigh (ZAF) 8.70, Bruna Schmitz (BRA) 8.00, Jessica Santorik (NZL) 4.35
RESULTS ROUND 3 SWATCH GIRLS PRO
Heat 2: Tyler Wright (AUS) 12.00, Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 9.85, Wini Paul (NZL) 9.50, Lee Ann Curren (FRA) 9.40
Heat 3: Alana Blanchard (HAW) 10.80, Laura Enever (AUS) 9.75, Brittani Nicholl (AUS) 6.35, Joana Rocha (PRT)
Heat 4: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 13.55, Nage Melamed (HAW) 11.10, Suelen Naraisa (BRA) 7.90, Joanne Defay (FRA) 4.90
Heat 5: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 15.20, Paige Hareb (NZL) 11.90, Alizee Arnaud (FRA) 11.50, Amandine Sanchez (FRA) 6.20
Heat 6: Felicity Palmateer (AUS) 11.25, Claire Bevilacqua (AUS) 9.35, Pauline Ado (FRA) 4.25, Crystal Vail (AUS) 0.15
Heat 7: Nikita Robb (ZAF) 10.35, Nicola Atherton (AUS) 9.50, Anastasia Ashley (USA) 6.10
Heat 8: Coco Ho (HAW) 9.95, Justine Dupont (FRA) 9.35, Sayuri Hashimoto (JPN) 8.65, Chantelle Rautenbach (ZAF) 5.60
Heat 9: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 16.25, Tarryn Chudleigh (ZAF) 9.50, Sarah Beardmore (GBR) 7.30, Leila Hurst (HAW) 4.65
Heat 10: Sage Erickson (USA) 11.50, Jessica Santorik (NZL) 6.35, Anne Cecile Le Tallec (FRA) 5.05, Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 4.50
Heat 11: Bruna Schmitz (BRA) 13.00, Sarah Baum (ZAF) 8.55, Ornella Pellizzari (ARG) 8.15, Angela Keighran (AUS) 0.95
Heat 12: Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 11.20, Bethany Hamilton (HAW) 8.90, Francisca Santos (PRT) 5.90, Estitxu Estremo (ESP) 2.55