Rio Women's Pro

Sally Fitzgibbons Wins Rio Women's Pro

Date: Monday, May 12, 2014
Schedule: Women's Quarterfinals (Heats 1-4), Semifinals (Heats 1-2) and Final
Conditions: 2-4 foot (1 metre) waves at Barra Da Tijuca.

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Final

Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 16.27 def. Carissa Moore (HAW) 14.67

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Carissa Moore wasted little time in the Final against Sally Fitzgibbons, belting an excellent 8.50 for three big backhand turns and adding a 3.50 to her total shortly afterward. While Fitzgibbons found herself on the ropes quickly, the Australian responded back with a backhand attack of her own, smashing three turns for a near-perfect 9.27.

Moore extended her lead for a frontside snap, improving her bottom score to a 5.83 for one committed frontside snap. The blow-for-blow exchanges continued when Fitzgibbons found another left, combining two backhand snaps for a strong 7.00 and the lead over Moore.

Moore hunted for the 7.83 needed for the win, but was unable to find the score.

Fitzgibbons wins her first WCT event title of the season with her second Rio Women's Pro crown.

"That's what I've been chasing all season," said Fitzgibbons. "It was a hard fought battle and to win again in Rio is so special."


Semifinals

SF 1: Carissa Moore (HAW) 17.97 def. Lakey Peterson (USA) 6.00

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Carissa Moore built on her Quarterfinals success, unloading three backhand hooks to open her Semifinals campaign against Lakey Peterson with a near-perfect 9.40.

The reigning three-time ASP Women's World Champion stuck to her backhand, threading the needle on a lefthand barrel for a 5.83, leaving Peterson in need of a combination of scores to advance. The Hawaiian's dominance continued when she switched to her forehand, belting two fins-free frontside hacks for an 8.57 and a spot in her third consecutive final of 2014. Moore's 17.97 heat total marked the highest of the event.

SF 2: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 15.17 def. Tyler Wright (AUS) 9.80

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In an all Aussie affair, Tyler Wright took off in the opening minute of her Seminfinal heat, scoring on a series of forehand turns for a 5.50. Sally Fitzgibbons started to destabilize Wright's early lead, opting to break left on her backhand. A progression of carves with polished rotations brought Fitzgibbons' total a midrange score above the defending event champ as the water went quiet.

A solid set hit the beachbreak at the eight-minute mark. Wright took off first on a large righthander but went over the falls for a wipeout. Fitzgibbons rode the smaller wave at the backend of the set, executing two clean turns before the wave softened. The ride replaced her bottom score with a 6.83 leaving Wright in need of an excellent ride that would ultimately evade her.


Quarterfinals

QF 1: Lakey Peterson (USA) 13.47 def. Pauline Ado (FRA) 13.26

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Conditions continued to improve with the rising tide as Women's Quarterfinalists Pauline Ado and Lakey Peterson took to the water. Ado started strong, etching a 7.83 for a clean frontside barrel.

Peterson answered back, getting on the board with a 5.67 while Ado backed up her opening ride with a 4.67. Conditions slowed but Ado and Peterson both found waves with seconds remaining.

Peterson connected a series of powerful turns, posting a 7.80 to overtake the lead. Ado found a righthander, linking three turns, but her score of a 5.43 was just shy of the 5.64 needed to take back the win.

QF 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) 15.50 def. Alessa Quizon (HAW) 7.00

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Dawning the WCT No. 1 yellow jersey, Carissa Moore lived up to expectations, forcing fellow Hawaiian Alessa Quizon into a combination situation early on. The rookie's forehand carves fell short of the two-turns followed by a shallow barrel by the reigning World Champion in the first 10 minutes of competition.

Totals held for the next 18 minutes until Moore found another tube, tucking under and closing with two powerful snaps. Quizon was already in need of an excellent score and the 8.00 Moore received for her last barrel ended the rookie's Rio campaign.

QF 3: Tyler Wright (AUS) 15.37 def. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 14.43

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Current ASP World No. 2 Tyler Wright and rookie Nikki Van Dijk hunted a Semifinals spot next, with Wright taking a shallow lead for two modest scores of 5.83 and 4.50 throughout the first 15 minutes.

With 10 minutes remaining, Wright extended her lead with a 6.27, but Van Dijk belted two committed backhand turns on a left for a heat-high 8.27 and the lead.

Wright battled back with just two minutes remaining, navigating a tricky barrel punctuated with a tailslide, posting a 9.10 to overtake Van Dijk for the win.

QF 4: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 14.77 def. Coco Ho (HAW) 12.90

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Action between Sally Fitzgibbons and Coco Ho started immediately, with the Australian dropping an excellent 8.00 while Ho got on the board with a solid 6.33.

Both regular-footers backed up their rides, with the Australian furthering her lead with a 6.67 to Ho's 6.57. The Hawaiian scoured the lineup, but was unable to surpass Fitzgibbons' early efforts.