BIARRITZ – France (Thursday, July 14, 2011) –
The Roxy Pro was treated to world-class action and sunny weather on Day four of the waiting period, some clean two-to-three foot (0.7 to 1 meter) waves breaking along Biarritz’s coast and providing both event venues with quality surf conditions.
While the ASP Elite Top 17 got back to competition reigniting the women’s world title race at La Grande Plage, the ASP Women’s Longboard Top 32 were able to kick things off in La Cote des Basques, the 2011 Roxy Pro moving forward dramatically throughout this fourth day.
Second-to-last event on this year’s ASP Women’s World title race, the crowds held their breath in the morning with only two remaining world title contenders Carissa Moore (Oahu, HAW) and Sally Fitzgibbons (New South Wales, AUS) both escaping the sudden-death Round 2. Surfing through two rounds, current ASP World No. 2 Fitzgibbons delivered a strong performance to secure a direct Quarterfinals’ ticket whilst rankings front-runner Moore was relegated to Round 4, another sudden-death test for the World No. 1scheduled tomorrow.
« That second heat was tough with the tide affecting things a lot here in Biarritz, » Fitzgibbons said. « I am really stoked to be straight to the quarterfinals, there wasn’t any big scores today and I wanted to get going early in the heat to get things going my way.
Showing great determination and confidence all day, Fitzgibbons seemed in control executing a series of fast stylish backhand top turns and sharp powerful on-the-rail forehand attacks in both her heats, the natural foot athlete not showing any pressure to keep her world title hopes alive.
« I am not thinking of the world title too much but it does make things special for sure, » FItzgibbons added. « I was very relaxed competing today and just focused on my game plan, which remains the same for the rest of the event. It’s good to get moving forward after a few days waiting and I am happy to be in the Quarters. »
Carrying her custom-made smile and positive attitude around the back-up site at La Grande Plage, four-time and reigning ASP Women’s World champion Stephanie Gilmore (Gold Coast, AUS) left a strong impression posting the day’s second best heat result with 15.00 points (out of a possible 20) as well as the event’s top single wave score of 8.50 pts, letting her renowned smooth rapid-fire top turns speak for herself.
« It was like surfing in a wave pool today, with the buildings around and the waves coming-in were super fun, » Gilmore said. «I am enjoying my time and having a lot of fun surfing in the event. Obvioulsy there is no pressure and I’ll keep going like that, enjoying.»
Advancing with no pressure since she was ousted from the supreme crown race, Gilmore has yet to win an event this year and will be continuing her run when Quarterfinals resume, supposedly tomorrow early morning.
Running all day at La Cote des Basques, the Roxy Pro longboard surfers lost no time on their opening day of competition, event favorites dominating proceedings with a variety of classic nose-rides and cutting-edge cutbacks. Justine Dupont (Lacanau, FRA) 19, stormed through her Round One encounter with a solid two-wave combined total of 15.50 out of 20 to oust young Japanese surfer Hiroka Yoshikawa (JPN) 18. Dupont mixed powerful carving turns with stylish nose-rides to impress on several high scoring rides.
« I am really happy because it was my first heat in the contest so I was a bit stressed, » Dupont said. « It is always difficult to get into the contest and win that one heat, but now that I am through and I can feel better in the next rounds. I now know what I have to do to get the scores. »
Dupont, a former ASP Women’s World No. 2 and consistent ASP Women’s World Longboard Tour Top 5 finisher in the past five year, remains a favorite for a possible win in the Roxy Pro Biarritz.
An opporutnity she missed in the past and will be looking at the next few days.« I have been doing a lot of physical training and a lot of short board surfing too, » Dupont said. « I have had some sessions longboarding, not a lot though (laughs), but it is going really well and I want to get a good result here for sure.”
The Roxy Pro could see the ASP Women’s World title crowning this week as Carissa Moore (HAW) and Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) are the only two remaining contenders. The possibilities are as follows :
– If Moore wins the event in France, she clinches the ASP Women’s World Title- If Moore places 2nd or 3rd in France, Fitzgibbons must win to keep world title hopes-
If Moore places 5th in France, Fitzgibbons needs to place 2nd or win-
If Moore places 9th in France, the ASP Women’s World title race goes to the US Open, this year’s final event The Roxy Pro is webcast LIVE at http://www.roxylive.com/