Courtney took her second 2016 victory at the Cascais Women’s Pro. Photo WSL/Poullenot
Courtney Conlogue (USA) has won the Cascais Women’s Pro, Stop No. 8 of 10 on the 2016 Samsung Galaxy World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), after defeating Tyler Wright (AUS) in the Final in clean 5 foot (1.5 metre) surf at the back-up site of Guincho. The competition witnessed Conlogue earn her second victory of 2016 and the back-to-back event Title. The win sees the California-native earn 10,000 points to strengthen her WSL Title campaign. Conlogue will remain in second place on the Jeep Leaderboard and stay in the hunt for the world surfing crown, now sitting 5,250 points behind Wright.
“I am so thrilled to be back on the podium,” said Conlogue. “The World Title race has definitely tightened up. I still have a lot of work ahead of me. I’m one step closer, which is always a positive. I am just really happy with my performance at this event and I feel that I am on a good path right now. Always trying to learn from my mistakes and continue growing. I love France and I am looking forward to hopefully getting a few barrels and doing some big turns.”
Conlogue dispatched Malia Manuel (HAW) and Coco Ho (HAW) before matching up against Wright in the Final. Conlogue’s Semifinal berth ended Wright’s chance of claiming the WSL Title in Portugal and sends the title race to the Roxy Pro France.
“That final was actually really tricky,” continued Conlogue. “The conditions kept changing and I got a bit lost out there, but really stoked to win it. When I went out there I saw Tyler [Wright] paddle more north and thought that that was a different game plan. For me, I figured I would stick to what I know and what I have been training in. I figured the consistency of that lineup would work in my favor and give me a few opportunities to hopefully maximize.”
The Final saw a clash between No. 1 and 2 on the Jeep Leaderboard, Wright and Conlogue. The pair traded small scores until, with more than ten minutes gone, Conlogue put down five solid turns and was rewarded with an excellent 8.17. Wright was left in a combination situation with only a 1.57 two-wave heat total. With ten minutes remaining, the Australian found a wave and delivered one solid turn for a 4.03 and backed it up with a 6.33. Meanwhile Conlogue, at the other end of the beach, fell on the final section of her next wave and failed improve her scoreline. Wright, who had escaped the combination to put herself back in contention, had one last opportunity but wasn’t able to find the required 6.68 to catch Conlogue.
Runner up Tyler Wright keeps the yellow jersey for the next event, the Roxy Pro France. Photo WSL/Poullenot
Wright’s runner-up finish is her best result in Cascais and will see her remain atop the rankings and retain the WSL Jeep Leader Jersey heading into the next event on the CT, the Roxy Pro France. The Australian defeated Johanne Defay (FRA) and Sage Erickson (USA) en route to her match-up against Conlogue. Today’s final is the fifth of the year for Wright, who has claimed four previous CT wins this season (Roxy Pro Gold Coast, Drug Aware Margaret River Pro, Oi Rio Women’s Pro, Swatch Women’s Pro at Trestles).
“Looking it over, I would have surfed the same bank again,” said Wright. “I am psyched on the whole event and massive congrats to Courtney [Conlogue]. I have the same goal going into France – to win every heat and win every final. I am going to take what I’ve learned out of this one with dealing with beach breaks and everything like that into France and start it all over again. I have never been more psyched on surfing or doing heats and the amount that I am learning. It is my sixth year on Tour and I’ve never learned this much in my entire life. I know I am in a Title race, but for me, I know what I can do and what I want to do.”
Johanne Defay (FRA) battled runner-up Wright in the opening Semifinal. Defay remained scoreless for the opening half of the heat while Wright delivered an excellent 8.77 for solid lead and a dominating 7.73 back-up score. Under pressure, Defay needed an excellent-range second score, but could not find the opportunities to challenge Wright. Defay finishes in Equal 3rd place, which moves her up once place from 6th to 5th on the Jeep Leaderboard. Defay previously dispatched Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) in the Quarterfinals.
Johanne Defay battling it out in the Semifinal. Photo WSL/Poullenot
“I am really stoked and today there are very good waves,” said Defay. “It is clean and the size is here. I am very happy to have made it to the Semifinals. There is a lot of water moving out there so it was hard to choose a wave.”
Conlogue previously battled Coco Ho (HAW) in the second Semifinal. The match-up saw Ho charge into the heat with two mid-range scores to take an early lead over Conlogue. Conlogue fired back with an excellent 8.33 and a tube-ride to post a near-perfect 9.33, putting Ho in a combination situation. Despite her loss to the Californian, the 3rd place finish marks Ho’s first Semifinal appearance and best result of the 2016 season. Ho moves up from 15th to 13th place on the Jeep Leaderboard. Ho previously dispatched reigning three-time WSL Champion Carissa Moore (HAW) in the Quarterfinals.
“This is definitely the best finish of my year so far,” Ho said. “At one point this year I thought that it was not going to get better, but you do have to get those losses and it can only go up from there. I am super stoked with a third. I will take this momentum into Honolua and France, two of my favorite waves so I am really looking forward to finishing this year strong.”
Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) took on Defay in Quarterfinal No. 1 and held the lead with half the heat gone. With ten minutes remaining Defay, without priority, found a lefthander to secure a 6.50 and take control, leaving Weston-Webb in need of a 5.01. Defay edged the win by just 0.13 points and the Hawaiian was eliminated in Equal 5th place. The result sees Weston-Webb remains in fourth place Jeep Leaderboard.
Sage Erickson (USA) faced No. 1 on the Jeep Leaderboard, Wright, in Quarterfinal 2 and opened her account with a 6.50 to take an early advantage. Wright was not able to capitalize on the opportunities until the final ten minutes. Wright locked in a 7.33 on her forehand and snatched the lead. Erickson answered back but her score fell short of the 5.67 she required and she is eliminated from the competition in Equal 5th place.
Malia Manuel (HAW) battled the defending event winner Conlogue in Quarterfinal 3. Despite a solid showing from Manuel the World No. 2 went into the excellent range with an incredible floater for a 9.80 to seal her place the Semifinals. The Hawaiian leaves in Equal 5th place and remains in seventh place on the rankings.
Reigning three-time WSL Champion Carissa Moore (HAW) was eliminated in the Quarterfinals by Ho, who trailed for most of the heat. Ho found a wave in the final moments of the match-up and delivered, netting a 6.57 to cause the upset of the day. Moore will stay in third place on the rankings heading into the Roxy Pro France.
Carissa Moore at the Cascais Women’s Pro. Photo WSL/Poullenot
The next stop on the 2016 Samsung Galaxy WSL Women’s Championship Tour is the Roxy Pro France, which gets underway on October 4, 2016.
Cascais Women’s Pro Final Results:
1: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 13.00
2: Tyler Wright (AUS) 12.26
Cascais Women’s Pro Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Tyler Wright (AUS) 16.50 def. Johanne Defay (FRA) 10.17
SF 2: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 17.66 def. Coco Ho (HAW) 10.17
Cascais Women’s Pro Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Johanne Defay (FRA) 10.57 def. Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 10.37
QF 2: Tyler Wright (AUS) 12.16 def. Sage Erickson (USA) 11.63
QF 3: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 15.97 def. Malia Manuel (HAW) 8.33
QF 4: Coco Ho (HAW) 11.07 def. Carissa Moore (HAW) 10.50
2016 Women’s WSL Jeep Leaderboard Top 5 (after Cascais Women’s Pro):
1: Tyler Wright (AUS) 61,450
2: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 56,200
3: Carissa Moore (HAW) 47,700
4: Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 43,650
5: Johanne Defay (FRA) 42,100