Photo World Surf League/Rowland
Tyler Wright (AUS), current Jeep Rankings Leader, dispatched wildcard Bethany Hamilton (HAW) in an exciting Round 2 head-to-head match-up. Wright wasted no time to get points on the board and posted an excellent 8.17 with big frontside snaps. The Australian continued to fire by displaying massive carves and technical rail-work to earn another solid score, an 8.60. With less than five minutes on the clock, Hamilton charged back with incredible vertical hits to earn an 8.17. Under pressure, the Hawaiian needed an 8.60, but was not able to find the waves to defeat Wright. Hamilton will walk away with a 13th place finish, while Wright sails through to Round 3.
Tyler Wright (AUS), current World No. 1 on the Jeep Leaderboard, eliminated event wildcard Bethany Hamilton (HAW) in an exciting Round 2 match-up at the Swatch Women’s Pro.
Image: © WSL / Kirstin
“That first wave was a dream boat and I knew I started off well,” said Wright. “It just swung a bit wide of Bethany [Hamilton] and I just took off on it. My feet were settled on the wax after the first wave and just let it go a little bit, really relaxed into it and just really enjoyed it.”
Courtney Conlogue (USA), No. 2 on the Jeep Leaderboard, blazed through Round 2 Heat 4 to defeat 2016 WSL Rookie Chelsea Tuach (BRB). Conlogue secured a solid 7.33 to gain an early lead over Tuach and didn’t look back. The rookie tried to combat the Californian’s 14.00 combined heat score with clean surfing, but was not able to break the combination. Conlogue will advance to Round 3 where she will face Malia Manuel (HAW) and Nikki Van Dijk (AUS).
“I don’t think I’m feeling the pressure, it’s been more of just my strategy being a bit off,” said Conlogue. “Yesterday I was waiting for sets and it just went flat. Today I was waiting for those sets that came through in Tyler’s [Wright] heat and it ended up not coming til the end — sometimes that’s just Mother Nature. I feel really good, my boards feel great so now I think it’s just coming in fresh and getting ready for the next round.
Keely Andrew surfing during Heat 6 of Round Two at the Swatch Pro Trestles. Photo WSL/Rowland
2016 WSL Rookie Keely Andrew (AUS) upset the competition today after defeating Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) in the final heat of Round 2. Andrew locked in two solid 6-point rides to edge out Buitendag by 2.86 points. Buitendag fought back with a 4.67 and a 5.97, but it was not enough to challenge the rookie and she leaves the event in Equal 13th place.
“Round 2 would have to be the worst round there is and I’m stoked to be turning it all around making some of these elimination heats,” Andrew said. “I’m really happy with how I’ve started the second half of the year. The rights were definitely the better option with the bigger ones being a bit funky and the smaller ones not offering much so it was the happy mediums that had a good double up and offered up big first turns and a good finish.”
Round 1 Heat 5 saw an exciting match-up between Coco Ho (HAW) and Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), who currently sits 5th on the Jeep Leaderboard. Ho attacked Lowers with a near-perfect 9.43 with a vicious opening turn that set her tone on the wave, performing beautifully throughout each section until the finishing maneuver. Fitzgibbons was unable to find the opportunity to match the Hawaiian and goes home in Equal 13th place, her worst result at the Swatch Women’s Pro.
“We’ve been on tour for eight years together and we always joke about what life’s going to be after this, but we’ve had some really good heats and that was nerve-racking” Ho said. “She’s always that one who can get the nine in the last few milliseconds so I was dying to get a better backup and I was lucky she didn’t find that seven since I couldn’t back it up. But, I know this lineup pretty well and I did not want my run to end this early so I was going do my everything to make it through this round.”
Sage Erickson winning Heat 1 of Round Two at the Swatch Women’s Pro. Photo WSL/Kirstin
The opening heat of the morning witnessed an All-American Round 2 bout between Sage Erickson (USA) and Lakey Peaterson (USA). Erickson was able to edge out Peterson with a quick start and solid finish, and will go on to face Wright and Laura Enever (AUS) in Round 3. Peterson will walk away in 13th place.
“I knew it was going to be pretty tough against Lakey [Peterson] after she got me in the Quarters at the US Open,” Erickson said. “I was interested to see where her head was at with positioning, especially at the beginning. There’s a lot of favorable lefts out there also, so I don’t think being on either side is a disadvantage depending on how the set came in. It’s such a bummer because I want to see Lakey out here everyday, but I’m really excited to get at least two mores sessions out here at Trestles.”
Johanne Defay winning Heat 2 of Round Two at the Swatch Women’s Pro. Photo WSL/Kirstin