- 2011 Women’s world champion Lindsay Steinriede (USA) finishes runner-up
- Jinzun harbour turns on incredible waves for women’s final day at Taiwan open
In a historical day of surfing at the Taiwan Open World Longboard Championship, 18-year-old Hawaiian sensation Honolua Blomfield (HAW) has won the Women’s division and with it become the 2017 World Longboard Champion.
In the best conditions on offer for the event so far, it was a no-brainer to finish the Women’s Division in pumping, clean, 3-to-4 foot surf. After an intense day of competition that saw a number of the title favourites drop out, the scenarios began to develop, building maximum excitement for every heat.
Eventually, the final two competitors left were Blomfield and 2011 World Champion Lindsay Steinriede (USA), two of the standouts of Finals Day. Steinriede was the one to beat after consistently posting excellent scores throughout the event. Blomfield was building all day and saved the best performance till last, taking off on set waves and riding the nose then laying smooth, yet powerful rail carves to post a heat total of 18.60 (out of a possible 20). Blomfield’s title-clinching total was the highest of the entire event.
“I feel like I’m on top of the world and that this isn’t real, to have all of your hard work pay off like this feels better than anything – this is the best day of my life. I definitely felt like the underdog going into the final as Lindsay had been posting such huge scores all day, then I just peaked in the final somehow. It’s been an incredible day and the waves have been so amazing – it’s pumping out there.”
Sothern Californian, Lindsay Steinriede, looked destined to win, consistently posting the highest scores of each round, combining long nose rides with grace on the rail. Although she came just short of taking her second World Title, Steinriede couldn’t be happier with the time she has had at the inaugural Taiwan Open World Longboard Championship.
“I’m so stoked with making it to the final – the waves have been incredible today, I’m really happy we powered through so many heats today and made the most of this pumping surf. This has been a great year with the two events as it gives everyone more of an opportunity at success – and is just awesome for longboarding. Seeing Honolua killing it this much at just 18 years of age is amazing, she put on an amazing performance in the Final and I’m really happy for her. The surf today was unbelievable – definitely the best whole day of surf I have had in Taiwan it’s an amazing place. I look forward to next year and seeing what the future holds.”
Taiwan Open World Longboarding Championship Women’s Final Results
Taiwan Open World Longboarding Championship Women’s Final Result’s
Heat 1: Honolua Blomfield (HAW) 18.60 def Lindsay Steinriede (USA) 16.50
Taiwan Open Women’s Semifinal Results
Heat 1: Lindsay Steinriede (USA) 17.23 def Tory Gilkerson (USA) 13.53
Heat 2: Honolua Blomfield (HAW) 13.26 def Rachael Tilly (USA) 13.10 Women’s
Taiwan Open Women’s Quarterfinal Results
Heat 1: Tory Gilkerson (USA) 12.43 def Atlanta Batista (BRA) 9.47
Heat 2: Lindsay Steinriede (USA) 16.34 def Kaitlin Maguire (USA) 10.94
Heat 3: Honolua Blomfield (HAW) 14.93 def Crystal Walsh (HAW) 12.57
Heat 4: Rachael Tilly (USA) 15.33 def Chelsea Williams (AUS) 12.06
WSL TITLE RACE WIDE OPEN AFTER BIG UPSETS TODAY AT MAUI WOMEN’S PRO
- Wildcard Brisa Hennessy eliminates frontrunner Sally Fitzgibbons, ends world title hopes
- Title contenders Gilmore & Wright advance directly to quarterfinals
- Conlogue & Moore relegated to elimination round 4
- Likely finish tomorrow
Sally Fitzgibbons & Brisa Hennessy
The final event of the 2017 World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), the Maui Women’s Pro, saw a dramatic day for the World Title race with big upsets to start Round 1. Honolua Bay delivered clean, four-to-six foot (1.5 – 2 metre) swell for the world’s best surfers to battle for the coveted 2017 World Title.
Sally Fitzgibbons’ (AUS) incredible 2017 run and hopes of clinching her first-ever WSL Title were dashed today by wildcard threat Brisa Hennessy (HAW). The 18-year-old, Oahu-native got off to a slow start as she showed her patience and pounced on the opportunity to lock in a solid score when the sets came through. Hennessy posted an excellent 8.50 (out of a possible 10) to take the lead from Fitzgibbons in the dying minutes of the heat and deliver a big upset. Honolua Bay went quiet for the final three minutes and did not give the current Jeep Leaderboard No. 1 a chance to strike back before the final horn sounded.
“Honestly I have no words, I’m just extremely humbled. Sally [Fitzgibbons], I’ve looked up to her for so long and it was just an honor to surf against her. I think it was the wave, but it definitely feels really good just to get those numbers from this panel and I’m really happy. I want to be on the CT more than ever and I’m excited to give it all I have, and just to be here with my heroes, I’m just soaking in that.”
Fitzgibbons’ early exit sees her out of the title race, which is now in the hands of the four remaining contenders Tyler Wright (AUS), Courtney Conlogue (USA), Carissa Moore (HAW) and Stephanie Gilmore (AUS).
Wright and Conlogue can each clinch the Title by winning the event;
With Fitzgibbons out of the race Wright needs at 5th, Conlogue needs a 3rd, and Moore and Gilmore need to win the event to claim Title.
Defending WSL Champion Tyler Wright (AUS) kickstarted her Maui Women’s Pro campaign with Round 1 and Round 3 victories. Wright saved her top performance for a big Round 3 match-up against an in-form Silvana Lima (BRA), who earlier sent Fitzgibbons to Round 2, and Coco Ho (HAW). The current No. 2 found a dreamy Honolua Bay barrel that allowed her to come out and finish off the wave with her signature power maneuvers and post the day’s highest single-wave score of a near-perfect 9.87.
“That was one of those heats where every girl got barreled and that was really cool, we all felt the ocean. I’m really happy with the way I’m surfing, and the heat plans we’ve been coming up with. The whole team is working really hard to make sure I’m on the point and on the right spots.”
Current World No. 5 and six-time WSL Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) showcased her dominance with a near-perfect 9.57 in her Round 2 elimination heat over Laura Enever (AUS). Gilmore continued her world-class form in Round 3 with another pair of excellent scores, a 9.07 and 8.00, and will continue her hunt for a seventh World Title in the Quarterfinals when competition resumes.
“I’ll never forget winning my very first World Title here and I just could not believe that it finally happened. It was one of the greatest moments in my career so far. That was heartbreaking to watch Sally [Fitzgibbons] go down and it was just one those things. I’ve been in that position before where I’ve lost chasing that World Title, and it still went my way in the end, but it’s like getting stabbed in the neck basically — it was really, really tough.
Three-time WSL Champion Carissa Moore (HAW) advanced straight from Round 1 to Round 3,but was stopped in Round 3 by 2017 CT Rookie Bronte Macaulay (AUS). Falling just 1.10 points short of an early Quarterfinal berth, Moore will need to win her elimination Round 4 heat against Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) in order to keep her World Title hopes alive this season.
Malia Manuel (HAW) threw a wrench into current World No. 3 and World Title contender Courtney Conlogue’s (USA) campaign by sending the Californian to elimination Round 4. The beginning of the heat got off to dramatic start with Weston-Webb being issued a paddle interference on fellow Kauai surfer Manuel. Despite the tangle, Manuel wasn’t phased and struck first with a 7.17 to put early pressure on Conlogue. Earlier this year, Manuel overcame a devastating knee injury and did not return to competition until the European leg where she caught fire with a Semifinal and Quarterfinal result. The 24-year-old now find herself in the Quarterfinals once more.
Maui Womens Pro Results So Far
Maui Women’s Pro Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: Malia Manuel (HAW) 10.50, Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 10.50, Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 8.00
Heat 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) 12.93, Johanne Defay (FRA) 9.83, Pauline Ado (FRA) 7.83
Heat 3: Silvana Lima (BRA) 14.03, Brisa Hennessy (HAW) 7.13, Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 2.10
Heat 4: Tyler Wright (AUS) 11.57, Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 11.24, Laura Enever (AUS) 5.40
Heat 5: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 12.20, Bronte Macaulay (AUS) 11.00, Keely Andrew (AUS) 4.73
Heat 6: Lakey Peterson (USA) 9.60, Sage Erickson (USA) 9.16, Coco Ho (HAW) 8.86
Maui Women’s Pro Round 3 Results:
Heat 1: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 17.14, Lakey Peterson (USA) 15.76, Brisa Hennessy (HAW) 7.00
Heat 2: Tyler Wright (AUS) 17.14, Coco Ho (HAW) 14.60, Silvana Lima (BRA) 13.20
Heat 3: Malia Manuel (HAW) 14.74, Courtney Conlogue (USA) 14.30, Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 11.45
Heat 4: Bronte Macaulay (AUS) 13.27, Carissa Moore (HAW) 12.17, Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 10.20
Maui Women’s Pro Round 2 Results:
Heat 1: Coco Ho (HAW) 13.40 def. Johanne Defay (FRA) 8.97
Heat 2: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 13.23 def. Pauline Ado (FRA) 9.07
Heat 3: Brisa Hennessy (HAW) 11.83 def. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 6.67
Heat 4: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 16.74 def. Laura Enever (AUS) 6.87
Heat 5: Bronte Macaulay (AUS) 12.07 def. Sage Erickson (USA) 7.24
Heat 6: Keely Andrew (AUS) 12.16 def. Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 10.00
Maui Women’s Pro Round 4 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Lakey Peterson (USA) vs. Silvana Lima (BRA)
Heat 2: Coco Ho (HAW) vs. Brisa Hennessy (HAW)
Heat 3: Courtney Conlogue (USA) vs. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS)
Heat 4: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs. Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW)
The event will be broadcast LIVE via WorldSurfLeague.com, the WSL app and on Facebook LIVE via the WSL’s Facebook page. Also check local listings for coverage on CBS Sports Network in the U.S., Fox Sports in Australia, ESPN in Brazil, Sky NZ in New Zealand, SFR Sports in France and Portugal, Sport TV in Portugal and the EDGEsport Network.
The 2017 Taiwan Open World Longboard Championship runs from November 23 – December 3, 2017. Tune in tomorrow as we move closer to crowning a Men’s Champion for 2017. For more information and LIVE ACTION of
the head to www.worldsurfleague.com and on the WSL App.
For more information, check out WorldSurfLeague.com
All images courtesy World Surf League