PLAGE DES CULS NUS – Hossegor, Landes, Nouvelle-Aquitaine, France. Courtney Conlogue (USA) wins the Quiksilver Pro and Roxy Pro France, Stop No. 9 of the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT).
Conlogue has been fighting her way back to the top following a foot injury that sidelined her for the first half of the season and today’s victory marks a triumphant confirmation of her new-found form following a win at the Vans US Open of Surfing and a fifth-place finish at the Surf Ranch Pro. The Championship Tour veteran, in her eighth year competing with the Top 17, claims her first-ever win in France and the eleventh of her career, pushing her up to No. 8 on the Jeep Leaderboard. “This whole event has been quite the journey,” Conlogue stated. “I had a lot of fun out there today, the conditions were so clean in that Final and I was just frothing. I had to keep my cool cause I was feeling like a grom! I wanted to be here in this position [with two event wins], but it was a matter of believing and working really hard. I came here with a little injury, but it was good cause it made me slow down a bit and forced me to maintain energy over the lay days.”
Roxy Pro France winner Conlogue started the Final against Macy Callaghan (AUS) with a massive layback snap on a set wave to post a 7.33 (out of a possible 10) on this single, highly technical maneuver. The Californian quickly backed it up and continued to build momentum, surfing the long rights with her aggressive forehand attack to eventually build a 14.74 heat total (out of a possible 20). Callaghan fought on a similar playing field, catching several good rights but couldn’t quite match Conlogue’s power in the turns or link together a long wave to get back in the fight. With only two average scores on the board, the 17-year-old Australian never really threatened Conlogue for the win.
“I said before the Final that if I can find some rhythm and if the ocean and I can link up and have the same high voltage then I can put in a statement performance, which I think I did,” said Conlogue. “It’s a huge win in a place I love. I couldn’t be happier.”
Callaghan, 17, is Australia’s next up-and-coming superstar. As the 2016 World Junior Champion, all eyes have been on the young surfer as she has been given the opportunity to compete on the WSL CT as a replacement for injured CT competitors. Today’s finish marks Callaghan’s career-best result in only her eighth time competing at the most elite level of professional surfing. On the cusp of qualification for the 2019 season, she will undoubtedly be a competitor to watch and a key player in surfing’s next generation.
“I had a bad run at the start of the year and Bells was probably the low point,” Callaghan stated. “I was emotional and not in a good place. I wasn’t believing in myself or my surfing. I haven’t even made the Final of a big Qualifying Series event before, so to make my first Championship Tour Final is unbelievable. I’m disappointed that I didn’t perform to my best in the Final, but the bigger picture is so positive. There’s been a big change and that is that I believe in myself and my surfing. I’ve learned so much here in France and had so much fun doing it. I’ll never forget this experience.”
Callaghan had an amazing road to the Final in France, defeating many great surfers on her way to a career-best result. It started in Round 2 with a victory over Nikki Van Dijk (AUS), continued with a second place in Round 3, eliminating veteran Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) in the process, and two wins over Coco Ho (HAW) and Bronte Macaulay (AUS) in the Quarterfinals and Semifinals.
Three-time WSL Champion Carissa Moore (HAW) started her Semifinal with a good sized right and a beautiful drawn-out carve, finishing the wave with a radical snap for a 7.83 and the early lead. But while her opponent – eventual winner Conlogue – was keeping busy catching waves, the Hawaiian scoured the lineup unable to find a wave to her liking. Moore eventually picked up a wave in the last minute of the heat but it shut down too early and she couldn’t score the required 6.31, placing Equal 3rd and missing her chance to earn a third-straight event title in France.
In the second Semifinal, Macaulay couldn’t keep the excellent form she’s been displaying since the start of the event and was forced to watch Callaghan’s success story continue. The Australian goofyfoot captured a career-second Semifinal berth, the first of her 2018 season.
The final stop on the Women’s WSL Championship Tour will be the Beachwaver Maui Pro. The holding period will open November 25 and run through December 6, 2018. During this time, event officials will monitor the conditions and run the event during the best conditions.
The World Title scenarios are as follows:
• Gilmore will win the World Title with a 3rd or better at the Beachwaver Maui Pro.
• If Gilmore finishes 5th or worse, Peterson must win the event to force a surf-off* for the World Title.
*In the event of a tie for any World Title at the end of the Surfing Season, the tied Surfer will have a “surf-off” during the final Event, which will have the format determined by the Commissioner’s Office.
For highlights from the Quiksilver Pro and Roxy Pro France, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.
Roxy Pro France Final Results:
1 – Courtney Conlogue (USA) 14.76
2 – Macy Callaghan (AUS) 10.96
Roxy Pro France Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 14.14 def. Carissa Moore (HAW) 13.26
SF 2: Macy Callaghan (AUS) 14.33 def. Bronte Macaulay (AUS) 10.73
Roxy Pro France Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Carissa Moore (HAW) 14.67 def. Malia Manuel (HAW) 10.33
QF 2: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 13.50 def. Johanne Defay (FRA) 12.83
QF 3: Macy Callaghan (AUS) 13.60 def. Coco Ho (HAW) 10.87
QF 4: Bronte Macaulay (AUS) 12.83 def. Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 12.40
2018 WSL Women’s CT Jeep Leaderboard (After Roxy Pro France):
1 – Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 61,175 pts
2 – Lakey Peterson (USA) 54,260 pts
3 – Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA) 44,770 pts
4 – Carissa Moore (HAW) 44,235 pts
5 – Johanne Defay (FRA) 39,895 pts
For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com.