Photo: Sally Fitzgibbons wins the Fiji Womens Pro 2015 at Cloudbreak, when she burst her ear drum during the contest but carried on despite the injury.
The world’s best female surfers are preparing for Stop No. 5 on the 2016 Samsung Galaxy WSL Championship Tour, the Fiji Women’s Pro, from May 29 – June 3, 2016.
Tyler Wright (AUS) currently leads the WSL Top 17 as the Jeep Frontrunner heading into the prestigious event. The young Australian’s form has been undeniable in 2016, winning three of the first four events (Gold Coast, Margaret River and Rio de Janeiro) and finishing 5th at Bells Beach.
For all her success, however, Wright is followed closely by last year’s WSL Runner-Up Courtney Conlogue (USA) and reigning three-time WSL Champion Carissa Moore (HAW).
Bethany Hamilton (HAW), global sporting icon and shark attack survivor, has been allocated the WSL Wildcard for the Fiji Women’s Pro. Since her traumatic shark attack at home in 2003 in which she lost her left arm, Hamilton has become a global sporting inspiration and a bonafide world-class surfer. Particularly adept in sizable lefthand reef passes, Hamilton poses a considerable threat to the top seeds when competition gets underway.
“I am so excited to have the opportunity to be competing in the women’s event at Cloudbreak,” Hamilton said. “I’ve been dreaming of surfing and competing there for years and I think the wave will suit my surfing! Seeing all the swell headed to Fiji has me pumped up! I know I’ll have to surf strong and be heat smart to do well, I believe I can!”
Californian Lakey Peterson (USA) remains out with her ankle injury sustained pre-season. She will be replaced by Bronte Macaulay (AUS) in Fiji.
The Surfline forecast is calling for:
A decent fetch is expected to continue in the eastern half of the Tasman Sea over the weekend and then we may see another strong fetch move through for the middle of the week.
The Fiji Women’s Pro will be webcast LIVE on WorldSurfLeague.com as well as the WSL app.
The event is also being carried by the WSL’s LIVE broadcast partners Fox Sports Australia, CBS Sports in the United States, ESPN Brasil, Globosat, Edgesport, Sky NZ, Sport TV, Canal + Deportes, Channel Nine, MCS, Starhub, and Oceanic Time Warner Cable 250 & 1250 in Hawaii.
For more information, check out WorldSurfLeague.com
Photo: Stephanie Gilmore winning QuarterFinal 1, Fiji Women’s Pro 2014
Fiji Women’s Pro Round 1 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW), Malia Manuel (HAW), Alessa Quizon (HAW)
Heat 2: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Bianca Buitendag (ZAF), Keely Andrew (AUS)
Heat 3: Tyler Wright (AUS), Nikki Van Dijk (AUS), Bethany Hamilton (HAW)
Heat 4: Courtney Conlogue (USA), Bronte Macaulay (AUS), Coco Ho (HAW)
Heat 5: Carissa Moore (HAW), Sage Erickson (USA), Chelsea Tuach (BRB)
Heat 6: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Johanne Defay (FRA), Laura Enever (AUS)
Watch last year’s amazing highlights of the most exciting venue on the tour.