Tyler Wright winning Quarter Final Heat 2 at the Swatch Women's Pro Trestles.

Tyler Wright powering her way to the semis at the Swatch Women’s Pro Trestles. Photo WSL/Rowland

Current Jeep Rankings Leader Tyler Wright (AUS) will continue her hunt to keep the yellow Jeep Leader Jersey after eliminating compatriot Laura Enever (AUS) and advancing to the Semifinals. Wright unleashed big power carves to earn a 13.50 combined heat score and put Enever in a devastating situation, needing a 9.00 in the final minutes with limited opportunities on offer.

“I’ve been in a few title races before, and looking back I’ve never felt this comfortable or this confident,” Wright said. “It’s definitely different for me this year and I’m just going with it. I’m not setting out a certain way that I should feel about things, this is just the way I’m feeling and I’m going out to do my job — and that’s to win every heat and every final. It’s been that from the start of the year and it’ll be that to the end.”

Stephanie Gilmore winning Heat 4 of Round 4 at the Swatch Women's Pro Trestles.

It’s been a while, Stephanie Gilmore heading to the semis at the Swatch Women’s Pro Trestles. Photo WSL/Rowland

Six-time WSL Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) battled Carissa Moore (HAW), reigning three-time WSL Champion and defending event winner, in the second Women’s Quarterfinal match-up of the day. The heat witnessed Gilmore fire with two back-to-back 8-point rides, putting Moore in a combination situation. With time running out, Moore was unable to break Gilmore’s massive 16.10 total. This heat marked the twenty-seventh match-up between the two World Champions, with Gilmore taking her thirteenth win over Moore.

“I was actually really nervous going into that because I haven’t gotten past the Quarterfinals in a while and I haven’t won an event in a while,” said Gilmore. “I just tried to go out there and do what I know how to do. I think Carissa [Moore] and I have had the strongest rivalry between us more than any other girls on Tour and it always feels really good to beat her. I’m just excited to get past that Quarterfinal monkey on my back. Obviously to see Courtney [Conlogue] go out was good for Tyler [Wright], but we’re all here for one thing, and I want to win.”

Moore will leave this event with an Equal 5th place finish and 5,200 points.

“I know any time you come up against Stephanie [Gilmore] you have to bring something special,” said Moore. “I was really excited to get going and I think I just made some bad wave choices, and got in a bad rhythm. There just wasn’t much so I just wish I had more opportunity to really open up but I’m okay, Steph’s surfing really great and I hope she wins this event. I’m looking forward to Portugal and France. Who knows what’s going to happen. I think it’ll be pretty tough to come back from this loss, but I’m just stoked to try and finish off the year strong.”

Gilmore previously dispatched current World No. 2 Courtney Conlogue (USA) in an all-star Round 4 match-up. Conlogue opened her account with a strong 6.67 and a 6.23, putting Gilmore in an early combination. But, Gilmore fought back with a solid 7.43. Halfway through the heat, Conlogue used her priority on a set out the back to earn a 5.73, but it was not enough to improve her situation. Just needing a 5.47, the Australian took advantage of a clean wave to lock in a critical 7.23 and gain control of the heat. With four minutes left on the clock, Conlogue attempted to battle back to obtain the required 7.99, but was not able to find the score. Conlogue will walk away from the Swatch Women’s Pro with a 9th place finish, her worst result this season.

“Coming up against Stephanie [Gilmore], she’s won this event a few times and is the six-time World Champ, there’s definitely a lot of expectation to surf on point,” said Conlogue. “But, it felt like I gave it my all out there and felt like that left was really good, and my right as well. Things didn’t go my way that time and some things are out of your control.This definitely wasn’t my event and it’s frustrating, but I just have to get ready for Portugal now and the rest of the year.”

Sage Erickson winning Heat 1 of Round Four of the Swatch Women's Pro Trestles.

Sage Erickson winning Heat 1 of Round Four of the Swatch Women’s Pro Trestles. Photo WSL/Rowland

California-native Sage Erickson (USA) was the first surfer to earn her place in the Semifinals after defeating Johanne Defay (FRA) in the opening Quarterfinal heat of the day. Defay will walk away with an Equal 5th place, her fifth Top 5 result this season. Erickson will advance to the next round, where she will surf against Wright.

“It was a tit-for-tat heat with Johanne [Defay] and I’m so excited to be out of the Quarters and into the Semis,” Erickson said. “I think winning definitely feels good. You can lose a lot in this sport. Winning over in Spain, where it was a highly rated contest and there were a lot of tour girls over there, gives me a little bit of confidence, but this tour is a whole other ballpark. You really have to surf well to get scores and I think that’s why the women nowadays are surfing so well and pushing together because you kind of have to. I’m just trying to find my feet and it feels great to make it into another Semifinal.”

Earlier this morning, Erickson dispatched current World No. 4 Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) in Round 4 Heat 1. The Californian played the patient game to wait for the sets and earned two 6-point rides to defeat the Hawaiian.

Nikki Van Dijk winning Quarter Final Heat 3 at the Swatch Women's Pro Trestles.

Nikki Van Dijk beat Malia Manuel to make her first CT semi. Photo WSL/Rowland

Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) will also join the top women’s field in her first CT Semifinal appearance after her dominating performance over Malia Manuel (HAW) with an impressive 16.16. Van Dijk will battle compatriot Gilmore in the second Semifinal match-up.

“It’s taken me about three years and I’m stoked,” Van Dijk said. “I can’t believe I made the Semis and I’m happy to just be surfing more fun waves out there. It got kind of slow at the end and I knew Malia [Manuel] could get any type of score on any kind of wave so I was really nervous. I’ve really only gotten one Quarter and the rest of my results are throwaways so I’m really needing this and really want to make my first FInal. I’m not looking to stop here and just want to surf better and better each heat.”

Round 4 Heat 3 saw 2016 WSL Rookie Keely Andrew (AUS) unable to hold on against Manuel. Andrew will be eliminated from the event in Equal 9th place.

Highlights from the Swatch Women’s Pro and Hurley Pro available at WorldSurfLeague.com

Swatch Women’s Pro Round 4 Results:

Heat 1: Sage Erickson (USA) 12.57 def. Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 8.97
Heat 2: Laura Enever (AUS) 15.70 def. Coco Ho (HAW) 11.03
Heat 3: Malia Manuel (HAW) 13.34 def. Keely Andrew (AUS) 9.00
Heat 4: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 14.66 def. Courtney Conlogue (USA) 12.90

Swatch Women’s Pro Quarterfinal Results:

QF 1: Sage Erickson (USA) 13.90 def. Johanne Defay (FRA) 12.93
QF 2: Tyler Wright (AUS) 13.50 def. Laura Enever (AUS) 7.13
QF 3: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 16.16 def. Malia Manuel (HAW) 12.60
QF 4: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 16.10 def. Carissa Moore (HAW) 10.33

Swatch Women’s Pro Semifinal Match-Ups:

SF 1: Sage Erickson (USA) vs. Tyler Wright (AUS)
SF 2: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) vs. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS