TSB Bank Women's Surf Festival: Opening Two Rounds
Whether facing rookies or ASP Women's World Tour champions, the surfers had to give their all to make it to round three of the 2010 TSB Bank Women's Surf Festival.
The world's best female surfers gathered for round one and round two of the TSB Bank Women’s Surfing Festival along Surf Highway 45 to ride the perfect three foot waves. The festival is the third event on the 2010 ASP Women’s World Tour.
Consistent high-quality performances made qualifying for round three of the TSB Bank Women’s Surfing Festival a challenge. The day's highlight was definitely Sally Fitzgibbons, current ASP Women’s World No. 5, who rocked the waves and pulled off an excellent 17.26 out of 20.
“I feel like I’m surfing well and putting together good heats,” Sally Fitzgibbons said. “Steph Gilmore has pulled out to a good lead this season and it’s up to the rest of us to reign her back in now.”
Coco Ho, ASP Women’s World Tour Rookie of the Year, gave a strong performance and defeated Rebecca Woods and Amee Donohoe.
“I got down here early and got a warm-up surf in,” Ho said.“That really helped me out because I had a better handle on the break and knew which waves were going to hit reef right.”
New Zealand’s only representative on the elite ASP Women’s World Tour, Paige Hareb, brought hundreds of New Zealanders to their feet as she scored an incredible 9.00 out of 10 for unloading on a running righthander with a barrage of backhand blasts.
"I’m very stoked to be able to perform in front of my family and friends today," said Paige Hareb. "I haven’t had the best start to the year, so to win my opening round heat is a good confidence booster.”
Rosanne Hodge is surfing better than ever this season and triumphed in round one of the competition. She has yet to crack round three this season, an achievement she’ll look to nail while in New Zealand.
“It is challenging out there because some of the waves aren’t quite hitting the reef right but I just went out there looking for two good waves and found them,” Hodge said.
Despite solid technique from rookie Carissa Moore and wildcard Sarah Mason, Stephanie Gilmore was able to survive round one.
“The young ones (Moore and Mason) started off really strong. They’re both very good surfers and very confident. I don’t view rookies or wildcards any different than the other girls on tour. Anyone can win a heat at anytime,” said Gilmore.
The match-ups for round three of the TSB Bank Surfing Festival include Sally Fitzgibbons against Rosanne Hodge, Gilmore facing Sarah Mason, Paige Hareb takes on Rebecca Woods, and Coco Ho will face Carissa Moore.
After a successful round one and round two, the 2010 TSB Bank Women’s Surfing Festival hopes to resume at 7am for a possible 7:30am start.
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For the first time in 7 events, surf queen Stephanie Gilmore will not make it to the finals. Sarah Mason dominated Round 3 of the TSB Bank Women's Surf Festival and sent Gilmore packing.
The TSB Bank Women's Surf Festival of 2010 has come to an end and Carissa Moore is declared the winner. Sally Fitzgibbons is disappointed with her loss, but keeps her eyes on the prize: the 2010 ASP Women's World Title.