After a lay day in Biarritz that saw poor conditions and a nasty infestation of bluebottles ("They were like something out of Jurassic Park," said Rosy Hodge), the clouds dispersed, the bluebottles vanished, and the wind subsided. What remained today were fairly clean three-to-four foot sets and a tense world title race creating a palpable reverb around every heat involving Carissa Moore and Sally Fitzgibbons. For today, it was the Australian with the high marks, while Hawaii's Moore ended the day headed to a lose-and-go-home round four. And Stephanie Gilmore reminded everyone that she's still the reigning champ with highest wave score of the event so far.
The first round's fourth heat began (again) at 7:48 a.m. Sally Fitzgibbons was throwing her entire body into her surfing, working hard to overthrow rookie Laura Enever's early 8.17. At the five-minute mark, Enever's backside fin throw recovered her lead and she won the heat with a 12.20.
"I know Carissa and Sally have the whole rivalry going on," said Enever. "I just wanted to go out there and catch some waves. It feels good to win a heat; I'm stoked."
Round two sends losers packing. Moore slashed the lip straight away in heat three. She knew she had to survive the round if she hopes to hoist the trophy here in France, and she was positively voracious. Felicity Palmateer's first wave was a respectable 5.63 but Moore kept up the barrage, using everything in her arsenal from vertical hacks to boosts. "She's got a controlled froth," said commentator Jody Cooper. Moore took the heat with a 13.04.
"It's actually getting really fun out there," Moore said of the conditions. "I think at this point, I was just like, 'No pressure; if I lose, I lose. And if I make it, let's do this.'"
Sally Fitzgibbons swapped boards attacked heat four, knocking out Claire Bevilacqua.
"The contest is just building up. It's going to be great moving through round three -- you can express yourself a little more," Fitzgibbons said referencing the "no losers" round where winners advance straight to the quarterfinal.
Silvana Lima and Tyler Wright ripped into round three as wildcard Lee-Ann Curren, who defeated Moore in round one, got off to a slow start. Lima was attempting impressive airs with inconsistent results, allowing to Curren to play a game of catch up with some serious swerving and a full layback. In the end it was no match for Lima's 15.34 total.
Moore launched into heat two with a 6.00, but California's Courtney Conlogue gave Moore a healthy challenge as she sat practically on top of her and prevented her from any major scores late in the heat. Conlogue defeated Moore 12.63 to 11.70 while France's Pauline Ado took a close third, at 11.57. Moore will next face Wright in round four.
"That was definitely a crazy heat," Conlogue said. "Every time you come up against Carissa, you've got to be on your A-game. She surfed a great heat."
Sally Fitzgibbons won the third heat (12.73) against Sofia Mulanovich and Paige Hareb with lengthy, serpentine rides and clear control. "I'm looking forward to the quarters," Fitzgibbons said. "It's anyone's game out there."
Day two wrapped up with heat four, in which Steph Gilmore snagged the highest score of the event thus far, an 8.50. She trounced Enever and Coco Ho, despite their exemplary efforts, with a total of 15.00. Gilmore defied authorities and surfed the closed beach yesterday: "I thought it would have been pretty funny to get arrested for going surfing," she said. "I was just desperate!" She definitely got her fix today.
2011 Roxy Pro Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 10.90, Tyler Wright (AUS) 9.95, Rebecca Woods (AUS) 8.15
Heat 2: Silvana Lima (BRA) 12.15, Pauline Ado (FRA) 12.00, Alana Blanchard (HAW) 9.35
Heat 3: Lee-Ann Curren (FRA) 8.75, Carissa Moore (HAW) 7.95, Melanie Bartels (HAW) 1.75
Heat 4: Laura Enever (AUS) 12.20, Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 11.84, Felicity Palmateer (AUS) 4.83
Heat 5: Paige Hareb (NZL) 12.27, Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 9.54, Claire Bevilacqua (AUS) 5.60
Heat 6: Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 13.17, Coco Ho (HAW) 12.04, Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 10.70
Round 2 Results:
Heat 1: Tyler Wright (AUS) 11.74, Rebecca Woods (AUS) 10.83
Heat 2: Coco Ho (HAW) 13.00, Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 7.80
Heat 3: Carissa Moore (HAW) 13.04, Felicity Palmateer (AUS) 10.96
Heat 4: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 11.43, Claire Bevilacqua (AUS) 8.80
Heat 5: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 12.67, Alana Blanchard (HAW) 10.03
Heat 6: Pauline Ado (FRA) 12.77, Melanie Bartels (HAW) 5.73
Round 3 Results:
Heat 1: Silvana Lima (BRA) 15.34, Lee-Ann Curren (FRA) 10.93, Tyler Wright (AUS) 9.73
Heat 2: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 12.63, Carissa Moore (HAW) 11.70, Pauline Ado (FRA) 11.57
Heat 3: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 12.73, Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 11.20, Paige Hareb (NZL) 7.70
Heat 4: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 15.00, Coco Ho (HAW) 12.04, Laura Enever (AUS) 9.36