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|Nikki Van Kijk, announcing her presence to the women's world tour.|
The surf was down considerably for the second day of competition at the Commonwealthy Bank Beachley Classic at Dee Why Point, north of Sydney, Australia, after day one was held in powerful, dredging waves. Clean three-foot surf was on tap for round four, which turned out to be the only round run.
The most notable performance of the day came from 16-year-old Australian and event wildcard Nikki Van Kijk, who knocked out world number seven, American Courtney Conlogue. "I got my waves early and was able to stay relaxed so it turned out really well," Van Dijk told the ASP. " I'm really excited and I'm having fun. There's no pressure as a wildcard, it's the best position to be in." Van Dijk meets current ratings leader Sally Fitzgibbons in the quarterfinal.
In other round four action, Hawaiian Melanie Bartels edged out new Zealand's Paige Hareb, setting up her best finish of 2011. "It was really tough, we didn't know whether to surf on the point or on the beach break," Bartels told the ASP. "You're sitting right on top of each other on the point whereas at the beach you can go left or right."
ASP rookie Tyler Wright chose to sit on the beach break while 2005 ASP women's world champion Chelsea Hedges took the point. Both contenders made the most of their choices but the rookie edged the veteran, "It was a tough decision to sit down the beach, especially when Chelsea scored a 7.80 out the back straight away," the 17-year-old told the ASP.
Also advancing out of round four is Peruvian veteran and 2004 world champion Sofia Mulanovich, who knocked out Coco Ho. Said Mulanovich of her win, "Coco is such an amazing surfer so I knew it was going to be a hard heat and I knew I was going to have to surf good. The girls have been pulling out nines every heat and the level is just amazing. I'm just stoked to get through to the next round."
Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic Round 4 Results:
Heat 1: Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 13.50 def Coco Ho (HAW) 12.03
Heat 2: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 14.50 def Courtney Conlogue (USA) 12.90
Heat 3: Melanie Bartels (HAW) 11.90 def Paige Hareb (NZL) 9.87
Heat 4: Tyler Wright (AUS) 15.50 def Chelsea Hedges (AUS) 13.56
Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic Quarterfinal Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Silvana Lima (BRA) vs Sofia Mulanovich (PER)
Heat 2: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) vs Nikki Van Dijk (AUS)
Heat 3: Carissa Moore (HAW) vs Melanie Bartels (HAW)
Heat 4: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) vs Tyler Wright (AUS)