Above: Courtney Conlogue on good form yesterday. Photos: ASP
Courtney Conlogue (USA), 19, current No. 5 on the ASP Women’s WCT ratings, was responsible for two heat wins. The talented natural-footer started strong with a Round 2 victory and advanced directly through to the Quarterfinals in dominant fashion while amassing the event’s highest scores. Conlogue snatched a 9.10 on the way to a 17.27 out of 20 heat total for a combination of committed outside backhand turns and punctuated her scores with progressive tail-drifting turns on the inside.
“I think having that early morning heat today allowed me to shake the nerves out,” Conlogue said. “I think I was on the wrong equipment yesterday and today my board was going perfectly through those flat sections. I’m glad I had that morning heat to work things out.”
Conlogue, the local favorite in women’s competition, was feeling additional pressure to perform in front of her hometown crowd, but feels the confidence from today’s success eases the nerves that came along in the earlier rounds.
“I was pretty nervous before this event for some reason,” Conlogue said. “I think I was trying to aim too much for perfection and not focusing on the basics, which is what I’ve been training so hard for and working on. Today, I just calmed down and realized it’s just another World Tour event and do what I’ve been practicing. It feels so good getting another fifth here already, so I’m glad I don’t have to do another sudden-death round because Sage (Erickson) and Tyler (Wright) have been surfing amazing.”
Lakey Peterson (USA), 17, was another Californian to dominate her international challengers today with an array of progressive maneuvers to relegate freshly crowned five-time ASP Women’s World Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 24, to Round 4.
“Going into it with Malia (Manuel) and Steph (Gilmore) is a pretty tough draw,” Peterson said. “Obviously Steph just won a World Title, so I was pretty nervous. I just stuck to my game plan of getting two turns out the back and tried to finish them. “It’s a little tricky out there and you had to get aggressive, but I’m stoked. I feel like I’m just learning but I’m happy to just make it to the Quarters.”
Peterson, current No. 9 on the ASP Women’s WCT, is looking to solidify her season with a breakout performance and hopes she can capitalize on her familiarity of Huntington Beach to achieve her goal at the Nike US Open of Surfing.
“I want to win,” Peterson said. “I haven’t had the best results, but I want to learn and as long as I come away with something that I learned, then I’ll be happy to come away with that.”
Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), 21, defending Nike US Open Champion, was one international campaigner to find success in the tricky Huntington Beach lineup and advanced directly through to the Quarterfinals.
“The waves looked fun before we went out,” Fitzgibbons said. “I think the last bit of tide was draining out and it was a good battle with Coco (Ho) and Paige (Hareb). I just kept trying to find something that opened up. A victory here last year was insane. Winning here was one of the ultimate days of my career and I’m looking to do it again.”
Nike US Open of Surfing action will resume tomorrow morning at 7:30am local time beginning with Women’s Round 4. To watch the action LIVE log on to www.usopenofsurfing.com
WOMEN’S NIKE US OPEN OF SURFING ROUND 3 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 17.27, Tyler Wright (AUS) 12.00, Sage Erickson (USA) 9.40
Heat 2: Lakey Peterson (USA) 16.73, Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 13.43, Malia Manuel (HAW) 11.17
Heat 3: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 13.16, Coco Ho (HAW) 11.80, Paige Hareb (NZL) 9.10
Heat 4: Carissa Moore (HAW) 10.00, Pauline Ado (FRA) 8.83, Laura Enever (AUS) 4.97
WOMEN’S NIKE US OPEN OF SURFING ROUND 2 RESULTS: Heat 1: Paige Hareb (NZL) 13.00 def. Sarah Mason (NZL) 8.10 Heat 2: Sage Erickson (USA) 14.40 def. Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 10.43 Heat 3: Tyler Wright (AUS) 13.00 def. Dax McGill (HAW) 7.66 Heat 4: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 14.93 def. Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 7.84 Heat 5: Laura Enever (AUS) 10.67 def. Justine Dupont (FRA) 7.83 Heat 6: Pauline Ado (FRA) 13.50 def. Rebecca Woods (AUS) 6
Below: Saige Erikson competing at Huntington Beach.