The Swatch Women's Pro Semifinalists
“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. 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 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
Swatch Women’s Pro Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Sage Erickson (USA) 13.90 def. Johanne Defay (FRA) 12.93
Swatch Women’s Pro Semifinal Match-Ups:
SF 1: Sage Erickson (USA) vs. Tyler Wright (AUS)