Day two of the Cascais Girls Pro went down in spectacular fashion today with the world’s best surfers charging through Rounds 2, 3 and 4 in clean three-to-five foot (1 – 1.5 metre) waves at the backup venue of Guincho.
Stop No. 8 of 8 on the 2013 ASP Women’s World Championship Tour, the Cascais Girls Pro will decide the 2013 ASP Women’s World Champion as well as the elite ASP Top 17 for 2014.
Carissa Moore, 2011 Women’s World Champion and current ASP WCT No. 1, remains locked in a heated battle for this year’s crown and kept her 2013 campaign alive this afternoon with a hard-fought win over reigning five-time ASP Women’s World Champion Stephanie Gilmore.
“It was a nerve-wracking heat,” Moore said. “When we started, Steph (Gilmore) paddled out at a completely separate bank and I had no idea we could even surf it. She is really smart though and you can’t leave someone like Steph alone on her own peak – she’s too good. So I moved down there and it was a close heat. It was tough.”
Moore will take on an in-form rookie in Bianca Buitendag in the Quarterfinals of competition.
Tyler Wright continued her own campaign for this year’s world surfing crown with a victory over Lakey Peterson, to close out the day’s events.
“I just treat it like any other heat,” Wright said. “I have my same routine and preparation and just go out there and surf the way I want to. I’m not thinking about points. I’m thinking about my board and how well it goes. Looks like we’ll finish tomorrow so hopefully we get some fun waves to finish in.”
Wright will face Sally Fitzgibbons in the Quarterfinals when competition resumes.While the focus has been primarily locked on this year’s hunt for the ASP Women’s World Title, a secondary qualification race for membership on the 2014 ASP Top 17 is unfolding in Cascais as well.
Sage Erickson came into the final event of the season needing a solid result to qualify for next year’s elite ASP Women’s World Championship Tour and the young Californian put in a banner day, posting emphatic wins in Round 2 and 3 to advance directly through to the Quarterfinals.
“I feel confident on my backhand,” Erickson said. “I had two strong heats today and I know I need a big result here in Portugal. I really have confidence that I deserve to be here on tour even if I’ve had such a bad year. It’s really been a self-belief journey for me and I think that whatever happens, I’m much stronger for it.”
When competition resumes, Erickson will take on compatriot Courtney Conlogue in the opening Quarterfinal. Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow at 8:30am to assess conditions for a possible 9am start.