A Hard Day's Work for the Women

Well that was exhausting, and not in a good way. With chest-high waves trickling onto a uninspiring bank, the Rio Pro judges were forced to lower their expectations, and on reflection there were more than a few generous scores thrown in. This was, for the most part, a day of one turn closeouts, however, there was one moment which raised eyebrows; a moment of progressive surfing which threw a spanner in the title race and challenged the rest of the field to take flight.

A little punt changes the face of the day

In yesterday's Rio round-up we beseeched the girls to step up and take to the air. We were therefore much gratified in round 2 to see wildcard, Silvana Lima, race down the line on a waist-high drainer, pop a well-timed air reverse and land it clean. She was rewarded with a 9.1, which might seem generous when compared with the men's judging criteria, but at least it set a precedent, informing the women that risk and progression will be handsomely rewarded. Having surfed for many years on tour, Silvana is not so much a breath of fresh air leading from the front, as a familiar gust of wind urging the field from behind.

Prior to this wave, Silvana had been in a tight spot against her old tour rival, Steph Gilmore. With very few excellent scores on offer below the lip-line, she knew exactly what was required. "I really tried to do an air in that heat because I knew I would need a really good score to win,” said Silvana Lima. “I can’t believe I made it, I’m so happy. I’m feeling 100 percent right now. Everything is going right for me and going really well. I can’t wait to keep going in this competition.”

When I saw Silvana (Lima) in the draw I knew she would be dangerous because she's hungry for a win and she's been injured for a while. She's also one of the few girls that can do airs consistently.Stephanie Gilmore

The loss sees Gilmore's world title hopes wither somewhat, but she remained gracious in defeat. “When I saw Silvana (Lima) in the draw I knew she would be dangerous because she's hungry for a win and she's been injured for a while,” said Gilmore. “She's also one of the few girls that can do airs consistently. I am happy to see Silvana back because she's so good and she deserves to be on tour. We go way back, we've had a couple of close world title races. She brings a great energy to the Women's tour, she's an incredibly talented surfer and she's great to watch. I think she'll do really well here and she could go all the way. I'm pretty disappointed at the loss.”

Moore and Wright are still there, hacking away

In conditions such as yesterday Carissa Moore and Tyler Wright can quite comfortably post a six with a single turn. That extra saucepan of water thrown makes all the difference. They both earned passage to the quarterfinals, maintaining the form which has seen them make the final in the last two events.

“I’m not really keeping track of points but I was surprised to see Steph (Stephanie Gilmore) go down earlier,” said Carissa Moore. “Silvana (Lima) is surfing amazing so it’s great to see her back on Tour and putting on a show for everyone in front of a home crowd. Silvana has been on the tour for years and has so much experience. It’s great to see her in the event and it’s great having wildcards in the event.”

Watch the heats on demand HERE

Rio Women’s Pro Round 4 Match-ups:
Heat 1: Silvana Lima (BRA) vs. Pauline Ado (FRA)
Heat 2: Malia Manuel (HAW) vs. Alessa Quizon (HAW)
Heat 3: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) vs. Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW)
Heat 4: Coco Ho (HAW) vs. Laura Enever (AUS)

Rio Women’s Pro Round 3 Results:
Heat 1: Lakey Peterson (USA) 15.36, Silvana Lima (BRA) 14.73, Malia Manuel (HAW) 12.03
Heat 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) 13.23, Alessa Quizon (HAW) 11.83, Pauline Ado (FRA) 8.67
Heat 3: Tyler Wright (AUS) 12.60, Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 10.77, Laura Enever (AUS) 10.20
Heat 4: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 13.03, Coco Ho (HAW) 12.46, Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 10.20

Rio Women’s Pro Round 2 Results:
Heat 1: Alessa Quizon (HAW) 13.77 def. Dimity Stoyle (AUS) 11.07
Heat 2: Coco Ho (HAW) 14.10 def. Johanne Defay 13.87 (FRA)
Heat 3: Silvana Lima (BRA) 15.43 def. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 15.10
Heat 4: Tatiana Weston-Web (HAW) 15.00 def. Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 8.17
Heat 5: Malia Manuel (HAW) 12.43 def. Alana Blanchard (HAW) 10.00
Heat 6: Pauline Ado (FRA) 14.07 def. Paige Hareb (NZL) 13.13

Struan Gray

Writer and Content Manager