Rookie Carissa Moore Takes Out TSB Bank Women's Surf Festival
FITZROY, Taranaki/New Zealand (Friday, April 16, 2010) - Carissa Moore (HAW), 17, 2010 ASP Women's World Tour rookie, has claimed the 2010 TSB Bank Women's Surf Festival over Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), 19, in pumping offshore barrels at Fitzroy Beach.
The third stop on the 2010 ASP Women's World Tour season, the TSB Bank Women's Surf Festival enjoyed a veritable cornucopia of conditions throughout the six-day event window, culminating in exciting fashion today in front of a capacity crowd at the primary site.
Moore wasted little time in the hard-fought Final, posting an excellent 9.33 out of a possible 10 on her opening wave for a flurry of electrifying backhand surfing. The Hawaiian rookie was quick to back it up, lighting up another running lefthander with unfettered ferocity and a complete repertoire of maneuvers for 9.83, collecting the highest heat total of the event, a 19.16 out of a possible 20, as well as the victory.
"The conditions definitely turned on for us this afternoon and I knew I couldn't leave Sally (Fitzgibbons) a lot of room to maneuver," Moore said. "She has been getting the highest scores every round and she's so dangerous. I just felt like I was building momentum throughout the event and fortunately peaked in the Final."
Following a relatively slow start to 2009 with two Equal 9th place results, Moore (who has long been considered one of the most promising young surfers on the planet) was growing frustrated with her former 9th place ranking. Today's win vaults the young Hawaiian to ASP Women's World No. 6 and establishes her as a legitimate threat to the 2010 ASP Women's World Title.
"I wasn't very happy with the start of my year," Moore said. "I expected more out of myself and couldn't figure out what was going on. Things really fell into place for me here in New Zealand and it's a great result for my campaign this year. I'm really excited and looking forward to Sydney."
In a show of unprecedented generosity, Moore chose to donate her US$15,000 first prize winnings to the local Waitara Bar Boardriders Club, a gesture that received undulating support from the thousands in attendance.
"I fell in love with New Zealand and I'm fortunate enough to have great support from my family and my sponsors and that puts me in a position to do things like this," Moore said. "The Haka that the Waitara Bar Boardriders Club performed before the event was beautiful and they've really opened up their community and waves to us. For this, I am very thankful."
Despite Moore's domineering start to the Final, Fitzgibbons fought back admirably; collecting a 7.50 and an 8.67, but it would not be enough to overtake Moore.
"It's frustrating but Carissa (Moore) just went mad in the Final," Fitzgibbons said. "The waves were really good, and it was an exciting heat. I'm disappointed to not get the win, but it's still a good result for me."
Today's Runner-Up finish matches Fitzgibbons' career best and moves her from 5th to 2nd on the ASP Women's World Tour rankings, positioning her for a run at the prestigious ASP Women's World Title throughout the remainder of the year.
"It matches my best result and I'm sure I'll be happy with it down the road, but to come so close and not win still stings right now," Fitzgibbons said. "I feel like I am surfing well and surfing smart and it will happen eventually. To be second on the rankings now is great for me and the goal is to reign in Steph (Gilmore) over the next couple events."
Sarah Mason (NZL), 15, wildcard into the TSB Bank Women's Surf Festival, went on a rampage in Taranaki, causing the shock elimination of reigning three-time ASP Women's World Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 22, in Round 3 yesterday before dispatching of compatriot and goofy-footed powerhouse Paige Hareb (NZL), 19, in this morning's Quarterfinals. Despite her juggernaut run, the youngster was unable to overcome eventual winner Moore in their Semifinal bout.
"I'm disappointed to not make the Final but not upset at how I've gone here," Mason said. "I was just excited to win the wildcard spot, but it's been the best week of my life getting to surf against Steph (Gilmore) and Paige (Hareb). It gives me great confidence moving ahead and I do feel like one day I can be up there contesting for the world title."
Chelsea Hedges (AUS), 26, former ASP Women's World Champion (2005), was another standout in the event and looked good for a berth in her first Final of the year. However, a late Semifinal charge by Fitzgibbons eliminated any hope of a chance at the event title and Hedges received an Equal 3rd.
"This is my third Equal 3rd in a row and it is a disappointment to miss out on the Final again," Hedges said. "I suppose it's good that I've been consistent, but to win a world title, you have to make Finals and win events. That's the goal - to win the world title. Still though, 3rd is okay and I'll just try to refocus and prepare for Sydney next week."
Highlights from the TSB Bank Women's Surf Festival will be available www.nzsurffestival.co.nz
The next stop on the 2010 ASP Women's World Tour will be the Commonwealth Back Beachley Classic held at Dee Why Point in Sydney, Australia from April 21 through 26, 2010.
For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com
TSB Bank Women's Surf Festival Final Results:
1 - Carissa Moore (HAW) 19.16
2 - Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 16.17
TSB Bank Women's Surf Festival Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Carissa Moore (HAW) 14.56 def. Sarah Mason (NZL) 11.33
SF 2: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 15.93 def. Chelsea Hedges (AUS) 15.17
TSB Bank Women's Surf Festival Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Carissa Moore (HAW) 14.17 def. Melanie Bartels (HAW) 8.33
QF 2: Sarah Mason (NZL) 16.23 def. Paige Hareb (NZL) 11.83
QF 3: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 18.33 def. Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 11.00
QF 4: Chelsea Hedges (AUS) 14.67 def. Silvana Lima (BRA) 13.30
Current ASP Women's World Tour Top 5:
1. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 2760 pts
2. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 2280 pts
3. Chelsea Hedges (AUS) 2268 pts
4. Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 2076 pts
4. Melanie Bartels (HAW) 2076 pts
6. Carissa Moore (HAW) 1920 pts
7. Coco Ho (HAW) 1668 pts
8. Silvana Lima (BRA) 1656 pts
9. Rebecca Woods (AUS) 1464 pts
10. Paige Hareb (NZL) 1272 pts
11. Rosanne Hodge (ZAF) 1080 pts
11. Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 1080 pts
11. Lee Ann Curren (FRA) 1080 pts
14. Bruna Schmitz (BRA) 900 pts
14. Amee Donohoe (AUS) 900 pts
16. Claire Bevilacqua (AUS) 720 pts
16. Nikita Robb (ZAF) 720 pts
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