After the fulminate start, the Women’s division at the Australian Open of Surfing continued with a breathtaking quarterfinals sessions which left only four surfers to battle it out in the showdown tonight!
Laura Enever was looking like exiting the event with a 5th place finish in her Quarterfinal against Pauline Ado, she was left needing a decent score as the ocean went flat in the last five minutes. But Enever waited patiently and with a mere 14 seconds on the clock she stood up on a nice looking left-hander and launched into a series of sharp turns, easily netting the required score. “There was a part of me thinking this might be the end,” she said afterwards, “but then I thought – it’s never over, you can catch a wave with one second on the clock and get the score. I knew I had to find something and when that wave popped up and I thought this is it, this is the one. I’m excited to be into the Semis and to be able to surf on Finals day this weekend.”
Sally Fitzgibbons faced off against Lakey Peterson in Quarterfinal 2, which was a rematch of the Final of the US Open in August last year. Sally took the heat on both occasions and will now match-up against Laura in the Semifinals this weekend. Malia Manuel and Joanne Defay finished Quarterfinal 3 tied on 11.67 (out of a possible 20) for their two wave heat total. When there’s a tie the surfer with the highest single wave score wins, and in this case it was Manuel who won with a 6.67 (out of a possible 10) to Defay’s 6.00. “That was too close for comfort right there,” Malia confessed though, “she needed a 6.01 right at the end and got a 6.00, it was so close! Halfway through the heat a rip popped up right in the middle of the lineup and it made it hard for me to get a back-up score. I really admire the European surfers, they’re such a tight-knit crew and they’re all surfing great.”
So stay tuned for more updates after the finals, which thanks to Australia being on the other side of the world will go down while we’re all sleeping soundly… But in case you’re experience insomnia, catch the live webcast on australianopenofsurfing.com
Watch the highlights from the Women’s Quarter Finals and Men’s Rounds 1 & 2