Drug Aware Pro Final Battle Breakdown
South African’s Bianca Buitendag and Jordy Smith are both ranked in the Top 10 in their respective women’s and men’s Samsung Galaxy World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tours (CT) after the third stop of the season, the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro in Western Australia.
Buitendag (Victoria Bay, ZAF) advanced to the quarterfinals for the first time this year before being eliminated by three-time WSL and reigning WSL women’s champion Carissa Moore (HAW). Her 5th place finish saw Buitendag climb from eleventh to No. 8 on the Jeep Rankings leaderboard.
Bianca Buitendag (Victoria Bay, ZAF) on her way to the quarterfinals of the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro in Australia.
Smith (Durban, ZAF), who came into Margaret River ranked No. 3 following his runner-up result at Bells Beach, posted several powerful performances before he was ousted by Brazilian rookie Caio Ibelli in the round before the quarterfinals. Smith dropped four places to No. 7 on the leaderboard after finishing 9th overall in Western Australia.
Jordy Smith was eliminated in Round Five.
Tyler Wright (AUS) won the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro on Friday, defeating defending event champion and Jeep rankings leader Courtney Conlogue (USA) in pumping 2 – 2.5 metre waves at the Main Break.
Wright took the lead early in the final and then put her opponent in a combination situation and needing to improve on both her scores when the Australian completed a deep tube ride for a near perfect 9.60 out of 10. Conlogue, who has won three titles at this event, struggled to find the scores to combat Wright and was left needing a 9.97 point ride for victory.
“I knew Courtney was just dropping 9-point rides every heat, so I had to be smart in selecting my waves and turns and not get over excited,” Wright said. “Every wave I had felt dreamy. This event was easy for me. No massive mental challenges, so I was really stoked on that and the happy headspace I’ve been in.”
Conlogue will continue to wear the Jeep Leaders Jersey in the next event in Rio de Janeiro in May as she remains in 1st place position on the rankings. The American continued to demonstrate strong and consistent performances that saw her reach her third straight final on the 2016 CT.
Sebastian Zietz (HAW), a former elite tour competitor and injury replacement surfer on the 2016 Samsung Galaxy WSL Championship Tour, claimed his first CT victory at Margaret River in a dramatic final against Julian Wilson (AUS) on Saturday.
Sebastian Zietz during the Final at the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro in Western Australia.
Wilson opened up a lead in the final but Zietz responded by posting a 9.10 to stay in contention. A set of waves with five minutes remaining resulted in Wilson taking the first one but not improving his two-wave total while Zietz showcased his trademark Hawaiian power and style to grab the lead.
“I am stoked,” Zietz said. “The pressure was on and I pulled that last maneuver in the white-water and made it. To win was definitely the goal I’d set for a long time. It is epic to win a CT event against all the top guys and come out on top. I just want to dedicate this win to my family and everyone at home.”
Sebastian Zietz being chaired up after winning the final.
After narrowly failing to requalify for this season’s elite tour, Zietz has been competing as an injury replacement in the three Australian leg events. His event win now vaults the Hawaiian to No. 2 in the world heading into the remainder of the year.
“I love the wave here and the crowd that comes down,” said Wilson. “That was a good final. Massive congrats to Seabass [Sebastian Zietz] for his first win. We were able to go blow for blow and produce two great heat totals out there. I am happy to get a good result here and Bells was a better result than last year. I look forward to the rest of the year and to carry that momentum and fire into Brazil.”
The next stop on the 2016 Samsung Galaxy WSL Championship Tour will be the Oi Rio Pro from May 10 – 21, 2016
For more information, log onto WorldSurfLeague.com
Drug Aware Margaret River Pro Women’s Final Results:
1 – Tyler Wright (AUS) 18.67
2 – Courtney Conlogue (USA) 14.70
Drug Aware Margaret River Pro Women’s Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 17.44 def. Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 12.17
SF 2: Tyler Wright (AUS) 15.07 def. Carissa Moore (HAW) 14.07
Drug Aware Margaret River Pro Women’s Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 15.00 def. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 7.20
QF 2: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 17.33 def. Laura Enever (AUS) 6.67
QF 3: Carissa Moore (HAW) 14.57 def. Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 6.40
QF 4: Tyler Wright (AUS) 16.53 def. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 8.74
2016 Samsung Galaxy WSL Rankings (After Drug Aware Margaret River Pro):
1. Courtney Conlogue (USA) 26,000 pts
2. Tyler Wright (AUS) 25,200 pts
3. Carissa Moore (HAW) 19,500 pts
4. Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 18,200 pts
5. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 15,600pts
8. Bianca Buitendag (Victoria Bay, ZAF) 11,800pts
Drug Aware Margaret River Pro Men’s Final Results:
1 – Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 17.40
2 – Julian Wilson (AUS) 16.67
Drug Aware Margaret River Pro Men’s Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Julian Wilson (AUS) 16.60 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.50
SF 2: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 16.27 def. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 13.17
2016 Samsung Galaxy WSL Rankings (after Drug Aware Margaret River Pro):
1. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 24,000 pts
2. Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 15,750 pts
3. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 14,750 pts
4. Kolohe Andino (USA) 13,700 pts
5. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 13,450 pts
7. Jordy Smith (Durban, ZAF) 12,500pts
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