ASP Womens World Tour
The opening stop of the 2012 ASP World Championship Tour season, the Roxy Pro Gold Coast enjoyed incredible action throughout the first four days of the waiting period, narrowing the field down to the women’s Semifinalists.
Tyler Wright, runner-up at the 2011 Roxy Pro, eliminated reigning ASP Women’s World Champion and defending event winner Carissa Moore in a re-match of last year’s Final. Wright was ferocious in her assault on the waves at Snapper Rocks, posting two excellent scores en route to causing the biggest upset of the event.
“I knew I had to do something big to beat her,” Wright said. “She’s the ASP Women’s World Champ. I think she won three events last year so I knew it was going to be tough. I was lucky enough that I got the good waves. If she got them she would have smashed me too.”
Laura Enever, 2012 ASP Dream Tour sophomore, posted a big win in her non-elimination Roxy Pro Round 3 clash against Paige Hareb, and reigning ASP Women’s World Champion Carissa Moore. Enever advanced directly into the Quarterfinals while Hareb and Moore have to battle it out in Round 4.
“It was a good heat,” Enever said. “Paige (Hareb) got a 9.30 and Carissa (Moore) got an 8.07, and I was thinking I’ve got my work cut out for me. I just decided to wait for a good one, and I saw that wave and I did my first turn and let go and it all worked out. I got into the Semis last year and I’d love to go one or two better this year.”
Last year, Sally Fitzgibbons came so close to a ASP World Title, losing it to Carissa Moore at the sixth event of the season. This year, the 21-year-old Aussie with the toothy smile tells us that she’s ready to graduate from the runner-up position. With the first five rounds of the Roxy Pro Gold Coast completed, Sally gives us the run-down on what’s happened, what’s on the agenda, and how her dream for the ASP Women’s Tour involves hot male escorts.
Congrats on making it to the Semis. Can you just quickly walk us through the first few days of the event?
There’s so much support for me at this event, it’s been crazy. Roxy made all these “Go Sally” signs and put them everywhere, and people have beach balls and T-shirts with my name on it. I looked in from the water and it’s written up on the side of the hotel. It’s crazy. We ran the first four days of the waiting period, which was cool because we could kind of gained some momentum. There were some pretty good match-ups as well. We had a bit of an upset with Tyler [Wright] taking out Carissa [in the Quarters], but the event has had some good match-ups and it’s cool to see some of the rookies in there. This event is always a good benchmark, and everyone’s looking pretty fiery and ready to go for the season.
I know you’ve been training and really focusing during the six-month off-season. What have you done differently this year to prepare?
This year we obviously had a long break, so I was definitely training really hard, but unfortunately I busted my wrist in Fiji in December so I had a month out of the water over Christmas and January. I used that time to analyze my surfing and tried to change a few things with my style, just from watching all the footage. It was pretty special to be able to jump back in the water a week before the Australian Open—even though the surf was small—so I could get back in the mindset of competition. I was pretty stressed the week before because I hadn’t been in the water, but I relaxed and came up with a win. I was pumped with that.
The Roxy Pro Gold Coast enjoyed sunny weather, light winds and a capacity crowd for the final day of competition, with the world’s best surfers putting on a spectacular display of high-performance surfing.
Stephanie Gilmore, reigning four-time ASP Women’s World Champion, her fourth Roxy Pro Gold Coast title after defeating ASP Top 17 sophomore Laura Enever, in a hard-fought Final. Gilmore was dominant throughout the event, posting scores in the excellent range in every encounter throughout the draw. Gilmore jumps back to No. 1 on the ASP Women’s World Championship Tour ratings, a spot she lost at this event last year after holding it for four years.
“To be carried up the beach with your friends underneath you with thousands of people around has got to be one of the best feelings in the world,” Gilmore said. “It took me back to 2005 when I won here as a grom. Last year went so quickly and it felt like I didn’t even exist on the rankings and that fire wasn’t really there. This year it’s so good to have that back! My cheeks are so sore from smiling already.”
Enever, who defeated Gilmore in the Quarterfinals of the Roxy Pro Gold Coast last year, today was unable to replicate last year’s magic but managed a career-best Runner-Up today against Gilmore. This is the first ASP Women’s World Tour final appearance for Enever, who finished 10th on last year’s ratings.
“Coming into this event I felt like a new competitor,” Enever said. “I’m so stoked to make it all the way to the Final. It was so good to be out there with Steph (Gilmore). She’s coming back now which is great to see. It’s a good way to start off the year. I’m in the ASP Women’s World Title race and it’s not a fluke. I want to be up here for the rest of the year and hopefully go one better next event.”