Top Seeds Return to Form at the
Roxy Surf Festival
Left: Samantha Cornish with a big
win in Round 4. Photo: ASP Robertson © Covered
Images. Above: West Australian Claire Bevilacqua won
her heat ahead of ASP World Junior Champion Sally Fitzgibbons.
Photo: ASP Robertson © Covered Images.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Top Seeds Return to Form at the Roxy Surf
PHILLIP ISLAND, Australia (Thursday,
January 24, 2008) – Top seeded surfers showed they meant
business at the Roxy Surf Festival at Phillip Island this
morning, dominating in the solid one-metre waves, on offer
at Woolamai Beach.
After three consecutive days of standout
performances from junior surfers competing in the premier
6-Star ASP World Qualifying Series division, experience shined
through with ASP World No. 4 Sam Cornish (Crescent Head, NSW,
AUS) leading the charge.
“The juniors are surfing really
well, I won’t take anything away from them, but I think
they still need to step it up,” Cornish said emerging
as the on-form surfer of her Round 4 heat.
“They have a lot to prove until
they surf on the WCT level and I feel that while I am not
overly pushing myself in my heats, the juniors are giving
it all they’ve got.”
While Cornish’s performance was
not quite her best, the sixth year pro surfed a technically
smart heat - advancing in first place ahead of Fransisca Santos
(PRT), the pair eliminating Kirstie Jones (Sunshine Coast,
QLD, AUS) and yesterday’s sensation Laura Enever (Narrabeen,
“It was a tough heat, there’s
a really strong rip out there and positioning is tricky but
I did enough to get through, and that’s all that matters,”
Former ASP World Tour campaigner Claire
Bevilacqua (Perth, WA, AUS), who fell off the top tier tour
after a three year campaign at the end of 2007, exhibited
the type of surfing that should see her fly through the WQS,
as she focuses on returning to elite competition.
The powerful West Australian flew in
from a two month stint in Hawaii but had no problem adjusting
to the smaller beach break conditions. The World No. 13 blasted
off her opening wave to earn an excellent 8.00 (out of a possible
10.00), advancing ahead of ASP World Junior Champion Sally
Fitzgibbons (Gerroa, NSW, AUS) and eliminating Alana Blanchard
(HAW) and Jessica Hickson (Boomerang, NSW, AUS).
“I’m not scared of the babies
but in these conditions they definitely shine,” Bevilacqua
explained. “I’m actually motivated by their surfing
and they make me want to surf better, so I’m just out
there trying to surf my best.”
“I have a job to do this year and
I’m just trying to look at it a positive way,”
Bevilaqua continued. “It’s a great job surfing
for a living, it is hard to get motivated but you just have
to put your head down and show the judges that you mean business.”
Bevilaqua will come up against her former
ASP World tour rivals Cornish and World No. 8 Jessi Miley-Dye
(Bronte, NSW, AUS) in her all important Round 5 heat tomorrow.
Laurina McGrath (Byron Bay, NSW, AUS),
another former World Tour campaigner hoping to make her way
back onto the top tier tour, was quick off the mark with an
8.00 off her second ride.
The visibly fit and focussed competitor
lead the heat from start to finish, to advance into Round
5 ahead of ASP World Tour requalifier Serena Brooke (Gold
Coast, QLD, AUS) who advanced in second, while ASP World No.
12 Roseanne Hodge (ZAF) and Kim Wooldridge (Woolangong, NSW,
AUS) were eliminated from the event.
Last year’s Roxy Surf Festival
Pro Junior winner Erica Hosseini (USA) looks set to make her
mark on the WQS in 2008. The 20-year-old surfer and model
grabbed the crowd’s attention with the highest scoring
ride of the entire event, a near perfect 9.75 to win her heat
and advance into the next round.
“I’m so stoked!” Hosseini
said. “I knew I needed a second wave, so for it to be
a 9.75, I’ll take it! The competition at this level
is fierce- there are no more easy heats. You have to bring
you’re A-game or you’re going down.”
While the older girls certainly were
the standout performers on the day, a number of the younger
girls kept themselves well within the game.
Shark attack survivor and Hawaii’s
finest up-and-coming junior Bethany Hamilton kept her WQS
hopes alive by advancing in second place behind Hosseini.
Hamilton’s powerful surfing looks set to make her a
threat when she comes up against fellow Hawaiian Leilani Gryde
and McGrath in Round 5 tomorrow.
Paige Hareb (NZL) continued to shine
alongside her older counterparts; the only New Zealander left
in the event produced perfectly executed manoeuvres to capture
a sensational heat win over ASP World No. 8 Jessi Miley-Dyer
(Bronte, NSW, AUS) who finished in second, eliminating Kyla
Langen (USA) and Angela Keighran (Mullaway, NSW, AUS) from
Round 4 of the 6-Star WQS division was
completed this morning followed by the WQS Longboards which
saw ASP World Longboard Champion Jessica Smith (USA), Cassia
Meador (USA), defending champion Chelsea Williams (Tweed Head,
NSW, AUS) and Isabelle Braley (NSW, AUS) win their respective
heats to advance into the Semifinals.
The Roxy Surf Festival is held in association
with the Victorian State Government "Play it Safe by
the Water" and proudly supported by ASP Australasia,
Surfing Victoria, Bass Coast Shire Council and Phillip Island
For updated results log onto www.roxy.com/festival
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