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Courtney Conlogue Wins Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic

April 23rd, 2012

Courtney Conlogue defeats Malia Manuel to claim victory at the Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic

Courtney Conlogue has won the prestigious 2012 Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic, over Malia Manuel at Dee Why beach today. In clean, but challenging 2-3 foot waves, the world’s best female surfers battled head-to-head for the biggest prize purse on the ASP Women’s World Championship Tour, with Conlogue taking home USD $30,000.

Stop No. 4 of 7 on the 2012 ASP Women’s World Championship Tour, the Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic, run by 7x ASP Women’s World Champion Layne Beachley, has caused some interesting twists and turns in the race for the coveted ASP Women’s World Title. Earlt in the cointest saw the early exit of reigning ASP Women’s World Champion Carissa Moore. Then shortly after the current ASP Women’s World No. 1 and 2 – Stephanie Gilmore and Sally Fitzgibbons both bowed out in the Quarterfinals.

Conlogue who has won multiple ASP 6-Star events, today claimed her maiden win on the elite ASP Women’s World Championship Tour, a feat that sees her jump to 4th on the ratings. Conlogue and Manuel battled through the stacked field of competitors to reach the Final. The dying swell made conditions difficult, but Conlogue found the best waves that allowed her to execute multiple powerful turns.

“I’m speechless right now!” Conlogue said. “It’s been two years on the ASP Women’s World Championship Tour where I kept losing in the Quarterfinals. Then today after winning my Quarterfinal I just tried to go and win the thing. Malia was surfing great in the Final, even though the waves were tricky. I’m really stoked to have won this event! I love Steph and Sally and to have them chair me up the beach was absolutely amazing!”

Malia Manuel’s run to the Final wasn’t easy, defeating Gilmore and Tyler Wright in the morning’s Quarterfinal and Semifinal. Manuel’s smooth style and tail drifting turns saw her earn big scores and new fans all event. Her red-hot run was only ended by Conlogue’s superior wave selection. Manuel is now equal 6th on the ASP World Championship Tour, and she is now the highest ranked 2012 rookie.

“I’m really relieved to get a good result here at Dee Why,” Manuel said. “I’m happy to move up the ratings. It’s a great confidence boost going into the next three events. I’m really stoked to make a final in my rookie year. I hope the battle for ASP Rookie Of The Year goes down to the last contest. It’s really close between me and Lakey. I’m not going to count her out.”

Stephanie Gilmore, 4x ASP Women’s World Champion, suffered a shock early exit at the Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic today. Gilmore has had 3 final appearances in the first 3 events of the year, and today added a respectable equal 5th place finish to her tally. In testing conditions Gilmore was bested by an in-form Manuel, who also defeated her in their non-elimination Round 3 match up yesterday.

“It’s disappointing,” Gilmore said. “But it’s not a terrible result for me. I feel really strong. When there’s great waves on offer I feel like I’m surfing great. It’s just a matter of getting those waves and I didn’t get them today. I’m looking forward to heading over to Brazil and finding the form I had in the first few events.”

Sally Fitzgibbons went down in the Quarterfinals to eventual event winner Conlogue. Fitzgibbons held an early lead with two mid-range scores, but Conlogue snared the best wave of the heat and tore it apart with some impressive turns, netting a 9.00 (out of a possible 10) and won the heat.

“This is the worst part about what we do,” Fitzgibbons said. “Today I just wasn’t good enough. When you’re feeling strong, you really want to progress through to that Final. I got some early scores and it was really challenging out there. That one wave popped up for Courtney and she grabbed a 9.00, which is the highest score of the day. I’m really happy for her. She’s a good friend and she trains and surfs really hard and that paid off today.”

1: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 13.17
2: Malia Manuel (HAW) 11.56

SF 1: Malia Manuel (HAW) 12.67 def. Tyler Wright (AUS) 10.50
SF 2: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 14.33 def. Rebecca Woods (AUS) 10.10

QF 1: Tyler Wright (AUS) 14.43 def. Laura Enever (AUS) 12.50
QF 2: Malia Manuel (HAW) 13.00 def. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 11.47
QF 3: Rebecca Woods (AUS) 11.73 def. Coco Ho (HAW) 8.73
QF 4: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 14.97 def. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 13.34

CURRENT ASP WOMEN’S WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TOUR TOP 6 (after the Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic):
1: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS)
2: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS)
3: Tyler Wright (AUS)
4: Courtney Conlogue (USA)
5: Carissa Moore (HAW)
6: Laura Enever (AUS)
6: Malia Manuel (HAW)


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