Whilst the men haven’t yet reached the half way point in the 2011 ASP World Tour, the Women’s World Tour is over, and 18 year old Hawaiian surfer Carissa Moore has notched up her maiden Championship. Moore sealed the victory over runner up Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) at the Roxy Pro Biarritz, France, 11th-17th July, finishing with a second place, but gaining enough tour points to make her the youngest female World Tour Champion.Between More and Fitzgibbons the girls won 6 out of the 7 events, claiming three each, and both always finishing within the top three at each event.
The only surfer able to steal an event victory was 4x World Champion Steph Gilmore (AUS), who claimed honours at Biarritz. Gilmore got off to a slow start, after suffering a random assault attack prior to the season commencing. However, she regained her feet and is looking promising to give Fitzgibbons and Moore a run for their money next year. This year, the girls have been on fire, opening with the Roxy Pro on the Gold Coast, which was broadcast to free-to-air TV. Spectators, judges and surfing fans could not believe the talent and progression that the girls were displaying. They would be giving the boys a run for their money. Young gun, and 2011’s ASP Women’s World Tour Rookie of the Year, Tyler Wright (AUS) is doing Rip Curl proud, finishing 4th overall for the season. Wright, sister to ASP men’s surfer Owen Wright, opened with a bang at the Roxy Pro, finishing second in her maiden WT event, only to be piped by Carissa Moore. Surfing runs in their blood.T
he guys and gals moved together to the Rip Curl Pro, Bells Beach, where Sally Fitzgibbons won her first tour event over Moore. Fitzgibbons surfed with true style the whole contest and was a clear favorite to win. She couldn’t have picked a better year, the 50th Anniversary of the Rip Curl Bells event. Fitzgibbons showed that she won’t give up, and claimed her second victory in New Zealand at the Subaru Pro TSB Bank Women’s Pro, beating Moore again. It was clear that Moore and Fitzgibbons were locked in a two horse battle for the WT championship. Moore bit back at the commonwelth Bank Beachley Classic , Northern beaches, defeating Sofia Mulanovich (PER), and the following fortnight claimed the Billabong Rio Pro, Brazil over Fitzgibbons. Although Moore had enough points after Biarritz to seal the WT Championship, the girls were still required to compete at the US Open of Surfing, where Fitzgibbons won the final event of the season, beating 16-year-old wild card Lakley Peterson (USA).
This year, the Women’s tour is short on events. The Hawaiian leg has been cut off, and the season is over, leaving surfing fans with the men’s event and prime competitions to follow. Nevertheless the men’s competition is heating up. After Kelly Slater’s (USA) surprise no show at the Billabong Pro, Jefferies Bay, local surfer, and current world number 2 Jordy Smith was able to claim back to back J-Bay victories.
Smith (ZAF) was victorious over 2x World Champion Mick Fanning (AUS), and both surfers were in form for the whole event. The final dished up sloppy conditions, and Smith’s background knowledge of J-Bay pulled him through for the victory. After not fronting to J-Bay, Kelly Slater dominated the US Open of Surfing, demonstrating that his time in Fiji catching picturesque barrels (instead of competing at J-Bay) was worthwhile, and walked away with the $100,000 cash prize. Whilst there as mixed emotions about Slater’s priorities for J-Bay, whether he was still committed to the ASP World Tour, or perhaps the passing of his arch rival Andy Irons severed his will to win, it appears to be forgotten after the US Open.
The men are off to Tahiti to compete at the Billabong Pro Teahupoo, Tahiti. The notorious left hand reef break can be a lovely 6 foot barrel, or a 20 foot monster, waiting to crush you onto the razor sharp reef. Catch all the live action at http://www.billabongpro.com/tahiti11/ from 20th August.