USA’s Caroline Marks scorches through two rounds of Main Event, earns highest heat total for second consecutive day
Brazil’s Tatiana Weston-Webb nears perfection with 9.77 wave score
Gold Medal favorites stumble: Australia’s Sally Fitzgibbons, USA’s Carissa Moore and Courtney Conlogue to Repechage Rounds
The stars of women surfing’s stole the show on the second day of competition at the 2019 ISA World Surfing Games presented by Vans in Miyazaki, Japan.
Returning to represent their nations in a team-event format ahead of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, the top women of the sport shined with an array of progressive surfing and high heat totals at Kisakihama Beach.
2016 ISA World Junior Champion Caroline Marks from USA continued her hot streak in the event, earning the highest heat total for the second consecutive day with 17.23 points.
Marks’ teammate Carissa Moore was also a standout, excelling in the clean, morning conditions with the second highest heat total of 17.06.
Moore was unable to back up her strong performance during her next round 2 heat, falling to the Repechage Rounds due to a strong showing from Brazil’s Tatiana-Weston Webb.
Webb’s impressive surfing continued in Round 3 where she earned the highest single wave score of the event thus far with 9.77 points and advanced into Main Event Round 4.
Despite not advancing in the Main Event, Moore expressed the excitement of surfing for her nation in the competition.
“I am super excited to be at the World Games representing my country USA,” said Moore. “Being a part of a team is super special because you can get behind your teammates.
“It was incredible seeing 55 nations at the Parade of Nations yesterday, from places that I didn’t even know had surfing. It’s amazing how surfing and our love for the sports brings us all together.
“It’s a super exciting time to be a woman, especially in surfing with this record participation. It’s great to see a new ‘boom’ of girls competing.”
Team Australia’s trio of Nikki Van Dijk, Sally Fitzgibbons, and Stephanie Gilmore were also among the standout performers, earning top heat totals in the Main Event.
Van Dijk’s heat total of 16.33 was the third highest of the day behind Marks and Moore.
With the world’s best matching up in heats, inevitably there were upsets and Gold Medal favorites who fell to the Repechage Rounds.
Gilmore and Fitzgibbons faced off in Main Event Round 3 against Great Britain’s Peony Knight and Israel’s Anat Lelior.
With two rides in the seven-point range, Gilmore advanced in first place, but teammate Fitzgibbons was ousted by Israel’s Lelior. Despite a display of powerful single maneuvers, Fitzgibbons was not able to line up multiple maneuvers and Lelior’s total of 11.93 bested her 10.76.
Also in Round 3, Brazil’s Weston-Webb, USA’s Courtney Conlogue, Japan’s Mahina Maeda, and Ecuador’s Dominic Barona matched up.
Two past ISA World Junior champions, Weston-Webb and Maeda, got the best of Conlogue, relegating her to join teammate Moore in the Repechage Rounds.
Costa Rica’s Brisa Hennessy continued through in the Main Event Rounds with a clutch performance in the dying minutes of her Main Event Round 2 heat that gave her the score she needed to pass second.
Hennessy expressed her passion to represent her country and excitement ahead of a chance to represent her country in the Tokyo 2020 Olympics.
“I won the ISA Juniors in Japan in 2017, so it’s incredible to be back here,” said Hennessy. “I feel very privileged to be a part of Team Costa Rica.
“It gives me chills to see each person here represent their country, their home.
“It’s beyond special to think how I have a chance to qualify for Tokyo 2020. I feel so proud to see where the sport is going and to be a part of this incredible movement.”
Day 2 concluded with the first elimination Repechage Rounds at Kisakihama Beach, taking the first batch of competitors out of the event.
The Repechage format allows surfers a second chance to advance. A surfer that falls in the Main Event will then drop to the Repechage Rounds, where they face a longer road to the Grand Final than those that remain in the Main Event.
ISA President Fernando Aguerre said:
“It’s amazing to see the level of women’s surfing that is on display here in Miyazaki. We’ve gathered the world’s top women talent and they have not let us down with incredible performances.
“The ISA has been dedicated to promoting gender equality in surfing, offering equal competition slots for both genders, so to see a record amount of women displaying their talent is truly special and important to me.
“Crowning women World Surfing Games Champions in this record breaking edition and awarding Olympic qualification slots will be a historic milestone moment for Surfing as a whole, but especially for women’s surfing.”
The tentative schedule for the remainder of the competition is as follows:
- Open Women
- Aloha Cup (TBC)
- Open Women
- Start to Open Men
- Finals Open Women
- Open Men competition continues
- Finals Open Men
- Closing Ceremony
The 2019 ISA World Surfing Games presented by Vans is broadcast Sept 7-15 on www.isasurf.org.
Within the country of Japan, the broadcast is exclusively available on Abema TV.