With a pretty epic forecast for the Easter weekend, the oldest contest on the calendar has wasted no time getting underway today. Conditions were small but totally contestable and the first round of the women’s event were sent out to the section of the wave known as Rincon.
The section they were surfing is Bells when it is under three or four feet, it’s a little less predictable than when the swell really gets going out here, but it is non the less totally rippable as the girls proved.
Heat one saw title hopeful Courtney Conlogue win as economically as possible, catching only two waves, but making them count to win the heat. Sally Fitzgibbons, another title hopeful did much the same in heat two and joined Conlogue in round three.
The third heat of the day was by far the most interesting. Defending champion, both at Bells and of the tour, Carissa Moore ended up in a tight battle with Aussie Dimity Stoyle. Despite some powerful turns and combos, Moore didn’t quite have what it took this time and Stoyle edged her, by just 0.22 of a point.
In the final three heats the tide was filling and conditions were less than ideal. Local Nikki Van Dijk won unsurprisingly at a wave that is practically her home break. Stephanie Gilmore made light work of her heat and South Africa’s Bianca Buitendag won a scrappy final heat.
It gets the women into round two, and as the swell builds tomorrow and then fills in properly on friday we’re up for an exciting Easter weekend. There is a chance the women could be back in the water tomorrow, the men look likely to start on Friday. Follow all the action at – www.aspworldtour.com