Bianca closes great year while Jordy is through to the last 32 at Sunset
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 3 December, 2015 - South Africa’s Bianca Buitendag ended the 2015 Samsung Galaxy WSL Women’s Championship Tour (CT) season ranked No. 4 as Carissa Moore (HAW) captured her third World Title and won her second successive Target Maui Pro crown in Hawaii yesterday (Wednesday)
Competing in flawless 1.5 to 2 metre waves at the hallowed break of Honolua Bay on the island of Maui, Buitendag started the final day of competition by defeating close friend Johanne Defay (FRA) in Round 4.
The 22 year-old from Victoria Bay in the Southern Cape then lost to eventual event runner-up, Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) by just 3/100ths of a point (18.07 vs. 18.04 out of 20) in their quarterfinal duel. After Fitzgibbons posted an excellent 9.20, Buitendag fought back with a near perfect 9.87, the second highest score of the event, but slipped on her final ride when needing an 8.20 to clinch a spot in the semis and was awarded 8.17 by the judges.
The result boosted Buitendag up two places in the rankings to a career high No. 4 in the world after a sensational third season competing among the elite Top 18 on the CT in which she reached three Finals and a Semifinal in the 10 events.
Moore’s historic day started before she entered the water for her quarterfinal match-up as she earned her third World Title when fellow Hawaiian Coco Ho eliminated title challenger Courtney Conlogue (USA) in Round 4.
At the same time as the women’s title was being decided, the world’s best men were charging double to triple-overhead waves at Sunset Beach on the North Shore of nearby Oahu in the Round 64 in the QS10 000 Vans World Cup of Surfing. The season ending Qualifying Series (QS) event will decide the top 10 places in the QS rankings who will qualify for the 2016 Championship Tour.
Benji Brand (Kommetjie) was eliminated in the first heat of the day while Jordy Smith (Durban) is through to the last 32 at Sunset. When competition resumes at 8pm South African time tonight, Smith will be up against fellow CT campaigner Kolohe Andino (USA), 17 year-old West Australian prodigy Jack Robinson and New Zealand powerhouse Ricardo Christie.
The 2015 Men’s WSL Champion will be decided at the upcoming Billabong Pipe Masters in Memory of Andy Irons, taking place at Pipeline on Oahu from 8 – 20 December. Six contenders from Australia and Brazil -- Mick Fanning (AUS), Filipe Toledo (BRA), Adriano de Souza (BRA), Gabriel Medina (BRA), Owen Wright (AUS) and Julian Wilson (AUS) -- are all within striking distance of claiming this year’s world surfing crown.