ASP Prime Men's Event ASP Women’s 6-Star Rated Event Surfer's Point, Margaret River WA 18 - 25 March 2012
Live Coverage | Results/Photos/Videos etc | Slideshow
John John Florence Crowned Margaret River Champion in an All-Hawaiian Men’s Final Courtney Conologue defeats Rebecca Woods to win the Womens 6 Star Telstra Drug Aware Pro
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 24 March, 2012 : - - John John Florence has continued his winning streak by taking out the ASP Prime rated Telstra Drug Aware Pro at Margaret River today. Nineteen year old Florence won the hotly contested, all-Hawaiian final against 25 year old Olamana Eleogram, who could not continue his giant-killing dream run after earlier eliminating top seeds Owen Wright and Josh Kerr in the man on man heats.
Florence was clearly the form surfer of the event heading into the final, having consistently recorded 16 point plus heat scores over the week. Florence progressed after an amazing face-off against fellow teen prodigy Kolohe Andino in the Round of 16 late on Friday afternoon. John John made up for loss to Andino in a No Loser round earlier that day with a scorching score of 19.70 featuring the first and only ten point ride of the competition.
The wind died down and the swell began to pulse for the Men’s final after strong offshore winds made surfing in the early morning finals difficult. Eleogram was the first to strike in the 35 minute final, catching a right hander to bank an early score of 6.00. Florence soon responded with a 7.00 point right hander and backed it up straight away with another nice right, nailing an enormous finishing turn to score 7.83.
The final then became a backhand battle between the two natural footers as the lefthander began to offer the best scoring potential in the changing wind. Eleogram went left under priority hitting a number of critical turns to score an 8.83 to take the lead. But that only seemed to make Florence more determined as he aggressively attacked consecutive lefthanders, taking to the air on both waves to land scintillating backside reverse aerials, impressing the judges with scores of 9.43 and 9.33 to take a solid grip on the final by the half way mark with a total of 18.76.
That left Eleogram needing a perfect ride for the win, as Florence continued to put on a jaw-dropping display of new-school innovative surfing. The challenge proved too great for the affable Eleogram, who had to be content with making an ASP Prime final for the first time in his career.
“I was so stoked about being in the final with a good friend, a guy I grew up surfing with as a young kid,” said Florence after he had been chaired up the staircase from the beach by his mates. “Some great waves came through early in the heat and I felt loose and relaxed and hit a few airs. The wind here is just like home and it was pushing into the left for a change and gave me a chance to get up on a couple.” But the cool Florence did admit to some jitters midway into the final. “I started to get nervous with about fifteen minutes left, just thinking this could turn around on me, you just never know.”
The win for Florence continues a hot start to 2012, his rookie year on the ASP World Tour, as he won the season starting ASP 5 star Volcom Pipe Pro at his home beach in Hawaii, before going through to the last 16 at the opening World Tour event at Snapper Rocks on the Gold Coast earlier this month. It marks a rare streak of form for the Hawaiian prodigy who first rose to prominence on the tour when he became the youngest ever surfer to clinch the coveted Vans Triple Crown at his home breaks in Hawaii at the end of 2011, clinching his place on the ASP World Tour for 2012.
Florence’s performance at this event will go down as one of the most dominant in the event’s history. Florence has collected five of the top ten single wave scores and the top thee two-wave heat totals thanks to his full repertoire. Florence defeated fellow Hawaiian Olamana Eleogram (HAW) in the Final by scoring two 9-point-rides, for mixing huge power gouges with technical aerials.
“I’ve been having a lot of fun this week,” Florence said. “The waves are are a lot like at home, even the wind when it’s good for airs is a lot like Hawaii. The waves have been fun in all of my heats. I’m so stoked to win. This gives me a lot of confidence going into Bells because I hear the waves are similar. I was so stoked to make the Final with Ola (Eleogram) at Margaret River.”
Mark Occhilupo (AUS), 1999 ASP World Champion, although retired from full-time competition decided to come to Margaret River and attempt to win the event for his third time. Occhilupo’s affinity for Margaret River was clear from day one, with surf fans being treated to watching his iconic style and flair as he progressed through the contest. His dream run ended in the last minute of his Semifinal today, when Olamana Eleogram (HAW) posted a 6.50 and took the lead, sending Occhilupo home with an equal 3rd place finish.
“I have had the best time this week,” Occhilupo said. “In that Semifinal I had a pretty bad heat. A wave came at the end that I could have gotten the score on, but I fell. I’m going to go away and keep thinking about that. I’m still beating myself up about it. By the time I get home it will have sunken in and I will be stoked with third. That competitive nature doesn’t ever leave you.”
Courtney Conlogue Goes Back-To-Back At The Telstra Drug Aware Pro Margaret River
Courtney Conlogue (USA), reigning Telstra Drug Aware Pro event champion, today won the event for the second year in a row. Conlogue’s powerful backhand attack is perfectly suited to these powerful South West WA waves. The young Californian dominated the Final against Hawaiian Malia Manuel (HAW), posting two scores in the 8-point-range (out of a possible 10), to etch her name on the winners list once again.
“I was trying not to think about going back-to-back too much because I didn’t want to put pressure on myself,” Conlogue said. “I’m stoked to have gotten two in a row. This place taught me a lot last year and the years before. The first time I came here I lost in the second round and it was quite an embarrassing heat. Going from that to what I’ve done now feels great, and each year I come back I feel like I get to know the waves better and better. Now I’m looking forward to going to Bells because this place is great training for down there.”
TELSTRA DRUG AWARE PRO MEN’S SEMIFINAL RESULTS: John John Florence (HAW) 18.76 def. Olamana Eleogram (HAW) 15.43
TELSTRA DRUG AWARE PRO MEN’S SEMIFINAL RESULTS: SF 1: Olamana Eleogram (HAW) 11.67 def. Mark Occhilupo (AUS) 9.84 SF 2: John John Florence (HAW) 19.13 def. Kai Otton (AUS) 14.37
TELSTRA DRUG AWARE PRO MEN’S QUARTERFINALS RESULTS: QF 1: Olamana Eleogram (HAW) 14.83 def. Josh Kerr (AUS) 2.34 QF 2: Mark Occhilupo (AUS) 17.63 def. Tom Whitaker (AUS) 16.03 QF 3: John John Florence (HAW) 15.44 def. Nic Muscroft (AUS) 13.10 QF 4: Kai Otton (AUS) 16.90 def. CJ Hobgood (USA) 13.93TELSTRA DRUG AWARE PRO WOMEN’S SEMIFINAL RESULTS: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 16.23 def. Malia Manuel (HAW) 11.03
TELSTRA DRUG AWARE PRO WOMEN’S SEMIFINAL RESULTS: SF 1: Malia Manuel (HAW) 15.90 def Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 13.40 SF 2: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 15.67 def. Rebecca Woods (AUS) 11.00
TELSTRA DRUG AWARE PRO WOMEN’S QUARTERFINALS RESULTS: QF 1: Malia Manuel (HAW) 12.00 def. Pauline Ado (FRA) 9.83 QF 2: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 12.17 def. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 11.17 QF 3: Rebecca Woods (AUS) 10.33 def. Laura Enever (AUS) 9.06 QF 4: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 15.26 def. Kirby Wright (AUS) 12.90
THE EVENT IS PROUDLY SUPPORTED BY Telstra, Drug Aware, Eventscorp, Healthway Department of Sport & Recreation, Health Insurance Fund of Australia, Mambo, Air Asia, Surfing Western Australia, Association of Surfing Professionals, Lexus of Perth, MargaretRiver.com, Shire of Augusta Margaret River, Nine, WIN, Tracks, CINEads, Movie Masters, The Wire Magazine, South West Times Magazine, 92.9