3 Reasons why you should watch the Roxy Pro, France
Words by Jake Howard It could be the good surf the girls have gotten all year. Or maybe it’s that the level of surfing is at an all-time high. Or maybe it’s just that pro surfing is in really desperate need of some drama. Whatever it is, with two events to go the women’s world […]
Words by Jake Howard
It could be the good surf the girls have gotten all year. Or maybe it’s that the level of surfing is at an all-time high. Or maybe it’s just that pro surfing is in really desperate need of some drama. Whatever it is, with two events to go the women’s world title race is a hell of a lot more interesting than the men’s. There’s too much mutual respect between Mick and Adriano to expect any real fireworks. But the ladies, oh, the ladies!
After taking back the number one position in Portugal, Courtney Conlogue’s coming into the homestretch hot. There’s some serious fire in her belly. On the other hand, Carissa Moore is trying to play the role of seasoned vet without getting flustered. She already has a pair of titles. She’s more of the people’s champ. She’s the one touring Venice with her boyfriend between events. If the WSL is in dire need of a rivalry this may be the best thing going. The girls haven’t reached Andy vs. Kelly proportions yet, but it’s getting there. Here’s three things that have us intrigued, rolling into the Roxy Pro, France:
Courts points it in Cascais. She’d go onto win the event. Photo: WSL/Damien Poullenot
1. Right now it’s too close to call.
Technically, Courtney Conlogue is fronting the WSL ratings by 2,300 points, but after accounting for the two throwaway events afforded each surfer, Carissa Moore actually holds the lead by one heat. So after seven months of surfing it’s virtually dead even. The WSL scenario notes that “if Conlogue wins the event in France and World No. 2 Carissa Moore is eliminated by Round 4, Conlogue will clinch her first World Title.” They haven’t released what Carissa needs to do to clinch, but she already has two ninth-place finishes this season, meaning she has to make the quarters, semis or final if she wants to push the race to Maui. Courtney may be in the driver’s seat, but not by much. It’s make or break time for both ladies.
Letting go of the yellow jersey can’t ever be a good feeling. Will Riss steal it back after France? Photo: WSL/Thomas Lodin
2. There’s no shortage of spoilers.
Carissa’s side of the draw is decidedly more dangerous. For one, she has to surf against Steph Gilmore in Round 1. True, Steph hasn’t surfed a heat since she broke her leg at Margaret River in April, but… it’s Steph. Our guess is she comes back hungry. And then there’s Sally Fitzgibbons, who needs a first and second in the next two events to win her first title – and she’s never been short on competitive vim. But perhaps the scariest draw for Carissa could be Tyler Wright. She won in France last year, and after not making much noise this season she could be due for a big result. Meanwhile, on Courtney’s side of the draw her biggest threat is probably Lakey Peterson. The Californians went one and two in Portugal with Courtney taking the win. Carissa is going to have to keep her shield up and her sword out to get through every heat, while Court may be able waltz into the business end of the comp.
How to clock an excellent score in a struggling Cascais beachie. Photo: WSL/Thomas Lodin
3. History matters.
Carissa and Courtney grew up surfing against one another as NSSA national champions. They’ve been going at it for well over a decade. Carissa came up the wundergrom from Hawaii, winning everything she entered, even boy’s events – where she was able to beat a young John John Florence. On the other hand, Courtney’s narrative has always been that of the working competitor. Growing up in landlocked Santa Ana, just getting to the beach on a regular basis when she was a kid was tough. She’s a battler. She’s fought tooth and nail to get to where she’s at, and she’s felt the sting of injury as well. All of this has forged the two women to view one another as their competitive rival. Put it this way; they’re not out sharing a peak in Hossegor. Courtney would love to rip the title out of Carissa’s hands because that’s what she’s been trying to do her whole life.
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