Rookie Carissa Moore wins TSB Bank Women's Surf Festival
Moore, 17, wasted little time, posting a 9.33 out of a possible 10 on her opening wave. She was quick to back it up, lighting up a running lefthander to score an even higher 9.83, giving the Hawaiian the highest heat total of the event, a 19.16 out of a possible 20, as well as the victory.
"The conditions definitely turned on for us this afternoon and I knew I couldn’t leave Sally a lot of room to maneuver," Moore said. "She has been getting the highest scores every round and she’s so dangerous. I just felt like I was building momentum throughout the event and fortunately peaked in the final."
The win vaults Moore from ninth to sixth in the rankings and establishes her as a legitimate threat to win the 2010 ASP Women’s World Tour title.
Despite Moore’s domineering start, Fitzgibbons, from Australia, fought back admirably by scoring 7.50 and 8.67, but it would not be enough to overtake Moore.
The second-place finish matches Fitzgibbons’ career best, and moves her from fifth to second on the tour rankings.
"It matches my best result and I’m sure I’ll be happy with it down the road, but to come so close and not win still stings right now," Fitzgibbons said. "I feel like I am surfing well and surfing smart and it will happen eventually. To be second on the rankings now is great for me and the goal is to reign in Steph [Gilmore] over the next couple events."
In a show of generosity, Moore chose to donate her $15,000 first-prize winnings to the local Waitara Bar Boardriders Club.
"I fell in love with New Zealand and I’m fortunate enough to have great support from my family and my sponsors and that puts me in a position to do things like this," Moore said.
The next stop on the ASP Women’s World Tour will be the Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic, Wednesday through April 26 at Dee Why Point in Sydney, Australia.
TSB Bank Women's Surf Festival final results:
1 – Carissa Moore (HAW) 19.16
2 – Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 16.17
Semifinal 1: Carissa Moore (HAW) 14.56 def. Sarah Mason (NZL) 11.33
Semifinal 2: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 15.93 def. Chelsea Hedges (AUS) 15.17
Quarterfinal 1: Carissa Moore (HAW) 14.17 def. Melanie Bartels (HAW) 8.33
Quarterfinal 2: Sarah Mason (NZL) 16.23 def. Paige Hareb (NZL) 11.83
Quarterfinal 3: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 18.33 def. Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 11.00
Quarterfinal 4: Chelsea Hedges (AUS) 14.67 def. Silvana Lima (BRA) 13.30
Current ASP Women's World Tour Top 5:
1. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 2,760 points
2. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 2,280 points
3. Chelsea Hedges (AUS) 2,268 points
4. Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 2,076 points
4. Melanie Bartels (HAW) 2,076 points
-- Kelly Burgess
Photo: Carissa Moore on her way to victory in the TSB Bank Women’s Surf Festival. Credit: © Scholtz / ASP
To follow this blog on Twitter, please visit @latimesoutposts