Waves in the 2-3 foot range were on offer on Saturday 28 July, the final day of the ASP 6-Star Movistar Women’s Pro at the left-hand point break of Lobitos, in Piura, Peru, where Bianca Buitendag, defeated Hawaii’s Alana Blanchard, by displaying a powerful frontside attack to clinch victory and win US$8,000 in prize money and 3,500 points, moving her up to 5th place on the ASP Women’s World Star rankings.
Six surfers on the ASP World Star ratings qualify for the top 17 ASP Women’s Tour.
Fellow South African surfer Sarah Baum (Athlone Park, KZN) finished third overall, after being eliminated in her semi-final clash against Blanchard. Baum pocketed US$1,900 and 2080 rating points.
Eighteen year-old Bianca Buitendag scored a heat total of 15.00 points (out of a possible 20) by scoring a 7.0 and an 8.0 on her two best rides over Blanchard’s total of 12.90 for her two highest scoring waves (7.9 and 5.0). Buitendag sealed victory by catching a long lefthander where she showcased an impressive variety of snaps, cutbacks and roundhouses.
“I feel really emotional and very happy with my victory,” said Roxy team surfer Bianca Buitendag. “I never thought that I would make it past the Quarter-Finals, let alone past Sofia (Mulanovich) in the Semi-Finals.
“So to make it to the Finals and win the contest is such an incredible feeling. Alana (Blanchard) surfed really well and the waves were excellent throughout the whole week. This is the most important moment for me in my early career.”
Buitendag’s path to the Finals at the Movistar Women’s Pro was filled with obstacles. She defeated Philippa Anderson (AUS), 20, in the Quarter-Finals and then proceeded to take out the event favourite, 2004 ASP Women’s Tour champion, Sofia Mulanovich (PER) in the semi-final.
“It was an excellent contest with good waves all week and I’d like to thank the Peruvian fans for all of the support they showed me,” said Mulanovich. “Unfortunately, I couldn’t make it to the Finals, but congratulations to Bianca (Buitendag) who surfed well during the whole contest and deserved to be in the Finals.
“I’m sure that this 3rd place finish gives me some good ASP Star ranking points and now it’s time to start thinking about the event next week at Huntington Beach,” said Mulanovich.
The Movistar Women’s Pro was event number 6 (out of 11) on the 2012 ASP Women’s World Series.
Movistar Women´S Pro Final Result: 1. Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 15.00: US$8,000, 3.500 points 2. Alana Blanchard (HAW) 12.90: US$4,000, 2.640 points Semi-Finals (3th place– US$ 1,900 & 2.080 points): Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 16.25 def. Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 15.50 Alana Blanchard (HAW) 13.95 def. Sarah Baum (ZAF) 11.40 Quarter-Finals (5th place– US$ 1,100 & 1.560 points): Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 16.15 def. Felicity Palmateer (AUS) 7.65 Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 12.60 def. Philippa Anderson (AUS) 8.76 Alana Blanchard (HAW) 14.80 def. Sage Erickson (USA) 13.60 Sarah Baum (ZAF) 12.50 def. Rebecca Woods (AUS) 10.90 ASP Women´S World Ranking – Top 10 (After Movistar Women´s Pro): 1. Courtney Conlogue (USA) – 9.730 points 2. Malia Manuel (HAW) – 8.280 3. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) – 7.000 4. Sage Erickson (USA) – 6.750 5. Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) – 6.663 6. Rebecca Woods (AUS) – 6.530 7. Pauline Ado (FRA) – 5.980 8. Paige Hareb (NZL) – 5.910 9. Sofia Mulanovich (PER) – 5.640 10. Alana Blanchard (HAW) – 5.400