Buitendag Opens Margaret River Pro in Style

by | Mar 16, 2013

The local Australian Felicity Palmateer who upset the reigning ASP Women’s World Champion Stephanie Gilmore in Heat 3 of the First Round of the ASP WWC’s second stop, the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro, in Western Australia, earlier today. Tour rookie and SA star Bianca Buitendag carried over her good form from the tour’s opening Roxy Pro Gold Coast, where she made it to the last eight in her debut appearance. Photo: ASP/Robertson

ASP Women’s World Championship Tour’s 2013 rookie Bianca Buitendag carried through her good form at the Roxy Pro when her opening round Heat 4 score of 14.40 was good enough to see her through to Round 2 of the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro in Western Australia earlier today.

Buitendag, who surfed her way to the last eight at her debut appearance on the WWC tour at the Gold Coast a week ago, placed second behind a storming Sally Fitzgibbons, who set an opening round high bar of 18.63 points to top scores on day 1.

The main break at Margaret River provided excellent conditions for the opening day, with solid 6 to 8 foot (2.5 meter) sets rolling in for the duration of the day, offering up big clean walls for the surfers to lay down powerful turns and carves.

Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) came exploding out of the gates in Round 1 of the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro today, posting two excellent 9-point-rides. Fitzgibbons unleashed multiple powerful turns, right in the pocket of some solid waves and looked right at home in the pumping surf today.

“The last few events have been in smaller waves so I think it’s important to come here early to get used to the line-up and waves,” Fitzgibbons said.

“I’ve been free surfing out there for a few days so I feel like I’ve got the positioning figured out. Towards the end of the heat there was a couple of big sets and it felt great to score a couple of 9s and do some big turns. It felt good, I’m stoked to be back here in Margaret River.”

Felicity Palmateer (AUS), who won the trials in solid surf yesterday, today caused a massive upset when she defeated reigning 5-time ASP Women’s World Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) in Round 1.

Palmateer lives in Perth and put her intimate local knowledge of the waves here in South West WA to good use, picking off some of epic left-handers to post some solid scores to progress to Round 3 and send Gilmore into Round 2.

“I’ve been a huge fan of Steph’s surfing for a long time,” Palmateer said. “I had a bit of a shaky start and I didn’t have a lot of confidence and then I got that great left, and then I was ready to go.

“Yesterday the surf was about three times bigger than today and I got a couple of floggings, so I felt really confident out there today. It’s pretty much my home break and I really feel the support from everyone around here.”

Tyler Wright (AUS) who took out last week’s season opening ASP Women’s WCT event on the Gold Coast advanced through her opening heat at the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro today, despite suffering from a head cold and hurting her neck when she wiped-out early in the heat.

“I’m not doing too good at the moment,” Wright said. “I got absolutely smoked on my first wave and I hurt my neck. Luckily I won the heat so I can skip Round 2 and rest for a day or two because I’ve got a head cold too. It really sucks, but yeah I’m happy to be at this event.”

The event will be webcast LIVE via at the www.margaretriverpro.com website


Women’s Round 1 Results at the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro, in Australia, on Saturday, 16 March, 2013:
Heat 1: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 13.34, Coco Ho (HAW) 6.60, Paige Hareb (NZL) 3.24
Heat 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) 14.94, Malia Manuel (HAW) 12.04, Sage Erickson (USA) 6.17
Heat 3: Felicity Palmateer (AUS) 16.06, Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 14.93, Pauline Ado (FRA)
Heat 4: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 18.63, Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 14.40, Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 10.23
Heat 5: Tyler Wright (AUS) 17.33, Rebecca Woods (AUS) 13.37, Silvana Lima (BRA) 2.83
Heat 6: Laura Enever (AUS) 12.34, Lakey Peterson (USA) 12.00, Alana Blanchard (HAW) 7.70


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