Anticipation is mounting as the remaining 16 women prepare for their respective third round encounters in the US $62 000 (approx R430 000) event that annually crowns the undisputed world junior (U20) surfing champions.
Nikita Robb (East London) needs to overcome the challenge of Alize Arnaud (France), winner of her second round heat yesterday, in order to advance to the last eight. Now a full time professional surfer, Robb will be determined to improve on her excellent third place finish in this event last year.
Other exciting match-ups see top seed and 2004 world junior champ Adriano de Souza (BRA) is pitted against Tahitian Tamaroa McComb who is at 14 the youngest competitor in the event, having sensationally eliminated fourth seed Ola Eleogram (HAW) in round two.
Stephanie Gilmore, winner of two elite level women’s World Tour events as a wildcard, is undoubtedly the favourite for the women’s title and fellow Australian and 2006 runner-up Nicola Atherton will be hoping to go one better when competition resumes.
Round Three Women’s Heat Draw:
Heat 1: Nikita Robb (ZAF) vs Alize Arnaud (FRA)
Heat 2: Anali Gomez (PER) vs Nao Omura (JPN)
Heat 3: Airini Mason (NZK) vs Pauline Ado (FRA)
Heat 4: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) vs Sayuri Hashimoto (JPN)
Heat 5:Nicola Atherton (AUS) vs Kirstie Jones (AUS)
Heat 6: Marina Werneck (BRA) vs Lee Ann Curren (FRA)
Heat 7: Sage Ericson (USA) vs Coco Ho (HAW)
Heat 8: Erica Hosseini (USA) vs Leila Hurst (HAW)