Praia do Guincho, Portugal -- The race for the 2013 ASP Women's World Championship is still very much alive after the second day of competition at the EDP Cascais Girls Pro. Both Carissa Moore and Tyler Wright made it to the quarterfinals, but they definitely didn't take the easy route. There was a moment where it seemed possible that both contenders could walk away with ninth-place finishes. But they battled through tense fourth-round heats, taking the race right down to the wire.
The conditions were good -- with waves ranging from three to five feet and clean -- but did detiorate as the day went on. In Round 3, Sage Erickson took charge and knocked Steph Gilmore and Courtney Conlogue to the elimination round with the day's highest total, a 17.05. Rookie Bianca Buitendag sent Moore and Pauline Ado on the same road, and then Coco Ho rallied to beat Wright (albeit temporarily).
"It's not even me in the title race, but I felt for Carissa when I was paddling out," Ho said. "She's a great friend and I'm the surfer I am today because of her. I want her to win the title, for sure, and I'm glad I could do something [to help]. It's definitely not an easy task, Tyler's surfing so well, so I'm really excited to see what happens in Round 4."
In Round 4, Wright faced Lakey Peterson in high-tide waves that were tricky, making it hard to find scoring opportunities. There were only eight waves caught in the entire heat, and 15 minutes in, Peterson was leading. Her highest score at that point was a 2.50. Things finally picked up and Wright scraped together a 12.25 to avoid elimination and remain in the title race.
"Lakey is a phenomenal surfer and I respect her so much," Wright said. "That was a big heat for me and I'm glad I got through."
Moore came up against a pretty relaxed (and dangerous) Steph Gilmore in Round 4. While Gilmore fought hard, Moore held her lead, though she only ended up winning by 0.45.
"That heat was definitely really critical," Moore said. "If I lost that heat, I would have ended up with ninth-place points, and Tyler still going. It feels really good to move on."
By the looks of things, a world champion will be crowned tomorrow in what has been one of the closest women's world title races in history.
EDP CASCAIS GIRLS PRO QUARTERFINAL MATCH-UPS
QF 1: Sage Erickson (USA) vs. Courtney Conlogue (USA)
QF 2: Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) vs. Carissa Moore (HAW)
QF 3: Coco Ho (HAW) vs. Paige Hareb (NZL)
QF 4: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) vs. Tyler Wright (AUS)
EDP CASCAIS GIRLS PRO ROUND 4 RESULTS
Heat 1: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 13.50 def. Pauline Ado (FRA) 10.90
Heat 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) 13.80 def. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 13.35
Heat 3: Paige Hareb (NZL) 13.25 def. Silvana Lima (BRA) 10.00
Heat 4: Tyler Wright (AUS) 12.25 def. Lakey Peterson (USA) 8.10
EDP CASCAIS GIRLS PRO ROUND 3 RESULTS
Heat 1: Sage Erickson (AUS) 17.05, Courtney Conlogue (USA) 15.40, Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 13.85
Heat 2: Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 15.25, Carissa Moore (HAW) 10.75, Pauline Ado (FRA) 7.75
Heat 3: Coco Ho (HAW) 14.50, Paige Hareb (NZL) 13.55, Tyler Wright (AUS) 12.00
Heat 4: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 14.75, Lakey Peterson (USA) 14.10, Silvana Lima (BRA) 8.50
EDP CASCAIS GIRLS PRO ROUND 2 RESULTS
Heat 1: Silvana Lima (BRA) 13.50 def. Alana Blanchard (HAW) 9.76
Heat 2: Sage Erickson (USA) 13.17 def. Laura Enever (AUS) 9.33
Heat 3: Coco Ho (HAW) 10.17 def. Teresa Bonvalot (PRT) 8.64
Heat 4: Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 15.26 def. Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 12.07
Heat 5: Pauline Ado (FRA) 10.70 def. Rebecca Woods (AUS) 10.16
Heat 6: Paige Hareb (NZL) 13.10 def. Malia Manuel (HAW) 11.37