- 27 May 2014 | Surfing
Malia Manuel kicked off the 2014 Fiji Women's Pro with the best result of the entire day of competition, at the world-class waves of Cloudbreak.
Seven years after, the girls are back in town. Rounds 1 and 2 were run in speedy three-to-five foot (1-1.5 meter) surf. Wipeouts were out there blended with near-perfect rides.
Manuel was the first surfer of the event to register a score in the excellent range for a series of fast and tight, technical turns, against Bianca Buitendag and Nikki Van Dijk.
The heat ended on a sour note as Van Dijk had to leave the line-up and travel back to Tavarua for medical attention after a vicious wipeout that left her bruised and bleeding.
"Conditions are tricky, but we're so fortunate to have an event here at a world-class wave like Cloudbreak. It's a completely new type of wave for the girls on Tour and it makes things very exciting," says Malia Manuel.
Carissa Moore, Alessa Quizon, and event wildcard Ella Williams didn't ride waves for the first 10 minutes, so the Head Judge called for a restart.
It wasn't until the halfway point that they fell into a groove and posted some solid scores. True to form, Moore was able to use her powerful backhand attack to post the bigger scores and notch a win over the two goofy-footers.
"When I was 13 or 14 I was in the trials the last time they had a women's event here. It was beautiful and I was terrified and it's so good to be back. It was nerve racking out there in that heat, there's so much to absorb, there's a lot of waves and it's hard to know which one to go for," explains Moore.
Fiji Women's Pro Round 3 Match-ups:
Heat 1: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Bianca Buitendag (ZAF), Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW)
Heat 2: Carissa Moore (HAW), Dimity Stoyle (AUS), Alessa Quizon (HAW)
Heat 3: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Laura Enever (AUS), Paige Hareb (NZL)
Heat 4: Tyler Wright (AUS), Malia Manuel (HAW), Johanne Defay (FRA)