Date: Wednesday, April 16, 2014
Schedule: Round 1
Conditions: Two-to-four foot (1 - metre) waves at Rincon.
Stop No. 3 of 10 on the Samsung Galaxy ASP Women's World Championship Tour would kickoff on the opening day of the waiting period, with the international elite taking on Bells Beach's iconic Australian amphitheater for Round 1 of the Rip Curl Women's Pro Bells Beach.
Heat 1: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 15.00, Malia Manuel (HAW) 14.03, Alessa Quizon (HAW) 8.50
Californian Courtney Conlogue, Kauaian Malia Manuel and Oahu's Alessa Quizon would take to the water first in the pulsing two-to-four foot waves at Rincon. After a slow start, Quizon would draw first blood, collecting a few small scores.
The heat would eventually host two crucial exchanges from Conlogue and Manuel. Both Manuel and Conlogue would connect an array of forehand turns on Rincon set waves, but Conlogue's 6.83 and 8.17 would see the Californian edge out Manuel's efforts of 6.33 and 7.70 for the win.
Heat 2: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 12.94, Coco Ho (HAW) 11.00, Alana Blanchard (HAW) 4.67
Action continued in Heat 2 of Round 1 as multiple Bell-ringer Sally Fitzgibbons took on Hawaiians Coco Ho and Alana Blanchard.
Ho stayed busy throughout the majority of the heat, throwing the fins and blending her moves with style.
Fitzgibbons, however, fought back in the dying moments of the heat to edge ahead and relegate Ho, as well as Blanchard, into the elimination Round 2.
Heat 3: Dimity Stoyle (AUS) 15.76, Carissa Moore (HAW) 15.54, Zoe Clarke (AUS) 5.57
ASP WCT Rookie Dimity Stoyle would come out of the gates firing in Round 1, blitzing Rincon with an aggressive combination of forehand turns, opening her campaign with an impressive 7.83. Stoyle would quickly notch another solid score on the board, stringing together a furious combo for a 7.93, placing reigning two-time ASP Women's World Champion Carissa Moore and wildcard Zoe Clarke on the back foot.
Moore would battle back with her polished forehand approach, slinging seamless carves and progressive tail-free turns across the point at Rincon, notching a 6.67 and 8.87 of her own. The Hawaiian was unable to build on her 8.87, however, confirming Stoyle's Round 1 win as the first major upset of 2014 Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach competition.
Heat 4: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 14.84, Tyler Wright (AUS) 10.94, Pauline Ado (FRA) 10.03
Heat 4 of Round 1 was an all Rip Curl affair as teammates Tyler Wright, Pauline Ado and Nikki Van Dijk took to the lineup.
In the somewhat inconsistent Rincon conditions, it was rookie Victorian Van Dijk who utilized her local knowledge and years of experience to select the best waves surf them to their potential.
Wright and Ado will have another opportunity in Round 2 while Van Dijk vaults directly to Round 3.
Heat 5: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 13.33, Johanne Defay (FRA) 11.33, Laura Enever 6.43
The rally of the rookies appeared to continue in Heat 5, with European standout Johanne Defay jumping out to an early lead over five-time ASP Women's World Champion Stephanie Gilmore and Laura Enever. Defay would attack Rincon on her forehand despite the slow afternoon conditions, notching a high of 6.83.
While Enever would struggle to find her feet, Gilmore would come back, unloading powerful turns and flowing through tricky flat-sections. The Australian icon would eventually change in a 7.00 and 6.83 to overtake Defay and advance directly through to Round 3.
Heat 6: Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 11.67, Lakey Peterson (USA) 9.43, Paige Hareb (NZL) 6.60
While conditions would slow down for the final heat of Round 1 competition, South African sophomore Bianca Buitendag would continue her successful 2014 campaign, making the most of the sluggish surf on offer with cautious wave selection.
Buitendag would need only an 11.67 heat total to take out the victory over Lakey Peterson and Paige Hareb, but the goofy-footer's seamless backhand attack would vault the South African directly to Round 3.