Chelsea Williams (AUS) has posted the event’s highest two wave scores. Pic ASP/Robertson
WANNING, Hainan Island/China (Thursday, November 22, 2012) – The SWATCH Girls Pro China 2012 hosted by Wanning completed Round 3, culling the field down to just 12 surfers remaining in contention for the 2012 ASP Women’s World Title. After yesterday’s proceedings were dominated by the top seeds, today saw three of the top five rated surfers lose as the small surf forced the competitors work for their heat wins.
Wen Ling Chou (TPE) made history today by being the first Chinese Taipei surfer to win a heat at an ASP World Championship event. Chou has been honing her skills at competitions in Australia and around the globe and today her hard work paid off, defeating Brazilian Fernanda Daichtman (BRA) in Round 2. Chou went on to lose to Frenchwoman Justine Dupont (FRA) in Round 3.
“I was ready for my heat yesterday and then the competition was called off and I was nervous all night,” Chou said. “I was out there with Fernanda (Daichtman), she is an amazing surfer and I was just lucky to get a couple of good waves. The 7.25 I scored is the highest I have ever gotten in competition, I am so stoked.”
Dupont, who competes in both longboard and shortboard events, advanced to Round 4 after utilising superior wave selection and classic style in Round 3 today. She will face Yuko Shimajiri (JPN) and Karina Rozunko (USA) in Round 4 when competition resumes.
“The conditions aren’t great, but it’s fantastic to be here,” Dupont said. “We had no waves for 10 minutes, but we were having fun swimming around. Then when the waves came I was lucky to get some good scores.”
Georgia Young (AUS) won her all-Australian encounter against Nava Young (AUS) in Round 2. While both surfers are from the same country and share the same last name they’re not related. The heat slow, with not many waves coming through, Georgia capitalised by catching the best waves and using her backhand smooth style to take the win.
“Nava (Young) and I seem to draw each other in every competition,” Georgia said. “It’s always a good battle and it’s pretty even. It’s fun to surf against one of your friends, but it sucks that one of us has to get knocked out. I got lucky this time. This is an amazing event, Swatch really look after us girls.”
Chelsea Williams (AUS) posted the highest single wave score of the event thus far, an 8.25 (out of a possible 10). Last year’s SWATCH Girls Pro China champion is once again showing that she’s the one to beat, carving, stepping and hanging 10 better than the rest.
“I honestly don’t know how I keep getting the big scores,” Williams said. “I did all that I could on that wave and I guess in the context of the day with small surf it must have been enough for a big score. It gives me confidence and I feel like I know the wave pretty well.”
Karina Rozunko (USA) caused the upset of the event when she eliminated 2011 ASP Women’s World Longboard Champion Lindsay Steinriede (USA) in Round 3. Rozunko, the 16-year-old Californian bested her seasoned opponent with her last wave earning the heat’s highest tally.
“I wasn’t expecting that!” Rozunko said. “It feels amazing! I was just going out there to try my best and it worked in my favour. I’ve never competed against her (Lindsay Steinriede) before, but I’ve looked up to her for a long time. This is my first ASP World Championship event so it’s great to have made it this far.”
Steinriede was graceful in defeat, passing on praise to her young vanquisher and reflecting on memories of winning the ASP Women’s World Longboard Title.
“I have respect for Karina (Rozunko) and her surfing,” Steinriede said. “It’s almost surreal because I’ve been training and practising, but when the waves are this small it’s hard to put that to use. Life will go on. I’ve got a few more days here in China so I’m just going to try and enjoy it.”
Adding to the day’s drama was event poster girl Kassia Meador’s (USA) shock elimination at the hands of Atalanta Nascimento (BRA) when Meador was penalised with an interference on her last wave.