It was an exciting day at Day Two of the Commonwealth Beachley Classic as B4BC stars Courtney Conlogue and Malia Manuel put on a spectacular show and upset their opponents in an impressive battle until the end.
Waves consistently broke 6-7 feet with occasional sets that hit the double overhead mark in the morning heats but the day presented non-stop challenging wave conditions that relentlessly broke under sunny skies and a mugginess that lingered around from the rain. For a second year, the competition was blessed by the big waves that make Dee Why Point a premiere spot to hold competition.
Lackluster conditions caused for some disappointments but they also gave opportunity to the younger ASP surfers such as Malia and Courtney to show that their skills didn’t lack experience in comparison to their fellow veteran opponents.
Friend of B4BC Coco Ho also prevailed in Heat Three against Carissa Moore and Lakey Peterson. The surf awoke with non-stop wave after wave for the 30-minute non-elimination encounter. Although Carissa sat in first position for the majority of the heat, both Coco and Lakey quickly snagged first and second positions in a matter of four waves, with only 0.50 points separating each position. An elated Ho skipped Round Four and advanced directly into tomorrow’s Quarterfinals.
In Heat Two of Round Three, Malia demonstrated prime athleticism in the heavy conditions, as she went against Stephanie Gilmore and Sofia Mulanovich where waves consistently opened up for short-lived barrels that resulted in close outs each time. Though everyone fought hard, it was our ASP rookie who finished on top with huge sprays and roundhouse cutbacks to impress the judges.
The last heat of the day proved to be an exciting face-off between our Courtney and Carissa. Courtney defeated Sally Fitzgibbons in Heat Four and came back to eliminate Carissa from the rest of the competition in the last heat of the day. Wave selection was limited to huge air drops as each competitor demonstrated strength and control to stay on their boards as they free fell to the open face of the wave. A question of interference on Carissa came under six minutes when she paddled for a wave that Courtney had priority on but after judges deliberated for several minutes, it was determined that the wave had no markability and was not called.
“It was really tricky out there to read the waves because there is so much water by the point, but I’m stoked to win and go onto tomorrow,” said Conlogue. “Carissa has been ahead of me on the numbers since we got on tour and it’s nice to finally beat her…I’m super excited I won that heat.”
Picture: (L-R) Malia Manuel, Courtney Conlogue w/ Layne Beachley, Dee Why Surf Break