B4BC’s Courtney Conlogue Wins 2012 Commonwealth Beachley Classic
After three days of tough competition, B4BC’s Team Rider Courtney Conlogue proved her place on top in her first WCT victory. Not far behind was B4BC’s Malia Manuel who met Courtney in the finals today at the Commonwealth Beachley Classic, which is nothing to snuff at.
Malia, who was ranked No. 10 on the ASP at the start of the event, defeated No. 1 ranked Stephanie Gilmore in the Quarterfinals and Tyler Wright in the Semis. Her rookie year has been quite impressive, as she is now sixth on the ASP World Championship Tour and is now the highest ranked 2012 rookie. In 2011, she was only the second woman to grace the cover of TransWorld Surf magazine in its 10 years of print (the first was Stephanie Gilmore in 2010).
“Of course the best part of the event was making it to the finals and being a part of our community here,” said Malia. “I looked up to Layne all my life and to see her accomplish so much as a surfer, still be behind women’s surfing and be a strong voice for us means a lot.”
With waves significantly smaller than the last two days, in addition to talent, a little luck was needed as well. The strength, sprays, ability to go completely vertical on the wave and the overall skill of both finalists were the topics of conversation around the beach. Those who may not be familiar with surfing soon became familiar with the names, Courtney Conlogue and Malia Manuel.
Courtney was able to select the best waves in all of her heats, with one wave that earned her a 9.0 in the Semifinals. In the final, her patience in wave selection allowed her to boast multiple turns with power, including a 360 spin that didn’t go unnoticed by fans. As she came up from her final, Steph and close pal Sally Fitzgibbons greeted the champ on their shoulders and carried her all the way to the stage.
“I’m speechless right now!” she said. “It’s been two years on the ASP Women’s World Championship Tour where I kept losing in the Quarterfinals. Then today after winning my Quarterfinal I just tried to go and win the thing…I’m really stoked to have won this event and it meant a lot to me to have Steph and Sally chair me up the beach.”
We are so proud of our girls for making it to their first WCT final. Keep it up – we are cheering you on all the way!