Finalists Decided at ASP 6-Star Billabong Azores Islands Women’s Pro

SAO MIGUEL, Azores Islands - Finalists of the Billabong Azores Islands Women’s Pro presented by Nissan an Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) were decided with Courtney Conlogue (USA) to face up against Laura Enever (AUS). Despite competition kicking off early this morning with round three the incoming tide pushed in and after consulting with the finalists it was decided by event officials to postpone the final until the weekend.

All surfers competing at the Billabong Azores Islands Pro presented by Nissan are out to gain crucial points for their 2010 ASP world ranking while Europeans are searching to improve their points tally on the ASP European Open Series title race.

Courtney Conlogue (Santa Ana CA, USA) 18, made the final of the Billabong Azores Islands Women’s Pro presented by Nissan by ousting Claire Bevilacqua (AUS) who finished equal third. Tactically surfing the perfect heat Conlogue left no room for her opponent to even think about getting into the race. Fast on-the-rail surfing from the opening siren saw Conolgue gain the lead and then progressively build on her scores dropping average rides and ending up with a combined heat total of 15.20 out of a possible 20 the highest of the day.

“It is real tough out there today with these conditions but you just have to go out and surf your best and do what you can to get the scores and the result. I’m stoked to be in the final now and I think that anyone could have made the final today so you have to be on your toes and be consistent and hopefully you can drop the average scores.”

Currently in 9th position on the ASP Women’s World Star ranking Conlogue will be out to solidify her position in the top ten to ensure her place on ASP Women’s World Tour 2011.

“Laura (Enever) will be really tough to beat in these kinds of conditions because she knows what to do in this surf so it is going to be a challenge and I hope I have my game on. I don’t know why it is working out for me today but I am going out there to surf and to have fun and in these type of waves I think it shows who has gone out there to get into it and work and have fun and those who don’t.”

Laura Enever (North Narabeen, AUS) 18, current Women’s ASP World Junior Champion took out Sophia Mulanovich (PER) 2004 Women’s ASP World Champion to set up a finals clash against Conlogue in a tight low scoring semi-final as the tide pushed in to create a very tactical heat which in the end came down to wave selection. Matching Mulanovich with her opening ride Enever then waited and finally grinded out a 5.33 out of a possible 10 to take the lead which she retained until the final siren.

“I am really stoked to make the final which will be my first for the year on the WQS so I am very excited and hopefully we will get some waves for the final and we can put on a good show for all the people who are here on the island to watch the contest. There were some waves in my semi-final and I only just got my boards last night so it is good to be back on my own boards now and let’s hope for waves on the weekend.”

The scene is set for a great final as both girls are small wave specialists and Enever is not lacking in respect for her future opponent in the Billabong Azores Islands Women’s Pro presented by Nissan over the weekend.

“Courtney has impressed a lot lately and it is definitely going to be a tough final as she has been getting good scores through the whole day today and for me I have to look for the high scoring waves and try and put some pressure on her.”

Claire Bevilacqua (AUS) placed equal third and looked in hot form having scored a 9.23, the highest single wave score of the event, in her quarter-final bout. However coming up against a steam rolling Conloque in her semi-final Bevilacqua had to settle for her third position overall.

“I pretty much did what I didn’t want to do which was watching Courtney catching everything in sight and I think she caught about 5 waves before I had even paddled for one so she did everything right and I paddled in the wrong direction so I missed all the good waves so it was bad luck but I could have probably done a few things better.”

“I’m happy with the result and I get to take the rest of the week off and just enjoy this beautiful island and Courtney surfed so good that I don’t mind losing to her and am looking forward to the next contest.”

Sophia Mulanovich (PER) surfed well in her previous heats and looked at home in the conditions however came unstuck in the semis against Enever to finish equal third. Mulanovich explains how her heat went and how she feels about her surfing at the moment.

“There were not that many waves out there for me in that heat and it was kind of hard to surf but overall it is a good result so I am stoked,” began Mulanovich. “Laura (Enever) is a great little surfer and she is young and she is agile and she rips in these kinds on conditions. I felt good especially in my first heat where I think I got the best waves so at least I had one really good heat so I am happy with my surfing and the way I am going and looking forward to the next event in Pantin, Spain.”

First call tomorrow will be at 07:00 (local time) for the ASP PRIME Billabong Azores Islands Pro presented by Nissan with a possible start shortly after depending on conditions.

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Courtney Conlogue (USA) Vs Laura Enever (AUS)

Heat 1: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 15.20 Def. Claire Bevilacqua (AUS) 7.37
Heat 2: Laura Enever (AUS) 9.96 Def. Sophia Mulanovich (PER) 8.87

Heat 1: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 15.10 Def. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 14.07
Heat 2: Claire Bevilacqua (AUS) 12.23 Def. Pauline Ado (FRA) 10.17
Heat 3: Laura Enever (AUS) 13.26 Def. Nage Melamed (HAW) 7.17
Heat 4: Sophia Mulanovich (PER) 10.64 Def. Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 9.20

Heat 1: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 11.84, Pauline Ado (FRA) 11.40, Joanne Defay (FRA) 9.67
Heat 2: Claire Bevilacqua (AUS) 11.26, Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 10.56, Nicola Atherton (AUS) 9.40
Heat 3: Nage Melamed (HAW) 12.84, Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 9.90, Tyler Wright (AUS) 3.17
Heat 4: Sophia Mulanovich (PER) 14.83, Laura Enever (AUS) 11.07, Cannelle Bulard (REU) 8.50