South African Bianca Buitendag cut a swathe through the world’s best female surfers as she advanced to the Final of the Oi Rio Pro before finishing runner-up to Courtney Conlogue (USA) in one metre waves at Barra da Tijuca in Rio de Janeiro today (Sunday).
Felipe Toledo (BRA) sent the partisan home fans into raptures of delight by convincingly defeating veteran Bede Durbidge (AUS) to capture the men’s title at the fourth stop on the 2015 Samsung Galaxy WSL Championship Tour (CT).
After beating Alessa Quizon (HAW), Lakey Peterson (USA) and Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) earlier in the event, Buitendag, 19, from Victoria Bay came into the final day facing a quarter-final rematch with Peterson. She dispatched the American to equal her event best result in Rio – third place in her Rookie season in 2013.
Buitendag then went on to outpoint two-time World Champion Carissa Moore (HAW) in their Semifinal clash, leaving the current Jeep rankings leader requiring an excellent 8.03 for the heat victory, and qualifying for the second Final of her career.
Conlogue got off to a fast start in the 35 minute finale, keeping the South African in a combination situation and needing to replace both her counting scores until just four minutes remained, and eventually triumphed by 14.50 to 11.10.
“I’m blown away by the passion that the Brazilians have,” said Buitendag. “It’s such a privilege to be here and I just want to say thank you to everyone that came down. I’m not that familiar with going left so it’s been a big surprise for me how far I’ve come in this event. I’m so grateful to be here and be able to do what I love every day.”
The 8 000 points she earned moved Buitendag up two spots to No. 9 on the Jeep Leaderboard that is still dominated by Moore. Conlogue’s second successive victory saw her cement second spot on the rankings while Tyler Wright (AUS) is a distant third.
“The passion of the Brazilians is unbelievable,” said Conlogue after completing her third career victory. “They’ve been screaming and it really makes me want to do well. I haven’t ever had two wins in a season so it’s a great start. I’m feeling good and I want to keep this momentum going into Fiji. I can’t wait for that wave, I haven’t surfed it since I was 11 and it’s going to be so fun.”
Filipe Toledo (BRA) claimed the second CT victory of his career today following his inaugural win at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast at the start of this season. The 20 year-old from Ubatuba and continued his exceptional run of form with a win at the WSL Qualifying Series 10,000 event in Lower Trestles earlier this month.
Previously at third place on the rankings, the result sees Toledo move up to second place on the Jeep Leaderboard behind Adriano de Souza (BRA). The blistering aerial manoeuvres of the young Brazilian in each Round of the competition kept the fans enthralled and Toledo was on top form throughout the event, winning each of his heats en route to Final with consistently high heat totals.
“I don’t know what to say,” said Toledo. “The first thing I did was cry because look at the crowd, I’ve never seen anything like that before. It’s been such a blessed week and I have such amazing friends and family. I need to be grateful for everything I have and everything God has done in my life.”
Tour veteran Bede Durbidge (AUS) has been part of the Top 34 since 2005. The result today is his best since 2010, where he made a Final at the Rip Curl Search event in Puerto Rico, and moves him up one place to 10th on the Jeep Leaderboard. Durbidge previously defeated Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Josh Kerr (AUS) and Keanu Asing (HAW) before facing Toledo in the Final.
“It’s amazing this crowd and I knew it would be a tough heat here against Filipe (Toledo),” said Durbidge. “I knew he’d take it to me straight away and he did with that 10. I just had fun at the end and enjoyed this crowd and Rio. Filipe is only 20 and he’s going to be hard to stop but it feels good to be back on the podium so I’m stoked. This definitely gives me more confidence.”
South African Jordy Smith, winner of the 2013 Rio event, was eliminated by Rookie Ricardo Christie (NZL) in Round 2 this year. Smith’s best result in 2015 has been fifth place at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach at Easter. His 25th place finish in Rio sees him drop five places to 14th in the rankings
Highlights from the Oi Rio Pro are available at WorldSurfLeague.com
The next stop on the 2015 Samsung Galaxy WSL Championship Tour will be the Fiji Pro from May 31 – June 19, 2015.
Oi Rio Men’s Pro Final Results:
1- Filipe Toledo (BRA) 19.87
2 – Bede Durbidge (AUS) 14.70
Oi Rio Men’s Pro Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Filipe Toledo (BRA) 15.83 def. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 6.34
SF 2: Bede Durbidge (AUS) 14.63 def. Matt Wilkinson (AUS) 8.23
Oi Rio Women’s Pro Final Results:
1- Courtney Conlogue (USA) 14.50
2 – Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 11.10
Oi Rio Women’s Pro Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 13.50 def. Carissa Moore (HAW) 10.84
SF 2: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 13.16 def. Tyler Wright (AUS) 11.17
Oi Rio Women’s Pro Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 13.27 def. Lakey Peterson (USA) 10.16
QF 2: Carissa Moore (HAW) 14.60 def. Keely Andrew (AUS) 10.06
QF 3: Tyler Wright (AUS) 11.67 def. Coco Ho (HAW) 11.50
QF 4: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 11.50 def. Malia Manuel (HAW) 10.20
World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT) Rankings (After Rio de Janeiro)
1 Adriano De Souza (BRA) 26250 points
2 Filipe Toledo (BRA) 25700
3 Mick Fanning (AUS) 20950
4 Josh Kerr (AUS) 17450
5 Nat Young (USA) 16500
14 Jordy Smith (ZAF) 11450
World Surf League (WSL) Women’s Championship Tour (CT) Rankings (After Rio de Janeiro)
1 Carissa Moore (HAW) 34500 points
2 Courtney Conlogue (USA) 31700
3 Tyler Wright (AUS) 23400
4 Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 21050
5 Lakey Peterson (USA) 20800
9 Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 18250
About the World Surf League
The World Surf League (WSL) organizes the annual tour of professional surf competitions and broadcasts each event live at WorldSurfLeague.com where you can experience the athleticism, drama and adventure of competitive surfing — anywhere and anytime it’s on. The WSL sanctions and operates the following tours: the Junior Tour, Longboard Tour, the Qualifying Series (QS), the Big Wave Tour and the crown jewel of the sport, the WSL Championship Tour (CT) which determines the sport’s undisputed world champions. The organization is headquartered in Santa Monica, California with Commercial Offices in New York. The offices are supported by regional centers in Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, Hawaii, North America and South America.
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