The 2014 Drug Aware Margaret River Pro saw the same two finalists as the 2013 version and the same smiling Hawaiian atop the podium afterward. It's no coincidence that Tyler Wright and Carissa Moore were both back on the finals, the two stood out all week in the shifty, challenging conditions at Margaret River with their powerful brand of surfing. "It's a very challenging wave here at Margaret River and I'm constantly learning so I'm thankful to be able to win here again. I love this place and I love Western Australia. It feels good to be up there at the top of the rankings with Stephanie (Gilmore) and I can't wait to see how the rest of the events unfold," said Moore in a press release circulated by the ASP.
With her win, Carissa Moore moves into a tie in the race for the Women's ASP World Title with Stephanie Gilmore and Wright sits in third along with South African upstart Bianca Buitendag. The next event is the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach which will run from April 16-27 and was won last year by (you guessed it) Carissa Moore.
2014 Drug Aware Margaret River Pro results:
1) Carissa Moore (Haw)
2) Tyler Wright
3) Stephanie Gilmore, Sally Fitzgibbons
5) Courtney Conlogue, Malia Manuel, Laura Enever, Bianca Buitendag
Women's World Championship Tour rankings after event #2 the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro
1) Carissa Moore, Stephanie Gilmore (16,500)
3) Tyler Wright, Bianca Buitendag (13,200)
5) Sally Fitzgibbons (11,700)
6) Courtney Conlogue, Malia Manuel (10,400)
9) Laura Enever (6,950)
10) Dimity Stoyle (6,600)
ASP Press release: Drug Aware Margaret River Pro
Stop No. 2 on the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP World Championship Tour
MARGARET RIVER, Western Australia (Sunday, April 6, 2014): Reigning two-time ASP Women’s World Champion Carissa Moore (HAW) was victorious today, winning the Drug Aware Margaret River Women's Pro and defending her event title in an electric day of competition. Moore battled against 2013 ASP Women's Runner-Up Tyler Wright (AUS) in what proved to be a thrilling Final for the second stop on the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP Women's World Championship Tour.
The Final saw a rematch of 2013 and a seesaw battle at Main Break. It was Wright who struck first, logging a mid-range score but the Hawaiian answered back, belting a series of forehand turns for a 7.50, overtaking Wright for the lead. Following a lull, Wright delivered an explosive two-turn combination, netting an 8.00 to regain the lead at the halfway mark in the Heat. Moore took the lead once again following an additional exchange, netting a 6.87 to Wright’s 6.10 and immediately extended her lead with the highest score of the heat, an 8.23 for a powerful two-turn combination, securing her second consecutive Drug Aware Margaret River Pro victory.
"Tyler Wright looked awesome today and she's a tough competitor," said Carissa Moore. "I think any time any of us are in a Final we really want to win it and take it home. I was really excited and told myself 'come on, it's time'. It's a very challenging wave here at Margaret River and I'm constantly learning so I'm thankful to be able to win here again. I love this place and I love Western Australia. It feels good to be up there at the top of the rankings with Stephanie (Gilmore) and I can't wait to see how the rest of the events unfold."
"I'm actually pretty happy with how that all went. I was pleased with how I surfed and how I ran everything. There was one wave that I made a mistake on and I think it could have gone either way if I finished it," said Tyler Wright. “Carissa just nailed it, she's so strong and she's the coolest human."
Five-time ASP Women's World Champion Stephanie Gilmore was eliminated in her Semifinal by Moore. The pair have previously matched up 14 times in WCT history with the Australian taking eight wins to Moore's six. But it was Moore who was victorious today, belting a 7.50 and 8.33 on back-to-back rides with an array of progressive forehand surfing, pushing Gilmore into a combination situation. The Australian did manage to break the combo, but Moore took the win. Gilmore leaves the competition in equal third place.
"Today I think I might have ridden the wrong board and things just didn't really fall into place," said Stephanie Gilmore. "Carissa was definitely pushing things and I was trying to be a little more safe, which didn't work out in the end. It's a long year ahead and we've got the most events we've ever had on Tour (10). Carissa and I have a good rivalry going and I'm looking forward to some more podium finished."
Sally Fitzgibbons was knocked out of the competition in an all-Australian affair against compatriot and event runner up Tyler Wright. Fitzgibbons bolted out to an early lead and dissected the wild and wooly righthanders with impressive precision. However, it was Wright who ultimately answered back with unmatched power and strength, taking on the sections with reckless abandon and finished in second place.