Action Ignites ‘Les Estagnots’ At Rip Curl Venus Festival

Rip Curl Venus Festival WCT (June 4-12)

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Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP)
2005 Women’s World Championship Tour (WCT)

Monday, June 6, 2005 (Seignosse, France): An incredible amount of action unfoldedon the beaches of Southwest France today. Fourteen heats of the Rip Curl VenusFestival WCT hit the water, igniting the lineup at ‘ Les Estagnots ‘ , abeach three kilometers north of Hossegor in the town of Seignosse, this afternoon.

One such heat was that between current world #2, Chelsea Georgeson (AUS), and theabsent-of-late Melanie Bartels (HAW). Bartels, who chose to take a break andforego the last two contests to regroup and evaluate her approach to competitivesurfing, appears to have accomplished just that. She exploded out of the gates inher round three heat, scoring a 7.5 and 8.50 in the first eight minutes.

Bartels, known for her aerial antics and incredible free-surfing style, translatedthat talent into her competitive surfing today – something she has struggledto do in the past. Unfortunately for her, Georgeson who has been surfingincredibly this year, made no exceptions today, garnering the 8.75 she needed witha series of sweeping turns on a big open face.

” Mel got those scores right off the bat. It looked kind of tricky out there butI knew there was a lot of scoring potential and Mel can do pretty tricky stuff,” Georgeson said. ” I knew it was going to be a hard heat because she wasfired up. ”

” She got two really good waves at the start, I couldn ‘ t hear what they wereand then all of the sudden I needed an 8.0, so I was sort of freaking out. But Ijust tried to stay calm. I knew I had 20-minutes left to find two good waves andluckily I got one that had a bit of open face so I could do a good turn on theinside, ” Georgeson said.

Georgeson and Bartels’ heat was the highest scoring of the day.

The other heat of high-interest to spectators was a round three rematch betweenSofia Mulanovich (PER) and wildcard Stephanie Gilmore (AUS). Mulanovich, eager tosilence the critics still hyping her loss to the Gold Coast teenager earlier thisyear, screamed down the faces of several waves, smacking and floating her way toan easy victory over Gilmore.

” I ‘ m just tired of the Steph this, Steph that. She ‘ s ripping, but it ‘s done already. She ‘ s beat me twice and that ‘ s cool, but she ‘ s anothercompetitor like anybody else,” Mulanovich said.

“They all rip, not just her, and for sure she ‘ ll always be a tough competitorin my heat, but she ‘ s not the only one. You have to also look at girls likeChelsea, Megan and Layne. There ‘ s a lot of them out there. ”

Megan Abubo (HAW) did surf tough but fell victim to a last-minute victory byrookie Claire Bevilacqua nonetheless. Catching a wave she worked all the way tothe inside with less than a minute on the clock, Bevilaqua beat Abubo, who led theentire heat, to advance to the quarterfinals.

” I ‘ m so happy that I finally overcame the ninth place jitters. I reallyneeded to get through that round because I kept getting stuck there in past eventsand it was just really weighing on my confidence, ” Bevilacqua said.

” I felt like nothing was going my way luck-wise, so this has removed a lot ofpressure and now I can just go really hard in my heats and not hold back as much.I really want to make a semifinal and get higher on the ratings again because myresults lately have sucked. ”

Heather Clark (ZAF) surfed strongly but fell to Rochelle Ballard (HAW) in thefirst heat of round three. Rebecc a Woods (AUS), who surfed with a sore shouldercourtesy of a bad bout of tendonitis, managed to make it through to round threebefore being eliminated by Keala Kennelly (HAW) and Jaqueline Silva (BRA), who wasunable to repeat her first-rate round one performance, was eliminated by SamanthaCornish (AUS) in the last heat of the day.

Rounds one and two ran at the original contest site in Hossegor but with morecontestable conditions on offer at ‘ Les Estagnots ‘ this afternoon, thefirst six heats of round three were run there. The remaining two heats of roundthree through to the final will likely run tomorrow. A call will be made at 9amlocal time and a 9:30am start is anticipated.

QUARTERFINALS: 1st advances to SEMIFINALS, 2nd finishes equal 3rd and receives
H1: Rochelle Ballard (HAW) vs. Claire Bevilacqua (AUS)
H2: Keala Kennelly (HAW) vs. Sofia Mulanovich (PER)
H3: Chelsea Georgeson (AUS) vs. Samantha Cornish (AUS)
H4: Winners of Heats 7 & 8 of QUARTERFINALS

ROUND THREE: 1st advances to QUARTERFINALS, 2nd finishes equal 9th and receives
H1: Rochelle Ballard (HAW) 13.50 def. Heather Clark (ZAF) 11.40
H2: Claire Bevilacqua (AUS) 13.30 def. Megan Abubo (HAW) 12.45
H3: Keala Kennelly (HAW) 11.00 def. Rebecca Woods (AUS) 10.60
H4: Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 15.25 def. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 9.90
H5: Chelsea Georgeson (AUS) 16.75 def. Melanie Bartels (HAW) 16.25
H6: Samantha Cornish (AUS) 12.65 def. Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 7.15
H7: Melanie Redman-Carr (AUS) vs. Laurina McGrath (AUS)
H8: Layne Beachley (AUS) vs. Maria Tita Tavares (BRA)

ROUND TWO: 1st 2nd advance to ROUND THREE, 3rd finishes equal 17th and receives
H1: Samantha Cornish (AUS) 13.85, Melanie Redman-Carr (AUS) 11.15, Trudy Todd (AUS) 6.80
H2: Keala Kennelly (HAW) 10.05, Rebecca Woods (AUS) 8.25, Serena Brooke (AUS) 5.45

ROUND ONE: 1st 2nd advance to ROUND THREE, 3rd must surf ROUND TWO
H1: Megan Abubo (HAW) 13.25, Claire Bevilacqua (AUS) 9.25, Keala Kennelly (HAW) 6.53
H2: Rochelle Ballard (HAW) 12.75, Heather Clark (ZAF) 9.55, Rebecca Woods (AUS) 7.90
H3: Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 15.25, Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 9.90, Cornish (AUS) 8.50
H4: Chelsea Georgeson (AUS) 13.25, Melanie Bartels (HAW) 11.25, Serena Brooke(AUS) 8.60
H5: Layne Beachley (AUS) 13.50, Maria Tita Tavares (BRA) 11.00, Trudy Todd (AUS) 7.50,
H6: Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 16.40, Laurina McGrath (AUS) 12.80, Melanie Redman-Car (AUS) 11.60,