The Roxy Pro France, Stop No. 9 on this year’s World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), resumed yesterday in three-to-four foot (1 – 1.2 metre) surf in the afternoon at Culs Nus. The world’s best surfers took over the lineup following the completion of the Red Bull Airborne France specialty event to complete two heats of elimination Round 2.
The first heat of the day saw a walkthrough for Malia Manuel (HAW) as Keely Andrew (AUS)had to withdraw from the event after suffering a knee injury in her Round 1 Heat.
“Unfortunately, I am withdrawing from the Roxy Pro France,” Andrew said. “The first wave of my first heat, the rail of my board hit the inside of my left knee as I fell into the water after pulling off the back of the wave. The hit caused my knee to dislocate, which has resulted in a joint bleed, a non-displaced bone fracture of my kneecap, a bone bruise of my femur and a grade 3 rupture of my MCL. Massive thank you to everyone that has gone above and beyond to help me and thank you to everyone sending their love. Aiming to come back better and stronger!”
World No. 10 Coco Ho (HAW) took on Paige Hareb (NZL) in the second Roxy Pro France heat this afternoon and found a couple of waves with a good wall to exploit on her forehand. The Hawaii surfer started right away with the best score of the heat, a decent 5.83 (out of a possible 10) for a combination of vertical snaps. Her opponent couldn’t catch similar opportunities and was left surfing fatter waves as her scores stayed under the average. Ho survived the treacherous Round 2 and will surf again when the event resumes for a spot in the Quarterfinals, while Hareb placed Equal 13th.
“I did know the tide was coming up fast so to get busy right away was definitely in my plan,” Ho said. “It worked out cause those two were the best waves of the whole heat. It was hard to push those turns still and dig in, but I managed to stay on my board.”
Conditions degraded quickly as the tide came in and the second heat between World No. 5Caroline Marks (USA) and Roxy wildcard Vahine Fierro (PYF) was called to be the last of the day. Fresh off two excellent Semifinals results in Huntington and the Surf Ranch Pro, Marks suffered a similar fate to Hareb and her wave selection let her down in Round 2 yesterday. The reigning World Junior Champion Fierro, on the other hand, picked up the right waves and attacked them on her backhand to post a 5.83 and a 5.17 for the win and the upset of the event so far.
“This is my first heat win in a CT so I’m pretty stoked,” Fierro stated. “And to win it against one of my favorite surfers is a great feeling. Of course, everybody wants to win this event but I came here mostly to have fun. I’m here with my Roxy family and my sisters and I have no pressure. I just want to do my best in each heat because I have nothing to lose!”
Event organizers will reconvene at 7:45 a.m Tuesday, October 9 to reassess the conditions and make the next call. Up first when the events resume will be Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) and Pauline Ado (FRA) for the Roxy Pro France Round 2 Heat 4 or Jordy Smith (ZAF), Ezekiel Lau (HAW) and Matt Wilkinson (AUS) in the opening heat of the 2018 Quiksilver Pro France.
Competition has just been called on at the Roxy Pro France, and we will have updates in tomorrow or visit worldsurfleague.com
Featured Image: Roxy Pro France wildcard Vahine Fierro (PYF) will advance to Round 3 after eliminating rookie Caroline Marks (USA) in Round 2 Heat 3.
Credit: © WSL / Poulleno
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