Two-time Bells winner Courtney Conlogue (USA) eliminated Carissa Moore (HAW), three-time Bells winner and three-time WSL Champion, in the second Quarterfinal. Moore waited patiently in the big shifty conditions while Conlogue got busy and attacked the solid Bells’ walls to put Moore in a combination situation. Conlogue, who is yet to lose a heat at Bells since 2016 (wins in 2016, 2017, injured in 2018), will take on fellow Californian Lakey Peterson (USA) in Semifinal 1.
“I just had a few personal goals for myself during that heat,” Conlogue said. “I felt like I had been surfing well this event but hadn’t had a rhythm yet, so my goal was to go out there and find a rhythm and have some fun. These are the conditions that I love to surf in because they are wild and wooly waves that test you. I changed my equipment a little and it all seemed to work well. ”
Malia Manuel (HAW) guaranteed her first Semifinal appearance at Bells, after eliminating seven-time WSL Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), who was hoping to clinch back-to-back Bells title this year. Manuel controlled the heat in its entirety as Gilmore struggled to find a wave that offered any opportunity. Manuel looked comfortable in the massive surf and will move into the Semifinals, guaranteeing a career-best start to the season after finishing Equal 3rd on the Gold Coast earlier this month.
“I survived the 50-year storm today, which is great,” Manuel said. “I had a bigger board, which definitely helped with paddling and then when I was on the wave the extra rail really helped control all of the speed. Coming from Hawaii means I’ve got good experience on bigger boards and in bigger surf. Getting back-to-back Semifinals is so good for the confidence and I’d love to keep it going and push for a World Title.”
Americans Peterson and Caroline Marks continued to stamp their authority on the 2019 Championship Tour, both dominating their Quarterfinal heats to grab a spot in the Semifinals. Peterson dispatched of Hawaii’s Coco Ho while Marks took down 2019 CT Rookie Brisa Hennessy (CRI). At this time last year, Peterson wore the Jeep Leader Jersey at World No. 1, now 17-year-old Marks holds the lead and her success at Bells could keep her in the top spot.