Sebastian Zietz (HAW) claims victory at the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro.
Image credit: / WSL / Sloane
Friday 15th April
Tyler Wright (AUS) has won the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro, defeating Courtney Conlogue (USA) in pumping 6 to 8 foot (2 - 2.5 metre) waves at Main Break in Western Australia.
The third stop on the 2016 Samsung Galaxy WSL Championship Tour, the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro, saw firing conditions on with the world’s best surfers battling to secure a solid finish on the last stop of the Australian leg.
The Final match-up witnessed the ultimate throw-down between Wright and Conlogue. Wright unleashed a variety of maneuvers to lock in an 8.93 to take the lead ahead of Conlogue. Wright strengthened her score with a barrel for a 9.60 to put the defending event Champion in a combination situation halfway through the Final. Wright continued to put up solid numbers to back up her 18.53 two-wave combined score. Conlogue, who has won three Titles as this event, struggled to find the scores to combat the Australian. In the last forty-five seconds a set wave came out the back. Using priority, Conlogue needed a near-perfect 9.97, but was not able to complete the ride to earn the score.
“I knew Courtney was just dropping 9-point rides every heat, so I knew I had to be smart in selecting my waves and turns and not get over excited,” Wright said. “Every wave I had felt dreamy. This event was easy for me. No massive mental challenges, so I was really stoked on that and the happy headspace I’ve been in.”
“I feel like everyone sees me one of one right now, and other people see me as one of five, but really I am one of a thousand,” continued Wright.” I have so many people I need to thank for contributing to my success. At the end of the day it is about the love for what I do and my family. This is really for them as much as for me.”
Although Conlogue will end her run with a 2nd place finish, she will continue to wear the Jeep Leaders Jersey into the next event as she remains in the 1st place position on the rankings. Throughout the competition, Conlogue continued to demonstrate a strong and consistent performance, as this marks her third straight final in the 2016 Championship Tour.
“I think if I started the leg off knowing I would get these results, I would have been stoked,” Conlogue said. “Obviously I wanted the win, but I am really stoked for Tyler. She had a great performance in that heat. I was just trying to get myself back in the game at the end there and was stoked to get a second shot. I am stoked to head into Brazil with the Jeep Leaders Jersey.”
Drug Aware Margaret River Pro Women’s Final Results: 1 - Tyler Wright (AUS) 18.67 2 - Courtney Conlogue (USA) 14.70
Drug Aware Margaret River Pro Women’s Semifinal Results: SF 1: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 17.44 def. Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 12.17 SF 2: Tyler Wright (AUS) 15.07 def. Carissa Moore (HAW) 14.07
2016 Samsung Galaxy WSL Top 5 (After Drug Aware Margaret River Pro): 1. Courtney Conlogue (USA) 26,000 pts 2. Tyler Wright (AUS) 25,200 pts 3. Carissa Moore (HAW) 19,500 pts 4. Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 18,200 pts 5. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 15,600
Saturday 16th April
Sebastian Zietz (HAW), former elite tour competitor and injury replacement surfer on the 2016 Samsung Galaxy WSL Championship Tour, claimed victory at the third stop of the season, the Drug Aware Margaret River Pro.
With a solid swell in the six-to-eight foot (2 - 2.5 metre) range and offshore winds, Margaret River’s Main Break delivered for the final day of the men’s competition in Western Australia as well as the last day of the Australian leg, setting up a dramatic Final between Zietz and Julian Wilson (AUS).
Wilson opened the Final quickly with a score on the board, and continued to lock in more points under Zietz’s priority. Zietz responded by posting a 9.10, showcasing his trademark Hawaiian power and style. With only five minutes left on the clock, a set out the back gave Zietz the opportunity to make up lost ground. Wilson took off on the first wave of the set to separate his score, but Zietz answered back to take the lead. Zietz secured a 17.40 two-wave combined score to defeat Wilson’s 16.67.
“I am stoked,” Zietz said. “The pressure was on and I pulled that last maneuver in the white-water and made it. To win was definitely the goal I’d set for a long time. It is epic to win a CT event being against all the top guys and come out on top. I just want to dedicate this win to my family and everyone at home. Thank you everyone who has pushed me and helped me along the way.”
After narrowly failing to requalify for this season’s elite tour, Zietz has served as an injury replacement across the three Australian leg events. Today’s win now vaults the Hawaiian to No. 2 in the world heading into the remainder of the year.
“Falling off tour was really hard and made me feel like a kook, so I just went home and got a lot of waves to get back into rhythm,” continued Zietz. “I was psyched to hit the Qualifying Series and get the call up for the CT. It was an amazing contest. We had killer waves and good wind. Western Australia in general is epic.”
“I love the wave here and the crowd that comes down,” said Wilson. “That was a good final. Massive congrats to Seabass [Sebastian Zietz] for his first win. We were able to go blow for blow and have two great heat totals out there. I am happy to get a good result here and Bells was a better result than last year. I look forward to the rest of the year and to carry that momentum and fire into Brazil.”
Matt Wilkinson (AUS), winner of back-to-back opening events in 2016 on the Gold Coast and at Bells Beach, retains the WSL Jeep Leader jersey with a commanding 24,000 points to Zietz’s 15,750 points as the world’s best surfers leave the Australian leg.
For more information, log onto WorldSurfLeague.com
Drug Aware Margaret River Pro Men’s Final Results: 1 - Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 17.40 2 - Julian Wilson (AUS) 16.67
Drug Aware Margaret River Pro Men’s Semifinal Results: SF 1: Julian Wilson (AUS) 16.60 def. Joel Parkinson (AUS) 15.50 SF 2: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) 16.27 def. Italo Ferreira (BRA) 13.17
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