DEE WHY, New South Wales (Saturday, October 3, 2009) – The Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic got back underway today when the world’s finest competitive female surfers were greeted with stormy three-to four foot (1.5 metre) surf at Dee Why and completed two rounds of competition.
Today’s action saw surfing icon and seven-time ASP Women’s World Champion Layne Beachley (AUS), 37, fall to Rebecca Woods (AUS), 25, in Round 3 in what was officially her last professional heat while reigning two-time ASP Women’s World Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 21, was victorious in a highly anticipated rematch over defending event champion Tyler Wright (AUS), 15.
Woods, who relegated Beachley to Round 2 in their opening Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic bout, eliminated the ASP Women’s World Tour veteran from competition today when they faced off in the tricky Round 3 conditions at Dee Why and advanced through to the Quarterfinals.
“It feels great to go in to the Quarterfinals and to get two wins against Layne (Beachley),” Woods said. “In these types of conditions, the waves are all over the place, so it’s really just a fight to get waves. Layne’s been on tour for nearly 20 years and she’s gotten the best of me in nearly every man-on-man heat we’ve had, so I wanted to go out there and give it one last shot, so I’m happy with that.”
The talented Australian has yet to advance past the Quarterfinals in the first two events of the2009 calendar and is hoping to break through to the Semifinals at this year’s Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic.
“I’m excited to try and work through to the Semifinals,” Woods said. “The title of Quarterfinal Queen needs to be gone. I’ve got Bartels in the next heat and she’s always a hard one, so we’ll see what happens.”
Beachley was unable to find a rhythm in what would be her career-last heat and logged her career-lowest heat total (a .50 out of a possible 20) while bowing out to Woods, but her tough luck in the Round 3 matchup has no reflection on the illustrious champions previous accomplishments.
“It’s a demoralizing way to go out, but it doesn’t depict my career at all,” Beachley said. “All I can do is laugh. To finish my career after winning seven ASP World Titles with a 0.50 heat total in my last heat is pretty comical, but very devastating at the same time.”
After an impressive Round 2 performance, Beachley was unable to find a rhythm against woods and posted only one small score before the clock ran down in her heat.
“I just couldn’t afford to buy a heat out there,” Beachley said. “At the end of the day, I’ve had a fairytale career and I guess you can’t finish with a fairytale ending.”
Gilmore, who is the current ASP Women’s World No. 1, eliminated defending event Champion, Wright, in a low-scoring affair. Wright caught a last-second wave and was unable to clinch the small score needed to advance over the reigning ASP World Champion, opening the door for Gilmore to advance through to the Quarterfinals.
“I’m glad to get the win, but I’m disappointed in my performance,” Gilmore said. “It was difficult and I think I only scraped through because Tyler (Wright) fell on her wave at the end. It’s a win though, I’ll take it. I really studied the conditions before I went out and I got out there and it was a totally different story. It just shows that no matter how much hard work you put in, the ocean’s still in control.”
After falling to the prodigious young Australian in Round 3 of last year’s Beachley Classic, Gilmore approached the rematch against Wright with more caution and her tactics allowed her to come out on top in this year’s battle.
“I took the heat a little more seriously because of what happened last year,” Gilmore said. “I take every heat really seriously and although it looks like I’m having a lot of fun I’m still working really hard and Tyler (Wright) is dangerous in all conditions. She likes bigger waves and she’s very mature. I just went out there with my game head on and worked hard.”
Silvana Lima (BRA), 24, who is the current ASP World No. 2, bashed the day’s highest heat total, an impressive 16.00 out of 20, with committed forehand surfing on the thumping Dee Why right-handers.
“The conditions are tough, but I was able to get two good rights,” Lima said. “I saw that the girls in the other heats were not hitting the closeout sections, so I was trying to smash the closeouts to get higher scores and it worked out.”
Lima, who is fresh off of her first career victory at Bells Beach and a two-time Beachley Classic runner-up, is hungry to claim back-to-back wins and is ready to better her result at this year’s Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic.
“Here we are again,” Lima said. “I’ve finished second here twice before and I’d love to win this year.”
Lima will face fellow Brazilian Jacqueline Silva (BRA), 30, in Quarterfinal No.3 when competition resumes.
Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic event organizers will reconvene at 7am local time tomorrow for a possible 8am start. The event will be webcast LIVE via www.beachleyclassic.com
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Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic Round 3 Results:
Heat 1: Melanie Bartels (HAW) 8.10 def. Rosanne Hodge (ZAF) 7.50
Heat 2: Rebecca Woods (AUS) 7.00 def. Layne Beachley (AUS) .50
Heat 3: Coco Ho (HAW) 14.50 def. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 12.90
Heat 4: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 8.60 def. Tyler Wright (AUS) 8.45
Heat 5: Silvana Lima (BRA) 16.00 def. Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 10.50
Heat 6: Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 14.25 def. Samantha Cornish (AUS) 4.10
Heat 7: Chelsea Hedges (AUS) 13.15 def. Paige Hareb (NZL) 12.25
Heat 8: Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 14.25 def. Alana Blanchard (HAW) 4.45
Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic Round 2 Results: (1st and 2nd advance)
Heat 1: Layne Beachley (AUS) 9.15, Jesse Miley-Dyer (AUS) 8.50, Amee Donohoe (AUS) 5.95
Heat 2: Chelsea Hedges (AUS) 11.50, Alana Blanchard (HAW) 8.00, Bruna Schmitz (BRA) 5.15