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ACTION IGNITES ‘LES ESTAGNOTS’ AT RIP CURL VENUS FESTIVAL

News provided by ASP Womans World Tour on 6 June 2005

http://www.ripcurl.com/venusfestival

Monday, June 6, 2005 (Seignosse, France): An incredible amount of action unfolded on the beaches of Southwest France today. Fourteen heats of the Rip Curl Venus Festival WCT hit the water, igniting the lineup at ‘Les Estagnots’, a beach 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 the absent-of-late Melanie Bartels (HAW). Bartels, who chose to take a break and forego the last two contests to regroup and evaluate her approach to competitive surfing, appears to have accomplished just that. She exploded out of the gates in her 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, translated that talent into her competitive surfing today – something she has struggled to do in the past. Unfortunately for her, Georgeson who has been surfing incredibly this year, made no exceptions today, garnering the 8.75 she needed with a series of sweeping turns on a big open face.

“Mel got those scores right off the bat. It looked kind of tricky out there but I 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 was fired up.”

“She got two really good waves at the start, I couldn’t hear what they were and then all of the sudden I needed an 8.0, so I was sort of freaking out. But I just tried to stay calm. I knew I had 20-minutes left to find two good waves and luckily I got one that had a bit of open face so I could do a good turn on the inside,” 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 between Sofia Mulanovich (PER) and wildcard Stephanie Gilmore (AUS). Mulanovich, eager to silence the critics still hyping her loss to the Gold Coast teenager earlier this year, screamed down the faces of several waves, smacking and floating her way to an 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 another competitor like anybody else," Mulanovich said.

"They all rip, not just her, and for sure she’ll always be a tough competitor in my heat, but she’s not the only one. You have to also look at girls like Chelsea, 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 by rookie Claire Bevilacqua nonetheless. Catching a wave she worked all the way to the inside with less than a minute on the clock, Bevilaqua beat Abubo, who led the entire heat, to advance to the quarterfinals.

“I’m so happy that I finally overcame the ninth place jitters. I really needed to get through that round because I kept getting stuck there in past events and 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 of pressure 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 my results lately have sucked.”

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

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

QUARTERFINALS: 1st advances to SEMIFINALS, 2nd finishes equal 3rd and receives US$4,250
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 US$3,500
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 US$2,250
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-Carr (AUS) 11.60



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