[B4BC’s Crystal Yang is in Australia reporting on all of the action.]
After days of non-stop rain, Day One at The Commonwealth Beachley Classic welcomed a break in the wet conditions as 17 of the world’s elite women surfers graced the stage at Dee Why in Manly Beach, Australia. As we arrived on-site this morning, the sun greeted us for what was to be a gorgeous day and stayed until the day wrapped with Round Two, Heat Two.
Put on by seven-time women’s world champ Layne Beachley, the seventh annual comp is known for being the richest surfing event on the women’s ASP tour, as the ladies vie for a piece of the $130,000 total prize purse.
Among the field of competitors were B4BC team riders Courtney Conlogue, Malia Manuel and Sage Erickson who shone in stormy wave conditions. The ladies displayed strength and athleticism as they whipped through beautiful, open wave faces and close outs in the jade waters.
Friend of B4BC Coco Ho went against No. 2 ranked Carissa Moore and led the heat until the last 30 seconds when Carissa answered back and took the winning position. However, it was clear that Coco consistently surfed with power and grace as her name was called over and over again over the loud speakers.
Following Courtney’s heat, I got to catch up with her after her winner’s interview.
When asked about navigating the tricky terrain by the infamous Dee Why reef, “If you don’t get the timing right, you definitely get a beating out there,” said a very energetic Courtney. Luckily, our girl did some reconnaissance with the locals yesterday about the break.
“Ever since I was little, I looked up to Layne (Beachley) and Lisa (Anderson). I love how Layne supports women’s surfing and what she is doing for the sport. Judges look for exciting surfing so I look forward to surfing exciting, getting a good result and keep punching through to the next level. That’s what it’s all about,” she added.
Sage and Malia went head-to-head in Round Two, Heat Two where wave conditions became increasingly became more and more difficult to pick out, with the increase in wind and chop. However, it was Malia who emerged as the winner in a tight scoring face-off.
To end an eventful first day, the day wrapped with a picture perfect rainbow near the lineup.
Stay tuned as the excitement continues as Courtney and Malia advance to Day Two tomorrow…