8800… that is the number that represents the difference between first and fourth place in the women’s world championship rankings. With only two tour events left, the race has tightened and a major shuffle has occurred at the top following last weeks’ Vans US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach, California. Can the new No. 1 hold on for the rest of the season, or will the former placeholder regroup? The season just may come down to the last event in Portugal to decide the world title.
Currently ranked number one on the WCT, Carissa Moore (HAW) won the Vans US Open of Surfing over the new No. 3 Courtney Conlogue (USA). It took several minutes after the final heat was completed for the announcement of the winner as hundreds of thousands of fans waited on the beach for the final outcome. Hopes ran high for the local hero, but in the end Conlogue’s buzzer beating last wave fell just short of the mark, enabling Moore to take the US Open of Surfing title and move into the top spot on the women’s WCT rankings.
Moore has had three wins on tour this year, giving herself a giant advantage in points. With wins at Margaret River AU (Drug Aware Pro) and Bells Beach (Rip Curl Womens Pro) earlier in the season, and now the Vans US Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach, Moore is slowly establishing a dominance that may leave her on top at the close of the season.
Dropping into second, Tyler Wright (AUS) moved into a semi-final match-up, giving her highest ever finish in Huntington Beach. It wasn’t enough to hold on to the top spot in the rankings, despite her consistent performances all year. Wright will look to continue to put pressure on the top spot. She is only 1700 points out of first, and at this point anything can happen. Wright will look to rebound and take the top spot as the ASP Women’s World Tour heads back to Europe after the upcoming Supergirl Pro in Oceanside, California.
The third spot is now occupied by surging star Courtney Conlogue. With a strong runner-up finish at the Vans US Open of Surfing, Conlogue is working her way closer to the top spot. She is within 10,000 points of the leader Carissa Moore, and is one of only three women to win events this year along with Moore and Wright.
If anyone can break up the three woman monopoly on wins it would be current fourth ranked women’s surfer Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS). With only two events left, she is running out of time and it looks like she needs no less than a win in the next event or she will be mathematically eliminated from the race for first.
There are more than a few women capable of winning the last two events and a win by someone out of the current top five ranking could cause major shifts in the rankings, making the final contest very intense. Coco Ho (HAW), Pauline Ado (FRA), Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) are all looking very strong right now and others like Lakey Peterson (USA) Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) and Laura Enever (AUS) can pull out a win as well.
Be sure to watch the Supergirl Pro LIVE on TheSurfChannel.com this weekend!