Its Day 5 at the Roxy pro and windy conditions and a growing swell have left the women to a scrappy round 4. 

Heat 1 saw Australia’s Nikki Van Dijk take on the Hawaiian Coco Ho. The Hawaiian kicked off the heat with a 6.67 but Van Dijk stepped it up in both board and commitment facing the chop. 

Photo: WSL

Nikki’s down the line attack allowed her to stay connected through her hacks riding her through the tricky conditions getting the nod early with her 7.50. Coco’s more vertical approach left her struggling to find her flow through her second and third manoeuvres. Nikki seized her opportunities slamming down an 8.17 to leave Coco chasing a 9 point ride to swing the heat. Going for broke Coco fell just short on her stylish buzzer beating attempt with an 8.27 in the dying seconds of the heat. 

Photo: WSL

Snaps at Snapper, Tatiana Weston Webb’s backhand snaps exploded into heat 2 with a whopping 8.17. Lakey Peterson responded with a down the line speed, but Weston Web’s snaps had the early edge. Peterson’s down the line form this competition has not gone unrewarded, her banging barrel in round 2 was rewarded with a perfect 10, she stuck with this approach and was once again rewarded with a late 7.93 to snatch the lead. With seconds to spare Tati swung on a medium sized runner but it wasn’t enough to knock down the in-form Peterson. 

Sally Fitz is in splendid form. Photo: WSL

The smiling assassin Sally Fitzgibbons was quick to deal a big old payback punch to the rookie Bronte Macaulay. Bronte was the first to get into rhythm and find a decent score with the 3 hard and fast backhand snaps. But it was stylish Sally who’s swooping turns and ability to find some clean faces behind the growing swell lines left the rookie flailing. Fitzgibbons was clinical and precise she is looking in form and like a true contender in this event. 

Steph snatched a controversial win from the jaws of defeat. Photo: WSL

The heat of the day for the girls and it was the princess of power versus the queen of style. Courtney Conlogue exploded out of the blocks with a near 9.50, punching the lip with precision timing. The best wave of the heat by far. Stylish Steph Gilmore slides into a lumpy bumpy face but mirrors Courtney’s aggression dropping an 8.0. Steph showed flare throughout the heat going for a massive tail drift on her second ride but taking a tumble, leaving the door wide open for Courtney to strike, and strike she did. Finding a wall with an inside cleaner face rewarding her with a 6.83.

Courtney was visibly upset with the loss. Photo: WSL

These two powerhouses were always going to excite, with mere seconds left on the clock Gilmore looking for an 8.34 takes off on a big lump. She looks disinterestedly down the line, cutting back away from the waves fatty edges, it begins to grow Gilmore’s eyes light up and thrashes into the clean fast wall with speed, style and rigour. Finishing with a straight air attempt and leaving the judges with an impossible decision. Suspense. The audience have chewed off all their nails. The style queen beats princess power today, her buzzer beater 8.4 was enough to get the heat win and this is why we love gals surfing.