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Buitendag takes fifth to move up to 11th in the world
- Updated: April 23, 2015
South African Bianca Buitendag placed equal fifth overall in the Drug Aware Margaret River Women’s Pro in Western Australia as American Courtney Conlogue clinched victory at the third stop on the Samsung Galaxy World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour on Wednesday.
With Main Break continuing to offer double overhead waves and stiff offshore winds organisers had no hesitation in getting the quarter-finals underway in the morning and the world’s best female surfers fought through an exciting Finals day.
Buitendag’s quarterfinal match-up with Malia Manuel of Hawaii started slowly with the Hawaiian recording a pair of mid-range scores and the South African just a throw-away 0.57 in the first 20 minutes. A series of powerful sets rolling through the break saw the rest of the 30 minute heat produce a back and forth duel as Buitendag grabbed the lead with scores of 7.0 and then 7.60 to put Manuel into a combination situation.
But the Hawaiian kept her composure and answered back with a 5.13 and a 6.90. Needing 7.70 for the heat win and a berth in the semis, Manuel found a great wave in the dying minutes and finished her ride with a powerful re-entry to post an excellent 8.50.
Buitendag was unable to find the 7.81 she needed and was eliminated. Her fifth place result earned 5 200 points which combined with her 13th and ninth place results in the opening two events of the year saw the 21-year-old from Victoria Bay move up one spot in the WSL rankings to No11.
The final produced an epic showdown with Conlogue claiming her third CT victory and ending the amazing run of form from two-time world champion Carissa Moore (Hawaii).
Picture of Buitdendag in action on Wednesday courtesy of WSL/Cestari