MANCORA, Peru (Thursday, Nov. 1, 2007) – Following the completion of Round 2, the first six heats of Round 3 of the Mancora Peru Classic ran today, with the Australians dominating the clean two-to-three foot (1 metre) waves at Mancora.
Former ASP Women's World Champion Chelsea Hedges (AUS) led the Australian charge, advancing through her Round 2 heat before posting an emphatic win over Melanie Bartels (HAW) in Round 3. Despite only having one heat to rest in between her Round 2 and Round 3 heats, Hedges was in commanding form on her forehand, netting the day's high single-wave score of an 8.33 out of a possible 10.
"It's never that great surfing the second round, but for me it was kind of good," Hedges said. "I got to surf Mancora with no one out. I think, in a way, you get that momentum going and you start to warm up a bit. For me, it worked out pretty good."
Currently rated No. 5 on the ASP Women's World Tour, Hedges will look to capitalize on her forehand in the pristine lefts of Mancora.
"I never really get to go left," Hedges said. "It's a little bit of a catch-22 because I don't go left that often so I'm probably not as confident on my forehand as I am on my backhand. I love going left so you just got to give it everything on your forehand. You really have to be able to go vert and make the moves worth the points because backhand you can hook into it a bit easier."
Current ratings leader and rookie sensation Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) continued her solid run in Peru today, nailing a solid Round 3 victory over veteran competitor Rochelle Ballard (HAW). Gilmore's win moves her one step closer to solidifying her position at the top of the ratings.
"I take it heat by heat, but yeah, I'm always thinking about the World Title," Gilmore said. "Who wouldn't want to? It's a pretty cool thing. I saw Sam Cornish get knocked out today so that's one less person to think about. It's still a really hard game. Silvana (Lima) is right there and she's surfing incredibly well. Game on."
Gilmore will square off against good friend Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) in the upcoming Quarterfinals, following Miley-Dyer's impressive Round 3 victory over Jacqueline Silva (BRA).
"I've got Steph (Gilmore), but I'm just here to have fun," Miley-Dyer said. "Hopefully I'll do well on the left. I always feel really confident surfing on my forehand and I'm just stoked to be here. I've qualified and I'm not going for a World Title or anything so I think the pressure is really on her."
Hedges, Gilmore and Miley-Dyer will be joined by compatriots Layne Beachley and Rebecca Woods as well as the winner of the Round 3 clash between Amee Donohoe (AUS) and Claire Bevilacqua (AUS). That will give the Australians six of eight remaining competitors in the Quarterfinals.
Next call will be at 7am tomorrow morning for a possible 7:30am call.
Up first will be Heat 7 of Round 3 featuring Donohoe and Bevilacqua.
The LIVE webcast, event information, photos and videos will be available via www.aspworldtour.com
FUEL TV will air its full coverage of the 2007 Mancora Peru Classic on December 20, 2007 at 8pm PT/ET in their Surf Spot programming block.
ROUND 2 RESULTS: MANCORA PERU CLASSIC
Heat 1: Silvana Lima (BRA) 14.84, Caroline Sarran (FRA) 6.84, Leilani Gryde (HAW) 5.60
Heat 2: Rochelle Ballard (HAW) 13.34, Chelsea Hedges (AUS) 11.83, Samantha Cornish (AUS) 10.34
ROUND 3 RESULTS: MANCORA PERU CLASSIC
Heat 1: Layne Beachley (AUS) 15.67 def. Rosanne Hodge (ZAF) 12.23
Heat 2: Chelsea Hedges (AUS) 15.16 def Melanie Bartels (HAW) 11.67
Heat 3: Rebecca Woods (AUS) 15.00 def. Megan Abubo (HAW) 11.67
Heat 4: Silvana Lima (BRA) 13.00 def. Anali Gomez (PER) 12.50
Heat 5: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 13.43 def. Rochelle Ballard (HAW) 7.76
Heat 6: Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 13.66 def. Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 9.50
REMAINING ROUND 3 MATCH-UPS: MANCORA PERU CLASSIC
Heat 7: Amee Donohoe (AUS) vs. Claire Bevilacqua (AUS)
Heat 8: Sofia Mulanovich (PER) vs. Caroline Sarran (FRA)