Sunday, Aug. 14, 2022 |
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Hawai‘i men make early exit at Mark Richards Pro
by Lanaly Cabalo – THE GARDEN ISLAND
Kaua‘i’s Alana Blanchard won her heat yesterday to advance to the quarterfinals of the Midori Pro in Newcastle, Australia.
Blanchard, who is in her first official year on the professional circuit, is now one of two Hawai‘i surfers left in the competition.
Blanchard scored consistently high scores on the 2- to 3-foot waves to score a total 14.06, over Australians Amee Donohoe and Jessi Miley-Dyer. Ninth-ranked Miley-Dyer fell short with 10.93, while fourth-ranked Donohoe received disappointing scores to finish third with a score of 7.40.
Blanchard moves on to the quarters to face Brazil’s Bruna Schmitz who finished second in her heat to Australia’s Sally Fitzgibbons.
Also in contention for the title and the $35,000 in prize winnings is O‘ahu’s Megan Abubo and reigning world champion Stephanie Gilmore. Gilmore and Abubo surfed against each other in Heat 1 of the Round of 12 yesterday, with both posting qualifying scores for the quarterfinals.
The competition should continue through to the finals starting around 11 a.m., today, Australia time.
Coinciding with the Midori Pro is the Mark Richards Pro for the men’s circuit also in Australia.
However, several of the Hawai‘i surfers made early exits yesterday. Dustin Barca, Gavin Gillette, Kekoa Bacalso and Sunny Garcia failed to score high enough points to advance further into the competition.
Kevin Sullivan remains the sole Hawai‘i surfer and is scheduled to surf today.
Garcia, who was granted a wildcard entry, was nudged out of second place by less than a point in a last minute effort by Aussie Nick Riley.
But Garcia was graceful in defeat, signing autographs for awestruck school children as soon as he left the water.
“I’m a little unhappy that I didn’t make my heat because I did expect to do well,” he told the media. “Nevertheless, I’m here and I’m having fun.”
Gillette lost out to Australia’s Mitchel Coleborn and Ryan Campbell.
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