3 Kauaians advance to Round 6

LIHU‘E — Twelve surfers remain at the Swatch Girl Pro France and a quarter of them are Kauaian.

The Garden Isle’s Leila Hurst, Malia Manuel and Alana Blanchard advanced to the sixth round of the competition after completing rounds four and five on Thursday.

Leading the way for the Kaua‘i girls was Hurst. After dominating Day 1 of the competition on Wednesday, Hurst picked back up by posting a Round 4 heat win with a combined two-wave score of 13.50. The World Junior champion advanced into Round 6 with a second place 10.05 in Round 5. In addition, Hurst also made her way into the Junior division quarterfinals after posting a heat win in the Round of 16.

Manuel began the day strong by posting a 12.85 score for a Round 4 win. The Wailua native cruised into Round 6 with a heat win in Round 5.

“That was super tricky,” Manuel said after Round 5. “The tides are so big here things change so quick. I was really stoked to make that heat.”

Blanchard continued her solid run through the competition with a Round 4 heat win and advanced to Round 6 by eking out a second place finish by .10 points over France’s Alizee Arnaud and .60 points over fellow Kauaian Nage Melamed in Round 5.

Although Melamed’s Swatch Girl Pro France came to an end in Round 5, she began the day with a solid Round 4 win by posting a 12.00 heat-winning score.

Following a solid 13.90 score in Round 3 on Wednesday, Hanalei’s Bethany Hamilton was eliminated in Round 4 with a fourth-place finish.

• Tyson Alger, sports writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 237) or by emailing talger@ thegardenisland.com. Follow him on twitter.com/tysonalger.

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