Kauaians eliminated at Swatch Girls Pro France

LIHU‘E — Paige Hareb surfed like she had a vendetta against Kaua‘i Saturday.

With three Kaua‘i girls in the remaining 12 surfer field heading into the final day of the Swatch Girls Pro France, the New Zealand native single handily eliminated every member of the Garden Isle contingent before eventually falling in the final to California’s Courtney Conlogue.

Hareb began her demolition of the Kauaians in the day’s opening heat in the Round of 12. Surfing with France’s Alizee Arnaud and Wailua’s Malia Manuel, Hareb posted a combined two-heat score of 11.80. That score, along with Arnaud’s 11.00 was more than enough to eliminate the current No. 7 on the ASP Women’s World Tour Manuel.

In the fourth heat of the Round of 12, Kaua‘i’s Leila Hurst and Alana Blanchard both easily advanced to the quarterfinals. Hurst claimed the heat with a two-wave total of 14.55 while Blanchard claimed second with a 13.25 to eliminate Brazil’s Suelen Naraisa, who posted a 8.20.

Blanchard, unfortunately, was paired up against the Kauaian assassin in the next round. Hareb continued her assault by defeating Blanchard 10.60 to 7.60 to end Blanchard’s run through the competition. The equal-fifth finish was easily Blanchard’s best of the year. In her three prior competitions this year, Blanchard had failed to finish any better that 25th. It was Blanchard’s best finish since she made it to the quarters in the same competition last year.

In Hurst’s quarterfinal heat, she set up a showdown with Hareb in the semis by beating Arnaud easily, 13.50 to 8.75.

But just as her fellow island mates had throughout the day, Hurst fell to the board of Hareb in the semis. Hareb’s 9.33 just edged Hurst’s 9.06. It was the second time of the day Hurst fell in the semifinals, as earlier she was edged in the Junior semis by eventual winner Bianca Buitendag.

In the main event’s final, Hareb’s winning streak finally came to a close as Conlogue edged her 15.83 to 13.33.

The women’s surfing season continues next week with the kick off of the Roxy Pro, the sixth stop on the ASP Women’s World Championship Tour.

• 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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