Moore wins title, Blanchard finishes in 10th

The Women’s World Tour reached its 2013 conclusion on Saturday and Oahu’s Carissa Moore finished things off in style with a win at the Cascais Girls Pro to assure her of her second world title.

Moore entered the eighth and final event with a slim lead over Australia’s Tyler Wright, needing to finish ahead of Wright to ensure the season championship.

After Moore won her quarterfinal heat against South Africa’s Bianca Biutendag, she saw Wright lose her heat against fellow Aussie Sally Fitzgibbons. That result put an end to the drama and gave Moore the world title, her second in just four years on the world tour. Her first came in 2011.

Though the result was no longer in doubt, Moore didn’t slow down. She went on to top American Sage Erickson in the semifinals and then beat Fitzgibbons in a low-scoring final, 10.44 to 9.70.

The year’s final event was an important one for Alana Blanchard, who was tied with Australia’s Laura Enever for 10th place on the season. The top 10 in the world tour standings receive automatic re-qualification for 2014, so any slip could have taken her off next season’s elite tour.

Well, Blanchard and Enever were each eliminated in the second round at the Cascais, Portugal event, so they remained tied with 25,900 points for the season. Not only did they have equal point totals, but they had the exact same results – two equal fifth-place finishes, three equal ninths, three equal thirteenths.

The Association of Surfing Professionals have bylaws regarding a 10th-place tie in the final standings, but it remains a bit unclear which of the two will receive that automatic qualification. However, the ASP does have the option of awarding one of the women a Wildcard position.

Per the ASP rule book, section 13.03 (a) states that “Should there be an available ASP Wildcard position, a tied Competitor can be provided that position but will be seeded as per their (World Championship Tour) Ranking, not as an ASP Wildcard would be.”

So without having issued any statement on the qualifiers, the ASP could very well decide to award either Enever or Blanchard the 10th automatic bid and the other could be offered the Wildcard position. As of press time Saturday, no decision had been announced, but Blanchard’s name was highlighted in green on the ASP WCT rankings list with the other Top 10 women. Enever’s name was not highlighted. Take that for what you will.

Malia Manuel was also eliminated in the second round, ending her season in 13th place in the WCT standings, but Manuel had already assured herself a spot on the world tour because of her No. 1 world ranking in the Women’s Qualifying Series.

Saturday marked the final day of competition at the Quiksilver Pro France and Australian Mick Fanning solidified his standing as the No. 1 ranked men’s surfer on the world tour with his first event win of the season.

Coming off his lowest finish of the year, an Equal 9th at the Hurley Pro at Trestles, Fanning moved further ahead in the points race with a win over Brazil’s Gabriel Medina in the French final.

Kelly Slater reached the quarterfinals and remains in second place for the season.

Kauai’s Sebastian Zietz reached the third round before being topped by Oahu’s John John Florence, but dropped to 18th place in the season standings. The top 22 gain automatic re-qualification for 2014.

The next men’s event is the Rip Curl Pro in Peniche, Portugal, which begins on Wednesday.

• ‘My Thoughts Exactly’ appears Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays in The Garden Island. Email David Simon your comments or questions to dsimon@thegardenisland.com. Follow David on Twitter @SimonTGI

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