14 August 2012
South Africans Bianca Buitendag and Sarah Baum maintained their challenge for coveted places on the 2013 ASP Women’s World Championship Tour (WCT) when they finished fifth and ninth respectively in the ASP six-star rated Paul Mitchell Supergirl Pro at Oceanside in California on Saturday.
Competing in peaky, small waves of only half-a-metre to a metre in size, 18-year-old Buitendag built on her confidence-boosting victory in Peru a fortnight earlier by advancing through a strong field of WCT and Star Tour competitors to reach the quarterfinals.
She bowed out in the last eight to world number five, Courtney Conlogue of the USA, to finish in fifth place overall. The result was worth 1 560 rankings points, the second highest haul of the year to date for Buitendag.
It sees sees the South African maintain her number five ranking on the ASP Women’s Star Rankings but with an increased lead of 773 points over sixth ranked Rebecca Woods of Australia.
Six women qualify for the WCT from the Star rankings annually and with three of the four women above her in the rankings – Conlogue, Malia Manuel and Paige Hareb – having already qualified for the 2013 ASP WCT through their elite tour results, Buitendag is now effectively in second spot.
Sarah Baum also had a good run in the Supergirl Pro, winning her opening heat ahead of Buitendag and placing second behind Conlogue to reach the last 12 where she was eliminated by ASP world number six Malia Manuel and Buitendag.
Baum picked up 920 points for her ninth place result, which moved her up from twelfth to tenth in the rankings.
With four of those ahead of her already qualified for the WCT, she currently sits in an effective sixth place and on the cusp of giving South Africa two girls amongst the world’s top 17 ranked female surfers on the 2013 ASP Women’s WCT.
Rosanne Hodge, the only other South African competing at Oceanside and a former four-year WCT member, produced her best result of 2012 with a 13th place finish.
She finished third behind Baum and Conlogue in their round 24 encounter, and her 13th place was worth 650 points, which lifted her to 28th in the rankings.
ASP WOMEN’S STAR RANKINGS
(After Paul Mitchell Supergirl Pro )
- Courtney Conlogue (USA) 11 810
- Sage Erickson (USA) 9 870
- Malia Manuel (Haw) 9 840
- Paige Hareb (NZ) 8 170
- Bianca Buitendag (RSA) 7 813
- Rebecca Woods (Aus) 7 040
- Sally Fitzgibbons (Aus) 7 000
- Pauline Ado (Fra) 6 890
- Sofia Mulanovich (Per) 6 050
- Sarah Baum (RSA) 5 490
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