Reigning World Junior Champ Mahina Maeda Scores Fiji Pro Wildcard
27th May 2015
The world’s best surfers are converging on the idyllic setting of Tavarua and Namotu in the remote South Pacific to contest Stop No. 5 of the 2015 Samsung Galaxy WSL Championship Tour (CT), the Fiji Pro, from May 31 – June 19, 2015.
Held at the world-class reef passes of Cloudbreak and Restaurants, the Fiji Pro epitomizes the WSL mantra of “world’s best surfers, world’s best waves,” and the event will recommence this season’s electric hunt for the world surfing crown. Up first will be the WSL Top 17 contesting the Fiji Women’s Pro from May 31 to June 5.
Mahina Maeda (HAW), reigning WSL Women’s Junior Champion, has been allocated a wildcard into the Fiji Women’s Pro where the young Hawaiian will take on the world’s best female surfers, beginning with two-time World Champion and current frontrunner on the Jeep Leaderboard Carissa Moore (HAW) and European threat Johanne Defay (FRA) in Round 1.
Moore has had a sensational start in 2015, claiming back-to-back wins at the opening events of the year on the Gold Coast and at Bells Beach as well as a 2nd and a 3rd in Margaret River and Rio de Janeiro respectively.
Courtney Conlogue (USA), into her fifth season amongst the world’s elite, is coming into the Fiji Women’s Pro as the form surfer of the moment with back-to-back wins at Margaret River and Rio de Janeiro. Sidelined with an injury in 2014, the young Californian is in the middle of her best title campaign yet.
Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), defending event winner in Fiji, has had an uncharacteristically slow start to 2015, currently sitting at 6th on the WSL CT rankings. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), reigning six-time WSL Champion, is currently tentative for the Fiji Women’s Pro due to a knee injury sustained in Western Australia in April. Gilmore was absent at the Oi Rio Women’s Pro.
Following the completion of the Fiji Women’s Pro, the world’s best male surfers will take on Cloudbreak and Restaurants for the Fiji Pro from June 7 to 19
Fiji Women’s Pro Round 1 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Bianca Buitendag (ZAF), Nikki Van Dijk (AUS)
Heat 2: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW), Alessa Quizon (HAW)
Heat 3: Carissa Moore (HAW), Johanne Defay (FRA), Mahina Maeda (HAW)
Heat 4: Courtney Conlogue (USA), Silvana Lima (BRA), Sage Erickson (USA)
Heat 5: Tyler Wright (AUS), Coco Ho (HAW), Laura Enever (AUS)
Heat 6: Lakey Peterson (USA), Malia Manuel (HAW), Dimity Stoyle (AUS)
Words by World Surf League