New Zealand surfer Paige Hareb made an encouraging start to the new world tour which opened in Queensland yesterday.
Hareb finished second in her first round heat of the US$120,000 Roxy Pr, held in small surf at Rainbow Bay on the Gold Coast.
The 22-year-old Taranaki goofy-footer was involved in a high-profile heat against two Hawaiians - former world champion Carissa Moore and Alana Blanchard, the pin-up girl returning to the Dream Tour this year.
Moore was too busy, and too good, winning with a two wave score of 16.66 (out of 20).
Hareb scored 8.30 and 3.23 to be second with 11.53, while an error-prone Blanchard trailed on 7.76.
Hareb’s 8.30 featured several strong backhand moves and she will know she is in the range with her wave-scoring ability – if she can find enough good waves.
Moore went straight through to the third round with her win while Hareb and Blanchard face the sudden-death second round.
Other first round heat winners included five times world champion Steph Gilmore (Australia), world No 2 Sally Fitzgibbons (Australia), Coco Ho (Hawaii) and France’s Pauline Ado.
Ho produced the best heat score with 16.87.
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