Top New Zealand surfer Paige Hareb exited the opening contest of the 2013 world tour early in Queensland today.
The 22-year-old Taranaki goofy-footer lost a tight second round heat against South African rookie Bianca Buitendag in the US$120,000 Roxy Pro.
Buitendag took the heat with a two-wave total of 15.26, compared to Hareb's 12.03.
They surfed the opening heat of the second day, held in inconsistent one-metre waves at Rainbow Bay.
It was a busy heat with both women riding eight waves in the half hour.
Buitendag's key ride came early when she scored an 8.33 with a series of strong backhand moves.
That put pressure on the Kiwi. Hareb responded with three solid rides but couldn't find one to really co-operate and allow her to get the high score needed.
Hareb finishes in 13th place with US$5000 prizemoney.
The second contest is at Margaret River in Western Australia on March 16-24, an event Hareb has previously won.
- © Fairfax NZ News