Paige Hareb caught up in monster surf in Fiji
Paige Hareb got her world ranking moving in the right direction after a landmark day in women's surfing yesterday.
The Taranaki goofyfooter placed ninth at the Fiji Pro as the women contested triple overhead conditions at the Cloudbreak reef for the business end of the contest.
With the world tour now at the halfway stage, Hareb is placed 13th, moving up two positions as the 18-strong field of surfers congested with upsets that included world champion Carissa Moore exiting in the quarter-finals. Sally Fitzgibbons took over at No 1 after beating fellow Australian Steph Gilmore in a low-scoring final.
The top 10 surfers will qualify automatically for next year's tour. Hareb still has plenty of work ahead of her as the tour takes a two-month break before resuming with consecutive contests in the United States.
Three ninths out of five events shows she has the ability to survive the cut.
She will see yesterday as a bit of a wasted opportunity in waves of consequence which she enjoys, though conditions were far from easy.
Monster surf stormed the start of her fourth round heat against Hawaiian Malia Manuel, forcing them into survival mode as they looked to dodge the bombs.
No waves were caught in the opening 10 minutes, meaning organisers had to reset the clock for the 30-minute heat. Hareb took an early lead but with waves refusing to co-operate, the canny Manuel headed further in on the reef to snare a couple of smaller waves and did just enough to win 8.50 to Hareb's 7.00.
The scores throughout the day reflected the difficulties. They ranged from Laura Enever scoring a two wave total just 1.90 (out of 20) for her quarter-final loss, to Fitzgibbons compiling the day's best of 15.57 in her fourth round heat win, an effort that gave her the confidence to charge to her second title in a row and lay claim to the world crown. Fairfax NZ