Courtney Conlogue in action at the Vans US Open of Surfing on Aug. 5, 2018 in Huntington Beach, Calif.
Surfer Courtney Conlogue hung a 10-point ride on the way to her victory Saturday at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach event in Victoria, Australia.
Conlogue won the Pro Bells Beach event for the third time in four years, adding to titles she won in 2016 and 2017. She defeated Hawaiian surfer Malia Manuel in the final, 15.83 to 14.84.
The finals in Victoria produced two American wins. Two-time World Surf League champion John John Florence of Oahu, Hawaii, won the men’s event, holding off Brazil’s Filipe Toledo.
Conlogue rode a monster wave to a perfect score of 10 early in the women’s final to help send her to the win. After several sweeping maneuvers atop the wave, she split two waves toward the end of her run and held up her hands to suggest a “10” to the judges just before she fell backwards into the surf. Four of the five judges scored a 10.
“What an epic day,” Conlogue said on the World Surf League’s webcast. “An outstanding final.”
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Manuel, a Hawaiian surfer who became the youngest in history to win the U.S. Open in 2008 at the age of 14, had advanced through the quarterfinals by knocking off defending tour champion Stephanie Gilmore of Australia.
Toledo, who finished third in the world last year, jumped aboard a wave in the final seconds of the finals and went vertical with a trick, but fell just short in the final score to Florence, 14.30 to 13.83.
Florence, the 2016 and ’17 world champ, missed most of last season due to injury.
The next stop on the World Surf League tour is the Corona Bali Protected, which begins May 13 in Bali, Indonesia.
Paul D. Bowker has been writing about Olympic sports since 1996, when he was an assistant bureau chief in Atlanta. He is a freelance contributor to TeamUSA.org on behalf of Red Line Editorial, Inc.