Santa Ana surfer Courtney Conlogue was a long way from home this past weekend, but she brilliantly overcame any homesick blues to win the Outerknown Fiji Women's Pro.
Conlogue's win over the field, including runner up Tatiana Weston-Webb of Hawaii, in the World Surf League Championship Tour's fifth stop moved her up to the fourth spot on the 2017 WSL Women's Jeep Leaderboard. Conlogue's 31,800 points moved her ahead of France's Johanne Defay (28,200 points) and behind Aussies Tyler Wright (36,200 points), Sally Fitzgibbons (34,700 points) and Stephanie Gilmore (33,000 points).
Conlogue and Weston-Webb battled "dangerous six-foot barrels" at Cloudbreak off Tavarua/Namotu, Fiji, according to event organizers. "Weston-Webb charged through the fast tubes, but was unable to find the exit to complete her scores," they report. "Conlogue plowed through the lineup but got caught up on the lip trying to land extreme maneuvers. The Californian kept fighting and landed big combination moves in critical sections to take the win."
"This event has always had a really special spot in my heart," Conlogue reportedly said. "There's been so many amazing winners and this is one of the best left-hand reef breaks in the world."
It marked Conlogue's seventh career Championship Tour victory and her second of the year after winning at Bells Beach.
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"Two wins is a great way to turn things around," she said. "I have a great support team around me and I'm learning a lot. This win means so much to me and I'm so fired up. So many amazing surfers have won here so I'm really honored to be taking this trophy home."
Courtney relied on turns and was smart," remarked Weston-Webb, whose best ever finish at Fiji pushed her up two places on the Jeep Leaderboard to tenth. "She's pushing all the women harder than ever with her surfing."
Let's go the video, Jim:
The next stop on the 2017 WSL Women's Championship Tour is the Vans U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington Beach July 31-Aug. 6.