Wright a step closer to world surf title
Photo Source: AAP
Australian Tyler Wright has taken another step towards a maiden world surfing title by powering into the quarter-final of the Roxy Pro France.
Wright proved far too good for compatriot Laura Enever and American Sage Erickson in the non-elimination third round on Saturday to move straight through to the quarter-finals.
"I was happy with how that heat went, I had a plan and just had to stick to it, it's a rip bowl on my backhand which is kind of new territory for me," said Wright.
American Courtney Conlogue is the only surfer who can deny Wright the 2016 crown.
Conlogue stayed alive in the title contest by winning a low-scoring third-round clash against Australians Sally Fitzgibbons and Nikki van Dijk.
"Conditions were so tricky on that high tide, on my first wave I was hoping to finish that last turn and not making it kind of put me against the wall," Conlogue said.
"I'm stoked to get into the quarters and hopefully I get a few more waves than that."
Six-time WSL champion Stephanie Gilmore blasted through the final heat of the women's third round with an inspiring performance in the day's most-exciting exchange against three-time world champ Carissa Moore and fellow Hawaiian Coco Ho.
Kai Otton dealt another blow to fellow Australian Matt Wilkinson's faltering men's world title hopes by eliminating him in the third round fo the Quiksilver Pro France.
"I did not really care about Wilko at all in that heat to be honest," said Otton.
"I was just all about me. I need to make some heats if I want to stay on tour. I just want to win.
"I do not want to go out losing in the third round all year and that was a really crucial heat for me. I am rooting for Wilko to win the title, but I have to win my heats when they come."
Fellow world title challengers John John Florence from Hawaii and Brazil's Gabriel Medina are still in contention in Hossegor.