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Bevilacqua overcomes sore leg to win Pipeline Pro


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POSTED: Friday, April 10, 2009

The visiting team dominated the Tidal Nine Women's Pipeline Pro yesterday. In 2-to 4-foot surf Australian Claire Bevilacqua won the shortboard division of this all-female event.

Amazingly, the 26-year old Aussie claimed her first Pipe Pro title and a $3,500 payday despite a bum leg. She injured herself during a practice session Tuesday. On a routine wipeout her leg collided with her board.

“;The injury affected me because almost every wave I felt a little wobbly, but I was so psyched up I just tried to block it out,”; Bevilacqua admits. “;I think I was being a little too cocky, catching a wave in before the contest and trying to show everyone that I wasn't afraid. Then my board hit my leg and I thought I broke my leg.”;

Although she walked with a limp, it didn't stop her from getting barreled at Backdoor during the final and dominating her competition. Bevilacqua took out Honolulu's Carissa Moore, 15, who finished second. Californian Anastasia Ashley, 22, followed in third, and Australia's Laura Enever, 17, was fourth.

Bevilacqua looked comfortable at one of the most dangerous surf spots in the world. For the past two winter seasons she has logged a lot of time out at Pipeline and her experience showed yesterday.

“;Volcom, my sponsor, has a house in front of Pipeline and that's where I live, hang out with all the guys, surf and train.”; Bevilacqua said. “;It's the proving grounds. I just eat, sleep and surf Pipe everyday when I'm here in the winter.”;

Bevilacqua caught the only open tubes of the final and even attempted a backside air, displaying how far women's surfing has progressed since this event last ran in 2007.

“;I'm all for progression of women in this sport,”; she said. “;The girls go hard. They want to charge. They want to get better. Every time we [female surfers] get put in good waves we shine.”;

Puerto Rico's Luz Marie Rande Perez won the Bodyboard division. Perez went home with a $3,000 check. California's Cori Shumacher took home the longboard division to win $2,000.