Australia’s Tyler Wright is closing in on a maiden world surfing title after reaching the semi-finals of the Roxy Pro event in France.
The Lennox Heads surfer thrashed compatriot Laura Enever on France’s south Atlantic coast in a quarter-final on Sunday, scoring 13.06 out of 20 while Enever could only manage 2.07.
Wright can become the first Australian to win the championship since Stephanie Gilmore two years ago if she claims victory in the event.
Her title rival, American Courtney Conlogue, is also through to the semi-finals after scoring 17.14 to defeat Australia’s Nikki Van Dijk (13.93) in her last eight heat.
Conlogue must now win the event to stop Wright winning the title.
“I plan to do my thing,” Wright said.
“I do not know who is going to win or lose, but I know what I can do and I know me. I am happy with that.
“I have a very good team behind me so we will go after that heat with the same goal in mind — to win every heat and win every final. Other than that, I cannot do much more.”
Wright will face American youngster Tatiana Weston-Webb in the semis, while Conlogue is up against three-time world champion Carissa Moore.
Conlogue, the 2015 championship runner-up, admits she’s getting down to her last chance to prevent Wright winning the title.
“It is down to the nitty-gritty right now and Nikki got me in the first round so I did not want that to happen again,” Conlogue said.
If things go right for Tyler Wright…
— bet365_aus (@bet365_aus) October 7, 2016
“This world title race is really exciting for me. Now, I am simplifying and giving myself the best shot I have.”
In the men’s draw, world No.1 John John Florence kept his world title bid on track by setting up a semi-final with American dark horse Keanu Asing while the other semi is between Brazil’s Gabriel Medina and American Kolohe Andino.
Organisers will reconvene on Monday morning to determine whether competition will resume.