Van Dijk stitched up at Cloudbreak

Tyler Wright in action at the Fiji Women's Pro event on Tuesday. Picture: STEVE ROBERTSON
Tyler Wright in action at the Fiji Women's Pro event on Tuesday. Picture: STEVE ROBERTSON


Australia's Nikki van Dijk has been left bloodied, bruised and sporting stitches after a brutal wipeout at Fiji's Cloudbreak.

Van Dijk was competing in her opening-round heat at the Fiji Women's Pro world tour event when she wiped out in 1.5-metre waves on the reef break.

The 19-year-old Victorian was raced back to shore on a jet-ski with blood streaming from her mouth.

A tour doctor on Tavarua Island stitched up her cuts and cleared van Dijk of any serious injury but she was forced to withdraw from the competition, handing fellow Australian Laura Enever a walkover into the third round.

"[Nikki] is in good spirits, even wanting to surf her round two heat, but ultimately decided that she is unable to return to competition in Fiji," Association of Surfing Professionals deputy commissioner Jessi Miley-Dyer said.

Van Dijk's wipeout was a low point on an otherwise solid opening day for the Australian brigade in Fiji.

Five-time world champion Stephanie Gilmore scored 13.33 out of 20 in her first round heat to edge France's Johanne Defay by a single point and advance to a third round match-up with South Africa's Bianca Buitendag and American Tatiana Weston-Webb.

Gilmore said it was going to be a tough competition with the women's tour returning to Cloudbreak for the first time in eight years.

"A few of us have been here before on free surf trips and we've been warming up the past couple of days, but it's a wave the likes of which we haven't had on tour in a long time."

World No 2 Sally Fitzgibbons was also a first-round winner.

She scored 12.27 to beat Weston-Webb and France's Pauline Ado and will now meet Enever and New Zealand's Paige Hareb in the third round.

Rookie Dimity Stoyle was another first-round victor, forcing fellow Aussie Tyler Wright into a second-round sudden-death heat.

Stoyle will meet world champion Carissa Moore and American Alessa Quizon in the third round while Wright, who won her second-round match-up, will face Defay and American Malia Manuel. - AAP


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