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Aussie wipe-out at Fiji's Cloudbreak

Wednesday, May 28, 2014

GOLD COAST, AAP - Australian surfer Nikki van Dijk has been left bloodied, bruised and sporting stitches after a brutal wipe-out 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 one and a half metre waves on the reef break.

The 19-year-old Victorian was raced back to shore on a jetski 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.

"We wish her a speedy recovery."

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 overcame her disappointing second round exit in Brazil with a victory in her first round heat.

Gilmore scored 13.33 out of 20 to pip 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.

"It's such a different playing field for the top 17 out at Cloudbreak," Gilmore said.

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