Caroline Marks - PHOTO: © WSL/ John Ferguson

Caroline Marks Wins 2019 Florida Pro, Kirra Pinkerton Places Second

- Marks Earns Back-to-Back Wins at Sebastian Inlet, Schweizer Keeps Title in New Smyrna Beach - Reigning World Junior Champ Pinkerton and 2018 Florida Pro Winner Geiselman Finish Runner-Up
Caroline Marks and Noah Schweizer - PHOTO: © WSL / John Ferguson

Caroline Marks (USA) (L) and Noah Schweizer (USA) (R) claimed commanding wins at the second annual Florida Pro. PHOTO: © WSL / John Ferguson

SEBASTIAN INLET, Florida/USA (Friday, January 18, 2019) – The World Surf League (WSL) Men and Women’s Qualifying Series (QS) Florida Pro crowned Caroline Marks (Melbourne Beach, Fla.) and Noah Schweizer (New Smyrna Beach, Fla.) its respective champions after an electric final day of competition. Marks defended her title in amazing fashion with some of the event’s top performances and Schweizer delivered an outstanding, aerial display that led the way to his first-ever QS victory.
The stars aligned for Marks once again with another dominant performance that culminated in back-to-back Florida Pro victories. The 16-year-old phenom took over the Final against 2018 World Junior Champion Kirra Pinkerton (San Clemente, Calif.) with brilliant wave choice in the wave-starved heat and still managed to post an excellent 8.83 (out of a possible 10) -- the women's top single-wave score. Marks had her eyes on the win all week and made that a reality to continue her reign over the QS rankings.
Caroline Marks - PHOTO: © WSL/ John Ferguson

Caroline Marks (USA) surfing her Semifinal heat at the Florida Pro QS 3,000 on Friday, January 18, 2018. PHOTO: © WSL/ John Ferguson

“It’s pretty crazy having the whole town rooting for you and they’re so supportive that they would’ve been there for me win or lose,” Marks said. “I’ve just been so happy and confident all week that it just felt right. I’m just stoked I got to surf First Peak, it’s one of the best waves there is so that was a great feeling. Every heat I was starting with a solid wave and that put me into a good rhythm until the slow start in that Final. But, Kirra surfs so amazing she could get into a bomb and drop an 8 on me at any point.”
Marks began her day against one of the event threats, Australian Sophie McCulloch, and shut any hopes of an upset down right away with an excellent 8.50 to set the momentum in motion. The Floridian-turned-California transplant now has three QS titles to her name after posting the event’s highest heat total, a 16.10 (out of a possible 20), in her Semifinal bout as she prepares for her second year among the world’s best at the Championship Tour (CT) level beginning in April.
“I think it’s going to be a really fun year and wish this one was another big event, but I’m so happy they were able to bring it back for the opportunity,” Marks said. “Before coming here I had a lot of fun sessions at Rincon and Ventura so I was in a really good head space. This was the same board I rode at the Surf Ranch and it’s magic, I may take it to Snapper. But, it’s going to be exciting year and I’ve been working on so many things like airs and different maneuvers.”
Noah Schweizer - PHOTO: © WSL/ John Ferguson

Noah Schweizer (USA) surfing his Quarterfinal heat at the Florida Pro QS 1,500 on Friday, January 18, 2018. PHOTO: © WSL/ John Ferguson

Immediately following Marks’ chair-up the beach to begin the season, an all-New Smyrna Beach, Florida, Final got underway. Schweizer unleashed his aerial assault at the first peak wedge and stomped an excellent 8.50 to start. The wave consistency slowed down with the rising tide and opportunities became scarce, but the 22-year-old was able to back it up with a 6.30 to all but seal his maiden QS win over defending champion Evan Geiselman.
“If I was ever going to win a contest this is how I would have wanted to win my first, right at home,” Schweizer said. “I don’t even know what to feel, it’s just amazing. That was the longest ten minutes ever at the end because Evan can get an eight at any moment, he’s gotten one in almost every heat, but the tide just got on it too much. To see everyone here that I looked up to growing up and taking it out in front of them is pretty nice.”
Schweizer faced off against fellow New Smyrna Beach native Daniel Glenn in his Quarterfinal but brought the fireworks to a much-anticipated Semifinal against an in-form Michael Dunphy (Virginia Beach, Va.). The 22-year-old posted back-to-back, near-perfect scores with two of the event’s most spectacular air-rotations to garner a 19.30 heat total.
“I knew I was going to have hard heats all day and just knew I’d have to do my thing which is big airs,” Schweizer said. “It helps just surfing here since the NSSA days and I love this wave, it’s so fun. I just did this one since it was close to home and see how I go. Now that I’ve done well and got some money I might try to do some more competitions if I can get into them -- whatever I can get into I’ll do.”
Kirra Pinkerton - PHOTO: © WSL/ John Ferguson

Kirra Pinkerton (USA) surfing her Semifinal heat at the Florida Pro QS 3,000 on Friday, January 18, 2018. PHOTO: © WSL/ John Ferguson

Reigning World Junior Champion Pinkerton starts her 2019 QS campaign off in great fashion with a runner-up and 2,250 points. The tricky lineup of Sebastian Inlet’s first peak took the 16-year-old out of her game plan and couldn’t find the waves she needed after a brilliant run through the week. But, Pinkerton still was able to cross off one of her key goals along the way and has many more in mind to get done this season.
“Coming into this event I didn’t know how it was going to go with Florida being so unpredictable and getting those points is such a good way to start,” Pinkerton said. “That’s one of the higher results, points-wise I’ve had even after winning Pismo last year. Even against Caroline I knew I had a chance to win after Worlds gave me so much confidence and I wasn’t almost carefree here. Before the event I said I really wanted a heat with Caroline and the only way I could’ve was a Final so I’m stoked to get that heat. I want to prepare for the big events now and see myself in the Top 6 by the end of this season – one of my goals is to get a win in a QS 6,000 so we’ll see how it goes.”
Geiselman started his day with a nail-biter against upcoming talent John Mel (Santa Cruz, Calif.) that went down to the final minutes. But, Geiselman wasn’t leaving his Semifinal to chance and came out of the gates firing with a 16.23 heat total to start over fellow Floridian threat Chauncey Robinson (Melbourne Beach, Fla.). The inconsistent Final didn’t give Geiselman the opportunities he needed to keep his Florida Pro crown, but gladly handed the title down to long-time friend Schweizer.
“Noah kept it in New Smyrna and I’m so happy for him to win it, someone needs to sponsor this kid,” Geiselman said. “He’s one of my best friends for a long time and couldn’t be more excited to see him get it. I was really happy with how I surfed this event and I just wished the waves stayed a little more consistent. First Peak is a quick, one section kind of wave when it’s like this which made it hard on the backhand. There wasn’t much more I could’ve done and I feel like my surfing came a long way last year so I’ll just look to continue that, keep making heats, and put myself in a great position before the end of the year.”
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Women’s Florida Pro Final Results: 1 – Caroline Marks (USA) 15.90 3,000 points 2 – Kirra Pinkerton (USA) 2.66 2,250 points
Men’s Florida Pro Final Results: 1 – Noah Schweizer (USA) 14.80 1,500 points 2 – Evan Geiselman (USA) 13.73 1,125 points
Men’s Florida Pro Semifinal Results: SF 1: Evan Geiselman (USA) 16.23 def. Chauncey Robinson (USA) 11.60 SF 2: Noah Schweizer (USA) 19.30 def. Michael Dunphy (USA)
Women’s Florida Pro QS 3,000 Semifinal Results: SF 1: Caroline Marks (USA) 16.10 def. Sophie McCulloch (AUS) 9.43 SF 2: Kirra Pinkerton (USA) 9.63 def. Summer Macedo (HAW) 6.23
Men’s Florida Pro QS 1,500 Quarterfinal Results: QF 1: Evan Geiselman (USA) 13.30 def. John Mel (USA) 13.00 QF 2: Chauncey Robinson (USA) 12.60 def. Nolan Rapoza (USA) 11.80 QF 3: Michael Dunphy (USA) 16.83 def. Logan Hayes (USA) 10.60 QF 4: Noah Schweizer (USA) 12.67 def. Daniel Glenn (USA) 7.00
About the WSL The World Surf League (WSL) is dedicated to celebrating the world's best surfing on the world's best waves through a variety of best-in-class audience platforms. The organization, headquartered in Santa Monica, is a global sport with regional offices in Australasia, Africa, North America, South America, Hawaii, Japan and Europe.
The WSL has been championing the world's best surfing since 1976, annually running more than 180 global events across the Men's and Women's Championship Tours, the Big Wave Tour, Qualifying Series, Junior and Longboard Championships, as well as the WSL Big Wave Awards. The League possesses a deep appreciation for the sport's rich heritage while promoting progression, innovation and performance at the highest levels, and in doing so crowns the undisputed Men’s and Women’s World Champions across all tours.
Showcasing the world's best surfing on its digital platform at WorldSurfLeague.com, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Kelly Slater, Stephanie Gilmore, Tyler Wright, John Florence, Lakey Peterson, Paige Alms, Kai Lenny, Taylor Jensen, Honolua Blomfield, Carissa Moore, Gabriel Medina, Courtney Conlogue and more battle on the most dynamic field of play of any global sport.
For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com

Competition Intensifies at the Australian Open of Surfing. Video Highlights!

Laura Enever, Day 5 of the Australian Open of Surfing. Photo © ASP/Dunbar Laura Enever (North Narrabeen, NSW/AUS) scored a trip to the Semifinals with a last second victory over Pauline Ado (FRA). © ASP/Dunbar Day 5 of the Australian Open of Surfing - Men's Round 1 & 2 plus Women's Quarterfinals
For Immediate Release Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) International Competition Intensifies at the Australian Open of Surfing MANLY, NSW/Australia (Wednesday, 15 February, 2012) – The Australian Open of Surfing at Manly Beach presented by Hurley and Billabong was treated to another exciting day full of surf action. Today saw the completion of the opening round of the Men’s ASP 6-Star division, and three heats of round two featuring some of the event’s top seeds. The Women’s field has been whittled down to just four surfers after a thrilling round of Quarterfinals this afternoon. Laura Enever (AUS) was looking like exiting the event with a 5th place finish in her Quarterfinal against Pauline Ado (FRA), she was left needing a decent score as the ocean went flat in the last five minutes. But Enever waited patiently and with a mere 14 seconds on the clock she stood up on a nice looking left-hander and launched into a series of sharp turns, easily netting the required score. “There was a part of me thinking this might be the end,” Enever said. “But then I thought – it’s never over, you can catch a wave with one second on the clock and get the score. I knew I had to find something and when that wave popped up and I though this is it, this is the one. I’m excited to be into the Semis and to be able to surf on Finals day this weekend.” Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) faced off against Lakey Peterson (USA) in Quarterfinal 2, which was a rematch of the Final of the US Open in August last year. Fitzgibbons took the heat on both occasions and will now match-up against Laura Enever (AUS) in the Semifinals this weekend. “It’s a good feeling to be through to the Semis for the first event of the year,” Fitzgibbons said. “It’s exciting to be here at the first Australian Open, and to be able to compete so close to home, I’ve got all my friends and family up here supporting me. I busted up my wrist just before Christmas and I’m just getting back in the water now, I’ve got a wrist guard on for support, but it doesn’t hinder me too much.” Malia Manuel (HAW) and Joanne Defay (FRA) finished Quarterfinal 3 tied on 11.67 (out of a possible 20) for their two wave heat total. When there’s a tie the surfer with the highest single wave score wins, and in this case it was Manuel who won with a 6.67 (out of a possible 10) to Defay’s 6.00. “That was too close for comfort right there,” Manuel said. “She needed a 6.01 right at the end and got a 6.00, it was so close! Halfway through the heat a rip popped up right in the middle of the lineup and it made it hard for me to get a back-up score. I really admire the European surfers, they’re such a tight-knit crew and they’re all surfing great.” Joel Parkinson (AUS), runner-up to the 2011 ASP World Title took out the opening heat of the round of 96 and progressed to the next round alongside Sydney up-and-comer Cooper Chapman (AUS) who finished second. The lead changed multiple times between the four surfers in the heat, but it was the veteran ‘Parko’ and the young gun Cooper who progressed. “It’s been a while since I’ve surfed a four man heat, so I was nervous,” Parkinson said. “I was expecting to hear ‘Parkinson you’re in fourth place’ over the loud speaker. But it’s a good feeling to go out there and catch a few waves. I’ve been waiting all week for my heat and it’s good to get it out of the way, and start 2012 with a heat win.” Evan Geiselman (USA) and fellow American Kolohe Andino (USA) took top honours in the last two heats of the day thanks to a couple of massive aerials. Both surfers scored waves in the 9-point-range and are looking good heading into the round of 48. Tomorrow the Australian Open Of Surfing will see both Men’s and Women’s ASP 6-Star action and will also feature skating competitions and demos, music concerts, athlete signing sessions and much more. The event is free for the public to view in person and live on the internet via australianopenofsurfing.com IMPORTANT EVENT INFO The cigarette and alcohol-free event is expected to welcome more than 100,000 people to Manly, the location of the very first World Surfing Championships in 1964 and the first Australian beach to legalise day-time swimming in 1904. Destination NSW, along with major event partners Hurley and Billabong, expect the Australian Open of Surfing to inject more than $6 million into the local community. The Australian Open of Surfing is made possible with the support of the following event partners: Destination NSW, Events NSW, Manly Council, Sony, Blackberry, Monster Energy, Fuel TV, Channel [V], The Manly Daily, Surfing World, Reef, Skullcandy, ASP Australasia and Surfing NSW.