Alyssa Spencer - PHOTO: © WSL/ John Ferguson

Men and Women Top Seeds Take Over Florida Pro – WQS News

- Women Finish Round 2 Affairs Before Men Get Their Event Underway - Hennessy, Spencer, and Fellow Top Seeds Continue To Flourish in Women's Event - Defending Event Champ Geiselman and California's Rapoza Lead The Men's Charge
Brisa Hennessy - PHOTO: © WSL/ John Ferguson

Brisa Hennessy (CRI) surfing her Round 2 heat at the Florida Pro QS 3,000 on Wednesday, January 16, 2018. PHOTO: © WSL/ John Ferguson

SEBASTIAN INLET, Florida/USA (Wednesday, January 16, 2019) – The World Surf League (WSL) Women’s Qualifying Series (QS) Florida Pro fired back into an extensive day of action with both the men and women competing. The women's QS 3,000 finished Round 2 affairs and top-seeded surfers staked their claim into Round 3 with dynamic performances in the three-to-four foot conditions on offer. Following women's Round 2, men began their Florida Pro QS 1,500 event and powered through Rounds 1 and 2, Heats 1-4, to close an exciting day of competition.
One of the top event threats Brisa Hennessy (CRI) came out explosive in her debut to start Wednesday’s action and earned an excellent 8.00 (out of a possible 10). The Costa Rican representative was able to accrue a 13.57 (out of a possible 20) heat total by capitalizing on solid sections. But, the 19-year-old feels there’s still room for improvement with a lot of contest left.
"It’s always a great feeling to start with an excellent score and I think it helps with your confidence and getting the first heat jitters out of the way -- especially when it’s the first contest of the year," Hennessy said. "I’ve realized how important it is to have an alert and open mind out here, and I just wanted to stay busy and look for the best scoring opportunities. Going forward I hope to better my wave selection, my speed, and just getting more in tune with the lineup."
Alyssa Spencer - PHOTO: © WSL/ John Ferguson

Alyssa Spencer (USA) surfing her Round 2 heat at the Florida Pro QS 3,000 on Wednesday, January 16, 2018. PHOTO: © WSL/ John Ferguson

Round 2 Heat 15 featured two of North America’s top Pro Junior talents, 2017 North America Regional Champ Alyssa Spencer (Carlsbad, Calif.) and Samantha Sibley (San Clemente, Calif.), going toe-to-toe alongside Japanese competitor Julie Nishimoto. Spencer looked to be on her way out of the contest sitting in third until the final two minutes when she was gifted a gem and didn’t waste it to move right into first. However, Sibley was then pushed to third and Nishimoto advanced behind Spencer.
“That was crazy. I knew coming into that heat all the girls were capable of dropping big scores so I knew those smalls scores at the start would be thrown out,” Spencer said. “It was a little bit stressful just sitting in third for a while, but I thought if the wave came through then I could get the score. You could be the best surfer in the world and not have a good wave come to you so that was really nice to get that chance. I was definitely feeling the first heat jitters, but I’m excited to get that one out of the way and start the year off here.”
Camilla Kemp - PHOTO: © WSL/ John Ferguson

Camilla Kemp (PRT) surfing her Round 2 heat at the Florida Pro QS 3,000 on Wednesday, January 16, 2018. PHOTO: © WSL/ John Ferguson

Also earning debut wins, Camilla Kemp (PRT), Sara Wakita (JPN), Maud Le Car (FRA), Leticia Bilbao Canales (ESP), and Mahina Maeda (JPN) are all through to Round 3.
Maud Le Car - PHOTO: © WSL/ John Ferguson

Maud Le Car (FRA) surfing her Round 2 heat at the Florida Pro QS 3,000 on Wednesday, January 16, 2018. PHOTO: © WSL/ John Ferguson

Competition then shifted to opening rounds of the Florida Pro Men’s QS 1,500 and surfers were eager to get their affairs in the books. The top seeds showcased their authority in decisive manner with big performances from the start that many carried into Round 2 bouts.
Defending event champion Evan Geiselman (New Smyrna Beach, Fla.) unleashed an excellent 8.17, and 14.00 heat total, to start men’s competition off in Round 1 Heat 1 against his brother Eric. Geiselman wasn’t done yet and pushed his Round 2 performance to the next level with one of the day's highest heat total of a 15.57. The 24-year-old is in search of his third Florida QS title and showed he’s one to beat yet again.
“It's funny because after the whole Hawaii leg I actually took a few weeks off surfing and had a fun New Year in the snow," Geiselman said. "Just had to take some time away and got back into it just about a week ago so now I'm fired up for this one and to compete again. We had my brother so fired up to do it and that was a bummer, but he hasn't done a contest in five years so we had fun (laughs) so it was just cool having in the water. It definitely builds on the confidence to get those scores, this panel has some guys that do the whole year around the world so it feels great to start like that.”
The Barbados natives are representing their island nation well this week with both Chelsea Tuach and Chelsea Roett through yesterday, and Josh Burke leading their charge on the men’s side with an impressive Round 1 debut today -- joined by Che Allan into Round 3. Burke posted a solid 14.47 with his aerial attack and aggressive carves. But, this event is simply a stepping stone for Burke.
“I was surprisingly not nervous, which I usually am especially being the first heat of the year, but I felt good in my freesurfs which helped,” Burke said. “You just had to stay busy out there and it really paid off getting those scores. The waves are different from last year, but you can still do big turns out there, it’s not groveling which is nice. This year I’m really just focused on the big events since I’m into the QS 10,000s so this is a great momentum builder event.”
Floridian Robbie McCormick (Flagler Beach, Fla.) stormed his way through a Round 1 win with dynamic surfing on his backhand and forehand. Last year marked the 18-year-old’s last season as a Pro Junior, one he started late yet had an incredible run at the Ron Jon Quiksilver Pro and Pro Junior in Cocoa Beach, and is now a full-time QS campaigner. McCormick knows every bit of success helps and has his eyes set on more.
“It feels really good to get that first heat down with a win,” McCormick said. “I’ve been surfing back home and it’s been small so I knew what to do to with my technique for those quick scores. Every heat win is more confidence and that’s something I learned from the event in Cocoa Beach. I’m going to try and do more events than I did last year to start building points and work my way up.”
While the top seeds flourished, upsets were scattered throughout the day and the heaviest one came in Round 1 Heat 13. 2018 North America No. 2 Kevin Schulz (San Clemente, Calif.) sat in an advancing position behind Florida’s Noah Schweizer (New Smyrna, Fla.), who won the heat, until the final moments when fellow Californian Sean Woods (Thousand Oaks, Calif.) threw a Hail Mary air-reverse to steal the runner-up spot.
“I never throw airs in heats so it feels really good to land something like that,” Woods said. “In the past I’ve surfed heats safe and I wanted to change that this season. This year I just want to go for it so it’s great that it worked out like that.”
Also notching Round 2 wins to end the day, Californians John Mel (Santa Cruz, Calif.) and Jackson Butler (San Diego, Calif.) are into Round 3 alongside the day’s top performer Nolan Rapoza (Long Beach, Calif.) -- who posted an excellent 8.60 and 15.87 heat total, the event’s highest.
Sara Wakita - PHOTO: © WSL/ John Ferguson

Sara Wakita (JPN) surfing her Round 2 heat at the Florida Pro QS 3,000 on Wednesday, January 16, 2018. PHOTO: © WSL/ John Ferguson

Event organizers will convene tomorrow morning and make a 7:30 a.m. EST call for a possible 8:00 a.m. EST for the completion of men's Round 2 and women's Round 3.
For more information, please visit www.WorldSurfLeague.com.
The Florida Pro Women's QS 3,000 and Men's QS 1,500 will run in the best conditions from January 14 - 20 at Sebastian Inlet, Florida.
Remaining Women’s Florida Pro QS 3,000 Round 2 (H9-16) Results: Heat 9: Brisa Hennessy (HAW) 13.57, Emily Nishimoto (JPN) 10.03, Keala Tomoda-Bannert (HAW) 9.63, Brooke Young (USA) 4.70 Heat 10: Melanie Suarez-Diaz (CNI) 9.04 , Meah Collins (USA) 6.90, Rachel Wilson (USA) 2.53, Minori Kawai (JPN) Withdrawn Heat 11: Camilla Kemp (PRT) 11.00, Summer Macedo (HAW) 9.83, Neis Lartigue (FRA) 6.74, Cassidy McClain (USA) 3.30 Heat 12: Sara Wakita (JPN) 9.16, Kirra Pinkerton (USA) 6.84, Brooke Daigneault (USA) 3.87, Ava McGowan (USA) 3.46 Heat 13: Maud Le Car (FRA) 11.43, India Robinson (AUS) 9.90, Kayla Durden (USA) 6.60, Havanna Cabrero (PRI) 4.86 Heat 14: Leticia Canales Bilbao (ESP) 7.40, Uhaina Joly (FRA) 6.60, Eveline Hooft (NDL) 4.60 Heat 15: Alyssa Spencer (USA) 10.20, Julie Nishimoto (JPN) 9.87, Samantha Sibley (USA) 9.40 Heat 16: Mahina Maeda (JPN) 11.73, Brianna Cope (HAW) 10.93, Freya Prumm (AUS) 9.30, Maddie Garlough (USA) 6.70
Women’s Florida Pro QS 3,000 Round 3 Match Ups: Heat 1: Leilani McGonagle (CRI), Sophie McCulloch (AUS), Zoe McDougall (HAW), Chelsea Roett (BRB) Heat 2: Autumn Hays (USA), Josefina Ane (ARG), Tiare Thompson (USA), Chelsea Tuach (BRB) Heat 3: Zoe Benedetto (USA), Cannelle Bulard (FRA), Rachel Presti (DEU), Carol Henrique (PRT) Heat 4: Nao Omura (JPN), Olivia Pessanha (USA), Tia Blanco (PRI), Caroline Marks (USA) Heat 5: Brisa Hennessy (HAW), Melanie Suarez Diaz (CNY), Summer Macedo (HAW), Kirra Pinkerton (USA) Heat 6: Emily Nishimoto (JPN), Meah Collins (USA), Camilla Kemp (PRT), Sara Wakita (JPN) Heat 7: Maud Le Car (FRA), Leticia Canales Bilbao (ESP), Julie Nishimoto (JPN), Brianna Cope (HAW) Heat 8: India Robinson (AUS), Uhaina Joly (FRA), Alyssa Spencer (USA), Mahina Maeda (JPN)
Men's Florida Pro QS 1,500 Round 1 Results: Heat 1: Evan Geiselman (USA) 14.00, Michel Flores (BRA) 10.73, Eric Geiselman (USA) 8.10, Ben Wingate (USA) 4.90 Heat 2: Derek Gomes (VEN) 8.14, Jackson Butler (USA) 7.43, Yuri Schoenau (BRA) 7.10, James Hogan (USA) 5.93 Heat 3: Cobie Gittner (USA) 11.77, Luke Gordon (USA) 11.33, Namor Cayres (BRA) 6.73, Joshua Chester (HAW) 3.57 Heat 4: Ryan Huckabee (USA) 10.94, Colt Ward (USA) 8.97, William Hedleston (USA) 7.63, Blayr Barton (USA) 7.07 Heat 5: Chauncey Robinson (USA) 12.33, Quentin Turko (USA) 8.83, Dustin Richardson (USA) 5.76, Frank Chenault (USA) 0.00 Heat 6: Tommy Coleman (USA) 11.50, Braden Jones (USA) 11.03, Davi Toledo (BRA) 9.90, Kai Delorenzo (USA) 5.14 Heat 7: Nolan Rapoza (USA) 11.20, Hagan Johnson (USA) 10.14, Parker Swoish (USA) 7.03 Heat 8: Che Allan (BRB) 11.70, John Mel (USA) 9.83, Ethan Mudge (USA) 8.40, Chase Modelski (USA) 8.20 Heat 9: Josh Burke (BRB) 14.47 Logan Hayes (USA) 12.24, David Dorne (GLP) 10.43, Colin Shinn (USA) 5.83 Heat 10: Jeremy Carter (USA) 14.27, Fergus Kelly (USA) 8.57, Sterling Foster (USA) 7.06Giorgio Gomez (USA) 5.94 Heat 11: Robbie McCormick (USA) 13.40, Tyler Gunter (USA) 12.34, Phillippe Chagas (BRA) 9.47, Alex Fry (USA) 5.50 Heat 12: Stevie Pittman (USA) 9.60, Dylan Hord (USA) 8.53, Logan Hofstetter (USA) 7.53, Kalum Temple (CAN) 5.13 Heat 13: Noah Schweizer (USA) 12.70, Sean Woods (USA) 11.20, Kevin Schulz (USA) 10.73, Andrew Fletcher (USA) 3.70 Heat 14: Franklin Serpa (BRA) 12.57, Austin Neumann (USA) 10.80, Jose Lopez (VEN) 8.50, Cole Deveney (USA) 4.70 Heat 15: Michael Dunphy (USA) 10.30, Brandon Todd (USA) 9.40, Keoni Lasa (EUK) 5.93, Ryan Goerig (USA) 0.43 Heat 16: Daniel Glenn (USA) 13.33, Cam Richards (USA) 12.36, Beck Adler (USA) 7.33, Blake Speir (USA) 5.20
Men’s Florida Pro QS 1,500 Round 2 (H1-4) Results: Heat 1: Evan Geiselman (USA) 15.57, Luke Gordon (USA) 15.53, Derek Gomes (VEN) 10.40, Colt Ward (USA) 9.70 Heat 2: Jackson Butler (USA) 10.63, Ryan Huckabee (USA) 8.50, Cobie Gittner (USA) 5.64, Michel Flores (BRA) 2.46 Heat 3: John Mel (USA) 14.00, Chauncey Robinson (USA) 12.00, Hagan Johnson (USA) 8.70, Tommy Coleman (USA) 8.17 Heat 4: Nolan Rapoza (USA) 15.87, Che Allan (USA) 8.86, Braden Jones (USA) 8.26, Quentin Turko (USA) 6.90
Remaining Men’s Florida Pro QS 1,500 Round 2 (H4-8) Match Ups: Heat 5: Josh Burke (BRB), Jeremy Carter (USA), Tyler Gunter (USA), Dylan Hord (USA) Heat 6: Logan Hayes (USA), Fergus Kelly (USA), Robbie McCormick (USA), Stevie Pittman (USA) Heat 7: Noah Schweizer (USA), Franklin Serpa (BRA), Brandon Todd (USA), Cam Richards (USA) Heat 8: Sean Woods (USA), Austin Neumann (USA), Michael Dunphy (USA), Daniel Glenn (USA)
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
Sophie McCulloch - Photo © WSL / John Ferguson

Internationals Decimate Opening Day, Locals Thrive at Florida Pro

- Australia's McCulloch, French competitors Bulard and Lartigue Lead Opening Day Charge - Stuart, Florida's Benedetto Topples Top-Seeded Pauline Ado - Defending Champ Marks Comes Out Firing
Neis Lartigue - Photo © WSL / John Ferguson

Neis Lartigue (FRA) surfing her Round 1 heat at the Florida Pro QS 3,000 on Tuesday, January 15, 2018. PHOTO: © WSL/ John Ferguson

SEBASTIAN INLET, Florida/USA (Tuesday, January 15, 2019) – The World Surf League (WSL) Women’s Qualifying Series (QS) got action underway at the Florida Pro QS 3,000 after Monday’s lay day and steamed through Round 1, as well as Round 2 Heats 1 – 8, at Sebastian Inlet. Building swell filled into the inlet throughout the day, providing two-to-four foot windswell and some of the top QS competitors made their debuts in stunning fashion. Men’s competition was called off for the day as the women took over the lineup and delivered inspiring performances.
Round 1’s top performance belonged to Biarritz, France, native Neis Lartigue with a brilliant 15.26 (out of a possible 20) heat total. Lartigue locked in one of the highest single-wave score of a 7.93 (out of a possible 10) en route to her debut win and had fellow competitors in a combination situation -- meaning they needed two new scores to total Lartigue’s. Now that the nerves are out of the way, the Frenchwoman will be up first when Round 2 resumes.
“It was tricky at the beginning of the heat and I wasn’t stressed, but I felt weird on my first few waves,” Lartigue said. “I told myself to calm down and just surf my way. I prefer to go right, but my scores came on my lefts so I was just trying to stay busy. It’s always a little nerve-racking to get the season started but I can relax today after getting a good heat total like that.”
Canelle Bulard - PHOTO: © WSL/ John Ferguson

Canelle Bulard (FRA) surfing her Round 2 heat at the Florida Pro QS 3,000 on Tuesday, January 15, 2018. PHOTO: © WSL/ John Ferguson

But, it was her French compatriot Cannelle Bulard of Reunion Island that topped Lartigue with an excellent 8.33 after freefalling from attacking the wave’s lip. Bulard went on to earn the day’s highest heat total of a 15.66 in her outstanding debut. Though, the 25-year-old knows it’s just the beginning and there’s plenty of work to be done.
“It’s really good to get off to a start like that in the first event of the year,” Bulard said. “I would love to continue this kind of momentum. I watched the contest last year and it looked so cold, I was debating on coming but my friends talked me into it and I’m glad I did. It’s great traveling with friends I’ve known for a very long time to have that comfort and I think it showed in my heat.”
Sophie McCulloch - Photo © WSL / John Ferguson

Sophie McCulloch (AUS) surfing her Round 2 heat at the Florida Pro QS 3,000 on Tuesday, January 15, 2018. PHOTO: © WSL/ John Ferguson

Australian newcomer Sophie McCulloch started the day’s competition in-form with a solid 12.67 heat total in Round 1 Heat 1 and carried that fire into Round 2 for a second victory. The Alexandra Headland, Queensland, native drew from her Florida Pro experience last year and turned into success early on to start building momentum. McCulloch’s terrific Pro Junior career, earning multiple wins around the world, is behind her and now the 19-year-old only has one goal in mind this season.
“I was super keen on coming back after last year and I don’t think the cold gave it the best impression, but I’m loving it this time,” McCulloch said. “It was pretty important to get busy and settle the nerves right away. I got my groove and started finding those better scores, but it looked completely different even this afternoon [for my second heat]. My goal this year is to qualify. I think rather than focus on looking at the end result I’m just going to try and surf how I freesurf. Nerves got the better of me last year so my coach this year just said to me go out and just surf how you know how.”
Zoe Benedetto - PHOTO: © WSL/ John Ferguson

Zoe Benedetto (USA) surfing her Round 2 heat at the Florida Pro QS 3,000 on Tuesday, January 15, 2018. PHOTO: © WSL/ John Ferguson

Early shockwaves were sent through the event as local wildcard Zoe Benedetto (Stuart, Fla.) helped eliminate former Championship Tour (CT) competitor Pauline Ado (FRA) in Round 2 Heat 5. The 13-year-old smashed a closeout section and rode out clean to earn a near-excellent 7.67, catapulting her from fourth to first place. Benedetto had her expectations set coming into this event, but now boasts a win over one of the sport’s elite.
“First event of the year and I beat a real professional surfer, I can’t believe that,” Benedetto said. “I knew if she got a good wave she would crush it so that was crazy. I wasn’t really nervous about the people in my heat, but more so the waves because they were breaking ten feet from the shoreline at times. It feels good to win with my family and everyone here, and especially with me and my friends just wanting to beat each other all the time. I don’t want to lose here or have a bad performance being the wildcard after losing first round getting it from WSL last year -- you want to earn that and prove yourself.”
Caroline Marks - PHOTO: © WSL/ John Ferguson

Caroline Marks (USA) surfing her Round 2 heat at the Florida Pro QS 3,000 on Tuesday, January 15, 2018. PHOTO: © WSL/ John Ferguson

The day concluded with defending event champion Caroline Marks (Melbourne Beach, Fla.) returning to her native home state victorious in Round 2 Heat 8. The 16-year-old looked sharp in her debut and came out of the water wanting more despite garnering a 14.90 heat total. Marks is eager to defend her title among the talented field on hand and will look to improve moving forward.
“It’s awesome to start the year off at home and I felt really good in the water, I just wanted to catch more waves,” Marks said. “I’m such a frother and just want more and more every time, but I think that was a good first heat to start with. There’s a lot left in the tank which is good and I felt like that was just a warm-up. It’s so fun to surf heats again. I love competing and I’m really excited about the points on offer, as well as a lot of talented girls here so it’s not going to be easy.”
Coral Schuster - Photo © WSL / John Ferguson

Coral Schuster (USA) surfing her Round 2 heat at the Florida Pro QS 3,000 on Tuesday, January 15, 2018. PHOTO: © WSL/ John Ferguson

Also advancing, Coral Schuster (Cocoa Beach, Fla.) won her Round 1 Heat 11 bout and Rachel Presti's (Melbourne Beach, Fla.) buzzer-beater earned her a spot into Round 3 to represent for their hometown support groups.
Event organizers will convene tomorrow morning and make a 7:30 a.m. EST call for a possible 8:00 a.m. EST start to finish Round 2 of the women before moving into men’s Round 1 action.
For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com
The Florida Pro Women's QS 3,000 and Men's QS 1,500 will run in the best conditions from January 14 - 20 at Sebastian Inlet, Florida.
Women's Florida Pro QS 3,000 Round 1 Results: Heat 1: Sophie McCulloch (AUS) 12.57, Eva Woodland (CRI) 7.94, Nagisa Tashiro (JPN) 7.60, Rosina Neuerer (DEU) 1.24 Heat 2: Tiare Thompson (USA) 9.33, Chiasa Maruyama (USA) 9.03, Nina Reynal (FRA) 6.17, Alexxa Elseewi (USA) 5.23 Heat 3: Kloee Openshaw (USA) 6.00, Rubiana Brownell (CRI) 5.64, Anastasia Ashley (USA) 5.57, Nakia Fleuren (AUS) 2.56 Heat 4: Amuro Tsuzuki (JPN) 8.40, Serena Nava (USA) 6.60, Charlotte Lange (USA) 4.96 Heat 5: Olivia Pessanha (USA) 8.60, Molly Kirk (USA) 5.00, Maddy Malizia (RUS) 4.83, Abigail Dixon (USA) 1.44 Heat 6: Kaleigh Gilchrist (USA) 10.17, Makena Burke (USA) 5.13, Paulina Summers (CRI) 6.83, Brittany Penaroza (HAW) 11.04 Heat 7: Rachel Wilson (USA) 6.27, Brooke Young (USA) 6.17, Taylor Green (USA) 5.37, Natsuki Suda (JPN) 2.53 Heat 8: Melania Diaz (CNI) 13.10, Cassidy McClain (USA) 5.40, Emily Currie (GBR) 5.00 Heat 9: Neis Lartigue (FRA) 15.26, Brooke Daigneault (USA) 5.50, Maile Davis (USA) 3.10 Heat 10: Eveline Hooft (NDL) 12.00, Kayla Durden (USA) 4.10, Sarah Abbott (USA) 2.83, Morgan Iglay (USA) 0.83 Heat 11: Coral Schuster (USA) 10.13, Uhaina Joly (FRA) 5.46, Izzi Gomez (USA) 4.80, Sophie Falzone (USA) 1.60 Heat 12: Julie Nishimoto (JPN) 10.66, Maddie Garlough (USA) 8.33 Audrey Presti (DEU) 3.67, Jasmine Gailey (USA) 2.57
Women's Florida Pro QS 3,000 Round 2 (H1-8) Results: Heat 1: Leilani McGonagle (CRI) 11.27, Marion Philippe (PYF) 4.43, Autumn Hays (USA) 3.43, Eva Woodland (CRI) 1.84 Heat 2: Sophie McCulloch (AUS) 12.33, Josefina Ane (ARG) 9.63, Chiasa Maruyama (USA) 3.43, Melanie Giunta (PER) 1.84 Heat 3: Tiare Thompson (USA) 7.70, Zoe McDougall (HAW) 6.93, Vahine Fierro (PYF) 6.34, Kloee Openshaw (USA) 1.80 Heat 4: Chelsea Tuach (BRB) 13.10, Chelsea Roett (BRB) 6.50, Rubiana Brownell (CRI) 5.40, Juliette Lacome (FRA) 4.37 Heat 5: Zoe Benedetto (USA) 11.04, Nao Omura (JPN) 7.10, Pauline Ado (FRA) 5.20, Serena Nava (USA) 3.94 Heat 6: Cannelle Bulard (FRA) 15.66, Olivia Pessanha (USA) 9.30, Amuro Tsuzuki (JPN) 8.90, Dominica Barona (ECU) 6.83 Heat 7: Tia Blanco (PRI) 9.57, Rachel Presti (DEU) 8.00, Brittany Penaroza (HAW) 5.44, Molly Kirk (USA) 4.14 Heat 8: Caroline Marks (USA) 14.90, Carol Henrique (PRT) 9.30, Kaleigh Gilchrist (USA) 4.07, Nadia Erostarbe (EUK) 3.00
Remaining Women’s Florida Pro QS 3,000 Round 2 (H9-16) Matchups: Heat 9: Brisa Hennessy (HAW), Emily Nishimoto (JPN), Keala Tomoda-Bannert (HAW), Brooke Young (USA) Heat 10: Minori Kawai (JPN), Meah Collins (USA), Rachel Wilson (USA), Melanie Suarez-Diaz (CNI) Heat 11: Summer Macedo (HAW), Camilla Kemp (PRT), Cassidy McClain (USA), Neis Lartigue (FRA) Heat 12: Kirra Pinkerton (USA), Sara Wakita (JPN), Ava McGowan (USA), Brooke Daigneault (USA) Heat 13: India Robinson (AUS), Maud Le Car (FRA), Havanna Cabrero (PRI), Kayla Durden (USA) Heat 14: Kobie Enright (AUS), Leticia Canales Bilbao (ESP), Eveline Hooft (NDL), Uhaina Joly (FRA) Heat 15: Alyssa Spencer (USA), Samantha Sibley (USA), Julie Nishimoto (JPN) Heat 16: Mahina Maeda (JPN), Brianna Cope (HAW), Freya Prumm (AUS), Maddie Garlough (USA)
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

Tia Blanco Changes Flags, Excited To Represent Puerto Rico In Surfing Competitions For The Rest Of Her Surf Career

The day before Tia Blanco left for Puerto Rico, we had the opportunity to shoot a few photos at Oceanside Harbor. As always, Tia's surfing was fast and clean with explosive punctuation marks whenever a section loomed up. When Sunday night rolled around, it wasn't a surprise at all to see an Instagram post of Tia holding a large, $5,000 winner's check above her head in front of scores of Puerto Rican surf fans. However, Tia's photo caption caught me off guard.
"I am very grateful to take the win here at the Corona Pro! I had a blast surfing in amazing conditions all weekend! Also, I am super excited to now be representing the Puerto Rican flag for the rest of my surfing career! This was the island I was born on and it is an honor to represent them! Much love."
While most Instagram captions seem to be little more than filler for the photos they are paired with, here was some real information to contemplate. After absorbing the news, a bunch of questions suddenly came to mind--topics that Tia generously answered while exploring the island with her family.   corona-extra-pro-32-tia-blanco-snap-osiris-torres-apsprTia Blanco in winning form last weekend at the 32nd Corona Extra Pro at Domes Beach, Puerto Rico. Photo: © APSPR / Osiris Torres - Read the press release here >>
 
JettyGirl: First off, Tia, congratulations on winning the Corona Extra Pro at Domes Beach. Tia Blanco: Thank you very much! The event was so much fun and the waves were unreal!
We were surprised to see “PR” next to your name on the heat sheets and then when you won the event, you announced that you would be representing the Puerto Rican flag for the rest of your surfing career. Was that a difficult decision since you've played such an integral part of USA surfing as a multiple ISA gold medalist over the years? How was the news received in the US and in PR? I remember about 5 years ago when I was at the ISA Junior event in Nicaragua representing USA, the PR team came up to me saying that PR is the team that I should be a part of! However, at the time it just seemed like a nice thought, not something that could be realistic. Then, after seeing other surfers change their representation recently, I reached out to ISA to see what their rules and regulations were. Once the ISA confirmed with me that if I was born in PR , then I could represent their flag, it was very exciting news for me! I have always had a sense of connection with Puerto Rico and it has always been a part of my background/story. PR is technically still a part of America and my dad served in the US military there, therefore, I still feel like I am representing both flags in a way. Puerto Rico is such an amazing place, filled with the most passionate and kind people. It is so honorable to now be flying their flag!
As a representative of Puerto Rico, will you be spending time on the island training with any of their other local athletes for upcoming international competitions? As part of the change of flags, will you be moving there? Definitely! I am so excited to spend more time in Puerto Rico and fully immerse myself in the culture. I am in love with the waves, food, and people in PR, so I definitely want to spend more time there.
What is your favorite break in PR (that’s not a secret spot)? I would say one of my favorite breaks was Domes in Rincon. I was telling my family that is has been a long time since I have surfed perfect waves and how much fun I had.
When we visited the island, the locals insisted that we try Mofongo—have you had the opportunity to try a vegan version? If not Mofongo, what is your favorite Puerto Rican dish? Mofongo!!! I love mofongo, tostones, and yuca so much, lol. I wish there was somewhere in California where I can eat those foods more.
After Hurricane Maria devastated Puerto Rico six months ago, it was really heart-warming to see how neighbor helped neighbor and how people bound together for the good of the community. Hurricane or not, it’s a trait we’ve witnessed over and over again with Puerto Rican friends. When you’re exiting the water in future events and they ask you about your birthplace, what is it about the island or its people that inspires you the most? During my last visit to Puerto Rico I heard some pretty unimaginable stories that were hard to comprehend. However, I did hear some amazing stories as well. For example, when the students went back to school they had no power. One of the teachers told me that the day the power switched on, all the kids erupted with joy! She said that they immediately started cheering, jumping, and hugging one another! When I heard that story I had chicken skin! I am inspired by the passion and good energy that Puerto Rican's have within them! Their passion for their island really gives me motivation to work hard and do my best to represent them well.  
Follow Tia Blanco on Instagram >> @tiablanco
Tia Blanco backside snap. Photo: Chris Grant / JettyGirlTia Blanco, Oceanside, California. Photo: Chris Grant / JettyGirl

32nd Edition of Corona Extra Pro Surfing Circuit O’neill Series Crowns Brian Toth and Tiarah Blanco

32nd Edition of Corona Extra Pro - Brian Toth - Photo: Osiris Torres, APSPR©Brian Toth. Photo: © APSPR / Osiris Torres 32nd Edition of Corona Extra Pro - Tia Blanco - Photo: Osiris Torres, APSPR©Tiarah Blanco. Photo: © APSPR / Osiris Torres  
32nd Edition of Corona Extra Pro Surfing Circuit O’neill Series Crowns Brian Toth and Tiarah Blanco
Beautiful 4 to 6 foot conditions graced Domes Beach in the morning for the 32nd Edition of the Corona Extra Pro. The crowds were treated to professional surfing from the men and women. Up for grabs was the 32nd Edition of Corona Extra Title and the Corona Extra Pro Surfing Circuit O’neill Series. Surfers started off the day in clean conditions but as the West wind picked up throughout the day, conditions became more challenging. Briand Toth (PR) and Tiarah Blanco (PR) were able to come out on top with their champion performances. The Corona Extra Pro Surfing Circuit O’neill Series also crowned circuit champions, Brian Toth (PR) and Alexis Engstrom (PR).
32nd Edition of Corona Extra Pro - Beach Crowd - Photo: Osiris Torres, APSPR©Beach Crowds. Photo: © APSPR / Osiris Torres
Top men performers were Cory Lopez (FL), Tommy Bursian (PR), Ricardo Lucke (PR), Rob Kelly (US), Bryan Laide (PR), Mauricio Díaz (PR), and Gabriel Escudero (PR). Cory Lopez held down the highest wave of the day with a 9.23 followed closely behind by Tommy Bursian with a 9.17. The final heat between Nolan and Toth was an action packed final. Nolan got off to a quick start with a 7.27 and a 6.53 putting Toth playing catch up but Toth put up a good fight with a 7.07 and a 7.50 to take the lead over Nolan, a Corona Extra Pro veteran. Nolan was surfing injured from his back and neck, got injured two days prior to the event while surfing warming up for the event at Surfers Beach. The injury put Nolan out of the water for a day leading up to the event.
32nd Edition of Corona Extra Pro - Tia Blanco - Photo: Osiris Torres, APSPR©Tiara Blanco. Photo: © APSPR / Osiris Torres
On the women’s side of the action the day started off with Semifinal 1. Top performers for the women were semifinalists’ Idalis Alvarado (PR) and Molly Kirk (US). Champion Tiarah Blanco held down the top heat points of the event with a 9.33 on her 2nd wave and a 7.83 on her last wave for total of 17.16 points. Alexis Engstrom stayed busy trying to catch up with Tiara who utilized her priority to take the waves with the best score potential.
Thanks to our generous sponsors: Corona Extra, O’neill, Tequila José Cuervo, Mundo Rad, Hang Loose Surf Shop, and Werner Vega Surfboards.
garazi sanchez surf photos

Basque Country Surfer, Garazi Sanchez, 2018

Garazi Sanchez 2018 from Garazi Sanchez on Vimeo.  
The ocean has always been my home There, I've grown up And learnt the most valuable lessons of life That we are people who need dreams And aspirations That if I'm patient I'll be able to understand mother nature That if I fight and don't give up My body and mind will become stronger That those who follow their dreams are scared And feel lonely But at the end of the day, everything is worth it That you will lose a lot And you will want to quit But you will continue And that's the most important part of the journey That when you win It's not the medal that matters But those you were with along the journey Sport, surfing at the end Is my way to become a better person For me, it's not only about achieving my dream But about the person I become going for it
- Garazi Sánchez  
Film & Edit By @juanlabradora, @jorgelekunberri
Surfer @garazisanchez
  garazi sanchez surf photos
Lakey Peterson - © WSL / Cestari

World Surf League (WSL) News: Julian Wilson and Lakey Peterson Win Quiksilver and Roxy Pro Gold Coast

JULIAN WILSON AND LAKEY PETERSON WIN QUIKSILVER AND ROXY PRO GOLD COAST
- WILSON AND PETERSON TAKE JEEP LEADER JERSEY FOR FIRST TIME HEADING TO BELLS - ROOKIE COLAPINTO FINDS PERFECTION AT FIRING KIRRA - BUCHAN AND ANDREW SETTLE FOR SECOND PLACE AT PICTURE-PERFECT KIRRA
  Lakey Peterson - Photo: © WSL / Sloane Lakey Peterson of USA after winning the Roxy Pro, Gold Coast, 2018. Photo: © WSL / Sloane
COOLANGATTA, Queensland/AUS (Thursday, March 15, 2018) - The first stop on the 2018 World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro Gold Coast, witnessed an incredible start to the season as Lakey Peterson (USA) and Julian Wilson (AUS) claimed victory today in extraordinary conditions at Kirra on the Gold Coast of Australia.
Unpredictable performances and massive upsets shocked surfing’s biggest stage at this year’s season opener to remind the world that anything can happen on the Championship Tour. In addition to Peterson and Wilson taking the wins today, a new generation of surfers stepped up to showcase their progression, determination, and potential.
Peterson blitzed through the competition with the goal to surpass her 2017 Roxy Pro runner-up finish. The Californian was unstoppable as she took down two-time WSL Champion Tyler Wright (AUS) in the Quarterfinals, Malia Manuel (HAW) in the Semifinals, and Keely Andrew (AUS) in the Final.
Lakey Peterson - Photo: © WSL / Cestari Lakey Peterson (USA) flies out of a Kirra barrel to earn her first CT victory since 2012. Photo: © WSL / Cestari
“I don’t even know what to say to say -- there is too much emotion,” Peterson said. “I feel like I’ve been working for seven years to get another win. Just to finally have it, it’s super surreal, and I’m so grateful. It beats you down if you don’t ever win something. It’s been a while, so the hard work pays off. I just got such a great support crew. It’s so awesome. Mike [Parsons] and I have literally been working together forever and that win means so much to the both of us.”
Peterson is one of the most consistent high-scoring surfers on Tour and continues to push performance boundaries in the competitive space. The intensity and innovation brought by Peterson are now paying off with her first CT win since 2012. Last season, the Californian had previously earned runner-up finishes at this event and in France but now overtakes Wright for the top spot on the Jeep Leaderboard.
Lakey Peterson - Photo: © WSL / Sloane Lakey Peterson (USA) celebrates her win at the 2018 Roxy Pro Gold Coast. Photo: © WSL / Sloane
“I’m going to hold onto that Jeep yellow jersey until the very last event,” continued Peterson. “My goal is to stay steady the whole year and just believe in myself and enjoy the ride. I feel like I’m finally comfortable with my life and with my surfing where I just really want to enjoy it. Thanks to the WSL for giving us such great conditions today, and pushing us and really helping us elevate our level. It’s just such a fun time to be a part of it all, and I just feel humbled and blessed to be here doing what I love.”
Peterson dominated the Final from the get-go, posting an excellent 8.00 point ride for a long barrel ride. She then backed it up immediately with a 7.67, leaving Andrew in a combination situation (needing two scores). Andrew was unable to find a wave of substance, which left Peterson to take the first event win of 2018.
Previously, Andrew took down Australian superstar Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) in the Semifinals and six-time WSL Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) in the Quarterfinals. The runner-up result for Andrew is the second Finals appearance of her career. Andrew, who powerfully charged into the new season, will look to continue to climb the rankings and earn her first CT victory. The 23-year-old Australian will now vault from 11th to 2nd on the Jeep Leaderboard.
Julian Wilson - Photo: © WSL / Cestari Julian Wilson (AUS) is the WINNER of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast after defeating Adrian Buchan (AUS) in the final at Kirra, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia. Photo: © WSL / Cestari
Wilson has had a rollercoaster start to his season after injuring his shoulder in late January, then welcoming his child into the world with his wife, Ashley, last week. The Sunshine Coast local was unsure if he would compete at this event but surprised all with the first win of the season and the fourth CT win of his career.
“This is a childhood dream come true to come down from the Sunshine Coast and win the Quiksilver Pro,” Wilson said. “This is the closest event to home for me and watching guys win this event when I was younger is what lit the fire for me to want to be on Tour, so to win, is very special. I learned a lot about myself at this event, and through this injury, and the birth of my baby girl, Olivia, and my wife, Ashley. Honestly, watching the birth of my first child gave me an unbelievable strength to just suck up the pain in my shoulder, and come down here, and do what I needed to do. My wife has been a huge inspiration through the whole experience, so I want to thank Ashley for that."
Wilson has always been in the World Title conversation, but this win provides the 29-year-old with his best ever start to his Title campaign. Wilson will sport the yellow Jeep Leader Jersey heading into the next stop on the CT, the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach competition, which starts March 28 and runs through April 8, 2018.
"I’m happy to have a better result in Australia than I did after all three events in Australia last year," continued Wilson. "There’s a massive positive in that. I’m looking forward to Bells, to compete again and work off this injury.”
Julian Wilson - Photo: © WSL / Sloane Today's win for Julian Wilson (AUS) at the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast now moves him to the top spot on the Jeep Leaderboard. Photo: © WSL / Sloane
The intense men’s Final saw the two Australians, Wilson and Adrian Buchan (AUS), punch wave-for-wave, fighting their way out of massive tubes for the win. Wilson kicked off the heat with a fiery start, a near-perfect 9.93, by coming out of a huge barrel. Wilson and Buchan continued to charge the Kirra sets, resulting in a close race for first. Buchan attacked back with a 6.50 and an 8.60 but was unable to overtake his compatriot.
Adrian Buchan - Photo: © WSL / Cestari Adrian Buchan (AUS) is the RUNNER-UP of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast after placing second to Julian Wilson (AUS) in the final at Kirra, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia. Photo: © WSL / Cestari
Having won two CT events in his career, Buchan is no stranger to the pressure on the big stage. The technically-gifted, rail-surfer moved through the field with precision, even on the final day, where the hollow Kirra waves would put most goofy-footers at a disadvantage. In the end, Buchan was up against the ropes with a rampaging Wilson running away with the lead, but he admitted that he was happy to finish second to his close friend.
“Obviously you want to win events, but I’m so happy to see Julian [Wilson] take this one out,” Buchan said. “I know he’s had so much to deal with recently with his injury and becoming a father, so this win would feel so amazing for him. Sharing pumping Kirra with one other person out -- who happens to be your mate -- is incredible. I don’t think you could ask for anything better than that.”
Griffin Colapinto - Photo: © WSL / Cestari Griffin Colapinto (USA) advanced to the Semifinals of the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast after winning Quarterfinal 1 at Kirra, Gold Coast, QLD, Australia. Colapinto scored a perfect ten point ride in the heat, the first in his rookie year on the Championship Tour. Photo: © WSL / Sloane
Griffin Colapinto (USA), the standout rookie from San Clemente California, amazed the world today with the first Perfect 10 of the 2018 CT season. Colapinto miraculously made his way out of three deep barrels in one wave to set the bar for the new season.
“I’ve never had three barrels on one wave so it felt amazing, particularly in a heat,” Colapinto said. “I think it was the best wave of my life. I’m so happy to get third in my first event. I’m loving the CT and hope I won’t be going anywhere for a very long time. I’m loving it here in Australia, the people on the Gold Coast are the best.”
The 19-year-old has been outshining surfing’s veterans in the first event of his rookie season, including his wins over Joel Parkinson (AUS), the 2012 WSL Champion and Gold Coast favorite, and veteran Michel Bourez (PYF). Unfortunately, Colapinto was unable to advance out of his Semifinal matchup against Wilson but will still exit as the rising-star of the event. All eyes will be on the young challenger this season to see how far he will push professional surfing in his rookie year.
Owen Wright (AUS), 2017 Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast winner, was stopped in the first Quarterfinal by Buchan after struggling to find a rhythm at Kirra. Wright will exit with a 5th place result, moving to 5th on the Jeep Leaderboard.
Earlier today, rookie Tomas Hermes (BRA) delivered another shock to the first event of the year by eliminating Filipe Toledo (BRA) in the Quarterfinals. Toledo’s result will boost him from 10th to equal 5th on the Jeep Leaderboard. Hermes’ Semifinal result blasts him up to 3rd on the rankings and well in the 2018 Rookie of the Year race.
The world’s best surfers will now head to Bells Beach for the Rip Curl Pro, Stop No. 2 on the WSL Championship Tour, starting March 28 through April 8, 2018.
 
Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Final Results: 1 - Julian Wilson (AUS) 17.43 2 - Adrian Buchan (AUS) 15.10
Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Semifinal Results: SF 1: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 10.00 def. Tomas Hermes (BRA) 9.17 SF 2: Julian Wilson (AUS) 13.77 def. Griffin Colapinto (USA) 11.66
Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Quarterfinal Results: QF 1: Adrian Buchan (AUS) 13.50 def. Owen Wright (AUS) 2.50 QF 2: Tomas Hermes (BRA) 8.73 def. Filipe Toledo (BRA) 7.33 QF 3: Julian Wilson (AUS) 14.44 def. Michael Rodrigues (BRA) 10.00 QF 4: Griffin Colapinto (USA) 16.43 def. Michel Bourez (PYF) 12.44
Roxy Pro Gold Coast Final Results: 1 - Lakey Peterson (USA) 15.67 2 - Keely Andrew (AUS) 5.67
Roxy Pro Gold Coast Semifinal Results: Heat 1: Lakey Peterson (USA) 11.00 def. Malia Manuel (HAW) 8.33 Heat 2: Keely Andrew (AUS) 7.50 def. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 6.77
2018 WSL Men’s CT Jeep Leaderboard (After Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast): 1 -Julian Wilson (AUS) 10,000 pts 2 - Adrian Buchan (AUS) 7,800 pts 3 - Griffin Colapinto (USA) 6,085 pts 3 - Tomas Hermes (BRA) 6,085 pts
2018 Women’s CT Jeep Leaderboard (After Roxy Pro Gold Coast): 1 -Lakey Peterson (USA) 10,000 pts 2 - Keely Andrew (AUS) 7,800 pts 3 - Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 6,085 pts 3 - Malia Manuel (HAW) 6,085 pts
 
For more information, check out WorldSurfLeague.com.
 
About 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 League, 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 in excess of 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 world champions in Men’s, Women’s across all divisions within the tour.
Showcasing the world's best surfing on its digital platform at WorldSurfLeague.com as well as the free WSL app, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Tyler Wright, John John Florence, Paige Alms, Kai Lenny, Taylor Jensen, Honolua Blomfield, Mick Fanning, Stephanie Gilmore, Kelly Slater, Carissa Moore, Gabriel Medina, Courtney Conlogue and more battle on the most unpredictable and dynamic field of play of any sport in the world.
For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com Dave Prodan, SVP of Global Brand Identity, dprodan@worldsurfleague.com, +1 (805) 758-5586 Chloe Kojima, Communications Manager ckojima@worldsurfleague.com, +1 (310) 386-9181
Keely Andrew - Photo: © WSL / Sloane

World Surf League (WSL) News: Quarterfinal Carnage as Top Seeds Bow Out of Roxy Pro Gold Coast

QUARTERFINAL CARNAGE AS TOP SEEDS BOW OUT OF ROXY PRO GOLD COAST
- ANDREW ELIMINATES 6X WORLD CHAMPION GILMORE - PETERSON EYES VICTORY AFTER OVERCOMING REIGNING WORLD CHAMPION WRIGHT - MANUEL TAKES DOWN 3X WORLD CHAMPION MOORE
Location: Coolangatta, Queensland, Australia Event window: March 11 - 22, 2018 Today's call: Women's Round 2, 3 & Quarterfinals complete Conditions: 3 - 4 foot (1 - 1.2 meter)
  Keely Andrew - Photo: © WSL / Sloane Keely Andrew of Australia advanced into Round 3 after winning Heat 5 of Round 2 at the Roxy Pro, Gold Coast, 2018. Photo: © WSL / Sloane
COOLANGATTA, Queensland/AUS (Monday, March 12, 2018) - The Quiksilver and Roxy Pro Gold Coast, Stop No. 1 of the World Surf League (WSL) Championship Tour (CT), continued today with the women’s Semifinalists decided in clean three-to-four foot (1 - 1.2 metre) waves. With the conditions holding up all day, event officials decided to run through Rounds 2, 3, and the Quarterfinals. Now only four surfers remain in contention for the 2018 Roxy Pro Gold Coast title.
In what was undoubtedly the upset of the entire event, six-time Roxy Pro Gold Coast event winner Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) was taken down by fellow Queenslander Keely Andrew (AUS). Six-time WSL Champion Gilmore looked in good touch throughout the day but fell victim to a slow ocean in Quarterfinal 4 waiting with priority until the final minutes, only to find a midrange score. Needing to improve her situation in the dying seconds, Andrew took off on a smaller wave and got to work, tagging it all the way down the point to post a 6-point ride and progress into the Semifinals. Gilmore finishes her home event in a respectable Equal 5th position.
“I’m a bit shocked right now,” Andrew said. “Surfing out here against Steph [Gilmore] at her home break was incredible. The waves looked fun all day, but it slowed down a lot in our Quarterfinal. I was so nervous because she only needed a small score, and I only found out that I’d won when I got back to the surfer’s area. I’ve worked really hard in the offseason and it feels so good to know that the hard work has paid off.”
Lakey Peterson - Photo: © WSL / Sloane Lakey Peterson of USA advanced into Round 3 after winning Heat 4 of Round 2 at the Roxy Pro, Gold Coast, 2018. Photo: © WSL / Sloane
2017 Roxy Pro Gold Coast runner-up Lakey Peterson (USA) was in ominous form today. The Californian posted excellent scores all the way to the Quarterfinals where she eventually eliminated reigning WSL Champion and current World No. 1, Tyler Wright (AUS). Peterson’s trademark frontside arcs sent a shot over the bow of her fellow competitors as she hunts for her first CT Victory since 2012.
“It’s crazy -- it’s only two days into the season and I’m into the Semis,” Peterson said. “We’ve had perfect, quintessential Snapper today with long perfect waves and sunshine. Tyler [Wright] is a two-time World Champion for a reason and she’s someone I look up to, but I always feel like I surf my best against the best. The only option I had to beat her was for me to surf my best, so I couldn’t hold back. There was nothing I could do to change her surfing, so I just focused on mine and it worked out in the end.”
Malia Manuel - Photo: © WSL / Sloane Malia Manuel of Hawaii advanced into Round 3 after winning Heat 1 of Round 2 at the Roxy Pro, Gold Coast, 2018. Photo: © WSL / Sloane
After an injury-plagued 2017 season, Hawaii’s Malia Manuel comes into 2018 with the aim of involving herself heavily in the World Title conversation from the start of the season. The stylish natural-footer has already achieved this with an amazing display at Snapper Rocks. Manuel’s best performance came in Quarterfinal 2 where she posted one of the highest heat totals of the event, a 15.83 (out of a possible 20), to overcome three-time WSL Champion Carissa Moore (HAW), who leaves in Equal 5th place.
“I’ve met Carissa [Moore] in the Quarters a couple of times here in the past and she’s beaten me every single time,” Manuel said. “I remember some of those matchups and they were a bit slow and hard to choose what waves to take, but today we had so many waves and this is exactly what you want from your first event of the year. This will be my first Semi at Snapper and it’s a great start to the year for me. Hopefully, I can use this momentum as it’s a long year ahead.”
Sally Fitzgibbons - Photo: © WSL / Cestari Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) advances to the Quarterfinals of the Roxy Pro Gold Coast after placing second in Heat 4 of Round 3 at Snapper Rocks, QLD, Australia.
Current World No. 3 Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) looked destined to end up in the Semifinals as she tore through the field at Snapper Rocks. In Quarterfinal 3, she had the tough task of challenging 2018 CT Rookie Caroline Marks (USA) -- who had been taking down the big names all day -- with an impressive display of backhand surfing. Marks’ run came to an end at the hands of Fitzgibbons who was on fire, posting the highest heat total of the entire event, a 16.57 (out of a possible 20).
“It feels so good to be out there on a dreamy day like this,” Fitzgibbons said. “The waves have this perfect shape to them. I was out there in my own world enjoying surfing and I’ve found myself in the Semis. It’s been an exciting day to watch. There’s been a lot of excellent surfing and fins being thrown and I really enjoy the progressive side of the sport. I’ve been having so much fun in my freesurfs, and I’ve been trying to bring some of that into my heat surfing.”
Although Marks was unable to overcome Fitzgibbons, she finishes her first CT event as a rookie in Equal 5th after taking down some of surfing's biggest names including Sage Erickson (USA), Silvana Lima (BRA), and Gilmore.
“I think a few years ago, I would have been star-struck and not sure of what to do out there,” Marks said. “But now, even though they’re my idols, I really want to beat them and go and out and perform and win. Today wasn’t my day, but I just need to focus on the positives.”
Event officials will reconvene tomorrow morning at 6:30 a.m. AEST for a potential 7:00 a.m. start.
 
Surfline, WSL forecast partner, is calling for:
Mid period, mid size E swell from former Cyclone Hola will likely build in through Tuesday. Confidence is increasing that a new low/tropical cyclone will set up larger ENE to E swell Wed-Thu, easing slowly into and over the weekend as the swell direction shifts more ESE/SE. Long range guidance points to more mid size ESE/SE swell around the last couple days of the event window.
 
Roxy Pro Gold Coast Round 2 Results: Heat 1: Malia Manuel (HAW) 12.06 def. Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 8.10 Heat 2: Caroline Marks (USA) 12.33 def. Sage Erickson (USA) 11.16 Heat 3: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 15.17 def. Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) 10.40 Heat 4: Lakey Peterson (USA) 14.17 def. Paige Hareb (NZL) 8.80 Heat 5: Keely Andrew (AUS) 15.33 def. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 9.50 Heat 6: Silvana Lima (BRA) 12.76 def. Bronte Macaulay (AUS) 11.27
Roxy Pro Gold Coast Round 3 Results: Heat 1: Lakey Peterson (USA) 16.26, Carissa Moore (HAW) 14.76, Macy Callaghan (AUS) 8.64 Heat 2: Malia Manuel (HAW) 13.96, Tyler Wright (AUS) 13.04, Coco Ho (HAW) 11.86 Heat 3: Caroline Marks (USA) 14.17, Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 13.40, Silvana Lima (BRA) 12.76 Heat 4: Keely Andrew (AUS) 14.97, Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 14.16, Johanne Defay (FRA) 13.53
Roxy Pro Gold Coast Quarterfinal Results: Heat 1: Lakey Peterson (USA) 15.23 def. Tyler Wright (AUS) 12.67 Heat 2: Malia Manuel (HAW) 15.83 def. Carissa Moore (HAW) 12.60 Heat 3: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 16.57 def. Caroline Marks (USA) 13.77 Heat 4: Keely Andrew (AUS) 11.87 def. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 10.83
Roxy Pro Gold Coast Semifinal Matchups: Heat 1: Lakey Peterson (USA) vs. Malia Manuel (HAW) Heat 2: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) vs. Keely Andrew (AUS)
Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Round 2 Matchups: Heat 1: John John Florence (HAW) vs. Mikey Wright (AUS) Heat 2: Gabriel Medina (BRA) vs. Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) Heat 3: Matt Wilkinson (AUS) vs. Michael February (ZAF) Heat 4: Adriano de Souza (BRA) vs. Ian Gouveia (BRA) Heat 5: Joel Parkinson (AUS) vs. Patrick Gudauskas (USA) Heat 6: Sebastian Zietz (HAW) vs. Michael Rodrigues (BRA) Heat 7: Frederico Morais (PRT) vs, Ezekiel Lau (HAW) Heat 8: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) vs. Keanu Asing (HAW) Heat 9: Caio Ibelli (BRA) vs. Willian Cardoso (BRA) Heat 10: Conner Coffin (USA) vs. Yago Dora (BRA) Heat 11: Joan Duru (FRA) vs. Tomas Hermes (BRA) Heat 12: Jesse Mendes (BRA) vs. Wade Carmichael (AUS)
 
For more information, check out WorldSurfLeague.com.
 
About 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 League, 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 in excess of 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 world champions in Men’s, Women’s across all divisions within the tour.
Showcasing the world's best surfing on its digital platform at WorldSurfLeague.com as well as the free WSL app, the WSL has a passionate global fan base with millions tuning in to see world-class athletes like Tyler Wright, John John Florence, Paige Alms, Kai Lenny, Taylor Jensen, Honolua Blomfield, Mick Fanning, Stephanie Gilmore, Kelly Slater, Carissa Moore, Gabriel Medina, Courtney Conlogue and more battle on the most unpredictable and dynamic field of play of any sport in the world.
For more information, please visit WorldSurfLeague.com Dave Prodan, SVP of Global Brand Identity, dprodan@worldsurfleague.com, +1 (805) 758-5586 Chloe Kojima, Communications Manager ckojima@worldsurfleague.com, +1 (310) 386-9181

Surf Into Savings – Cyber Monday Surf Shop Specials, Discounts & Coupon Codes

Oceanside Pier - Cyber Monday Coupon Codes and Surf Shop Discounts - Photo by Chris Grant Photo, JettyGirl Online Surf Magazine
We hope you had a fun Thanksgiving holiday with family and friends. Wherever you are in the country, here are some surf shop specials, discount offers, and surf-related coupon codes for Cyber Monday. We will add additional ones as they cross our desk. Happy shopping!
Body Glove - 30% Off Sitewide with MONDAY30
Prana - Shop prAna's Thanksgiving Sale for 30% Off Select Styles + Free Shipping! Offer Valid 11/21-11/28.
Reef - Free Pair of Socks when you purchase $65+ at Reef! No code required. Ends 12/11/17. Shop lifestyle apparel! 
Reef - Cyber Week Deal! Free 2 Day Shipping at Reef! Code THANKU. Ends 11/27/17. Shop surf lifestyle apparel, footwear, and more!
Spy Optic - Up to 60% off once yearly super sale! 20% off sitewide - no exclusions! Use code: CM20. Plus free premium water bottle with purchase of $75+
Swell - Get 30% Off Sitewide at Swell! Offer ends 12/28/17. Shop Now!
Volcom - Women's Volcom Fall markdowns just further reduced to 40% Off + Free Shipping & Returns! Shop now!
   Free shipping & returns on all orders at Volcom. No minimum. Shop now!   

Disclosure/Disclaimer
Any offers listed above are provided by way of affiliations, colleagues, or paid insertions. Translation: If you buy anything from the brands listed above, JettyGirl will get a small percentage. Thank you for your continued support of independent surf publishing. Please note that while we do our best to make sure these are current, we have no control over or offer any guarantees as to the validity of the deals or discounts offered by these vendors.

Malia Manuel - Kelly Slater Wave Co

“Thankful” – Malia Manuel, Coco Ho, Sage Erickson & Lakey Peterson Score Perfect Barrels at Kelly Slater’s Wave Pool

Thankful from Kelly Slater Wave Co on Vimeo.

 
With each new clip that Kelly Slater Wave Co releases, the legend grows. In an edit that dropped on Thanksgiving, Malia Manuel, Coco Ho, Sage Erickson, and Lakey Peterson score barrel after barrel in glassy, pristine conditions. If smiles are an accurate indicator of being thankful, this clip contains more gratitude than any other we've seen. Love this video!!!
 
Surfers Malia Manuel - @maliamanuel Coco Ho - @xococoho Sage Erickson - @sageerickson Lakey Peterson - @lakeypeterson
 
Film/Edit/Production Kelly Slater Wave Co Aether Films