Earlier this year I caught my first glimpse of Hawaii's Alessa Quizon at the Rob Machado Pro Jr. at Seaside Reef. To my eyes, Alessa's approach to the fickle reef was part precision, part wrecking ball. While others were dodging, she was attacking. Her performance was so eye-opening to me that I couldn't help but think that the four finalists must have been thanking their lucky stars that Alessa didn't come up with a backup score in the semis. Alessa blasted this Occy-like turn at the Supergirl Pro Jr in Oceanside this summer to the cheers and applause of everyone on the beach. Keep your eyes on Alessa Quizon because she has a big, big future! Photos: Chris Grant / Jettygirl.com Additional Resources: Alessa Quizon at Billabong Girls Rob Machado Seaside Pro Jr. Photo Gallery
Rob Machado Seaside Pro Junior Photo Gallery Photos: Chris Grant / JettyGirl Online Surf Magazine This year marked a first for Rob Machado's annual contest, the addition of a Pro Junior event for the girls. In the challenging and shifty conditions of Seaside Reef, the pre-contest favorite, Lakey Peterson, lived up to expectations and took out the Final, defeating Hawaii's Nage' Melamed and Leila Hurst with California's Taylor Pitz rounding out the field. Here are a few moments from the event... Left: Up the beach from the competition site, Lakey Peterson paddled out into a drifting, current-filled, empty lineup and scored some nice warm-up waves before the final day commenced. Lakey Peterson was on fire from the first round. Spectacular backside hook at Seaside Reef. Seaside Reef offered up plenty of surf. Tatiana Weston-Webb throws water as a bumpy left lines up ahead of her. Malibu's Chandler Parr scored a last second victory on Day 1 but was starved of waves in the Quarterfinals. At only 13 years old, Kylie Loveland already knows that good surfing begins with solid bottom turns. Hawaii's Brianna Cope came up just short in the Semifinals but had some of the best rights of the contest. Special mention goes to Floridian Haley Watson who shined wearing a wetsuit in the sub-60 degree water temps. The loudest cheers of the event went up when 11 year old Meah Collins wrapped this spray-throwing turn. Although unlucky to miss the Final, Hawaii's Alessa Quizon was a clear standout in the event unloading on every section that presented itself. Alessa Quizon after a blistering Quarterfinal performance. One of the biggest supporters of women's surfing in the surf industry (and one of the few who will give JettyGirl the time of day), Billabong's Megan Brainard Villa, shown here with Alessa Cuizon. With a spirited run in the Semis, Laguna Beach's Taylor Pitz used her formidable backside skills to make the Finals. Taylor Pitz' camp exploded with applause when she made the Final. A smiling Taylor walks with Lauren Otonicar of Tonic Haircare, one of Taylor's sponsors. Earlier in the week I had the honor of babysitting Leila Hurst's new board on the beach. As her Finals berth would attest, the new board works very well indeed! Hawaii's Leila Hurst ripped throughout the event and walked away with a 3rd Place finish. Nage' Melamed surfs really well on her backhand, routinely putting her board in unique positions in the lip. Nage' shredded into 2nd Place in the comp. By the afternoon, the inside peak shifted and some fun rights poured through the lineup. Nage's smooth carves complimented them perfectly. Lakey Peterson won the Rob Machado Pro Jr largely because of her excellent backhand skills. I dug this weightless, drifting re-entry...a wonderful blend of timing, speed and balance by Lakey Peterson. A stoked Lakey Peterson exits the water to be congratulated by family, friends and the press. A jubilant Lakey Peterson, winner of the 2011 Rob Machado Seaside Pro Junior.