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
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, 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

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
Single Wave Thursday featuring Tia Blanco on Jettygirl Online Surf Magazine

Tia Blanco – Single Wave Thursday. One Ride, No Music, Just Surfing.

Single Wave Thursday featuring Tia Blanco on Jettygirl Online Surf Magazine Tia Blanco - Single Wave Thursday. One Ride, No Music, Just Surfing. There's nothing quite like clean rail work and San Clemente's Tia Blanco puts her rails to good use on this fun left during the 2013 Surfing America USA Championships. Tia weaves a perfect blend of style and power as she unloads an explosive, carving hack on the inside section. After checking out her Single Wave Thursday below, be sure and click on over to another clip featuring Tia pulling into a nice barrel in Tahiti. Film: Chris Grant | Sound: Audio provided by abcopen at * To change the resolution to HD, click the little icon to the right of the clock on the YouTube player (you must hit the play arrow first to see the icons). Previous Single Wave Thursdays: Pauline Ado | Tory Gilkerson | Claire Bevilacqua | Kaleigh Gilchrist | Courtney Conlogue | Justine Dupont | Silvana Lima | Courtney Conlogue | Erin Ashley | Brittani Nicholl | Alexa Frantz | Lindsay Steinriede
Additional Resources: Tia Blanco - official site Tia Blanco on Instagram Tia Blanco on Facebook Tia Blanco on Twitter Reef Girls J7 Surfboards Daphne's California Greek Sticky Bumps Tonic Haircare DFS Movement
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The ASP Women's World Tour at Lowers: A Watershed Moment in Women's Pro Surfing. Carissa Moore photo © Red Bull Media House

The ASP Women’s World Tour at Lowers. A Watershed Moment in Women’s Pro Surfing.

A few days into the 2013 Hurley Pro at Lowers, an official announcement was made from the booth declaring that the ASP Women's World Tour would be joining the men at the same event in 2014. Immediately, our hearts leapt with joy as one of our dreams over the years has been to see the women get the opportunity to surf a spot like Trestles in a World Tour competition. Within seconds of the announcement, Twitter, Facebook, and other social media outlets were buzzing with the news as posts were made from both fans and World Tour members alike. In the warm-up sessions that took place in the days before this year's Hurley Pro, we had the opportunity to swim around with the world's best surfers from the Men's ASP World Tour. While we didn't hear every conversation going down, the topic we heard discussed most was how incredibly fun the waves at Lowers are. The lineup was crazy-competitive and ultra-crowded with everyone from Kelly Slater and Taj Burrow to ex-WCT'ers like Chris Ward who consistently picked off the best waves of the day. Floating in the channel with a camera, it felt like we were sitting at a surf movie witnessing the best that progressive surfing has to offer. Come 2014, the women will get in on it too. If the swell cooperates at the event next September, we believe that the performances put on by the current members of the ASP Top 17 will be a watershed moment in women's professional surfing. There won't be hopping, groveling, or rolling the dice on which onshore peak to surf like some spots on the Tour schedule. Instead, there will be Lowers, a perfect pointbreak that's as close to high-performance heaven as we have in Southern California. The wave has something for every type of surfer on Tour and offers a canvas that is as equally friendly to the air game as it is to committed rail work. Lowers is our favorite wave on the coast and we're so excited that the women will get the chance to surf it in 2014. We're not the only ones amping though. We asked a bunch surfers on the current ASP Women's World Tour to share their thoughts on the event and we also received feedback from some of the US mainland and Hawaii's best amateurs, many of whom hope to be joining the Tour themselves in the future. We'll step aside now and kick it off with our current World Champion, Carissa Moore. Solid frontside air by the 2013 ASP Women's World Champion, Carissa Moore. Photo courtesy of Red Bull Content Pool. © Red Bull Media House "An event at Lowers for the women is such exciting news. It is such a high performance wave that I think will really suit the women and allow for next level surfing. It is so encouraging to see Hurley and the ASP make the effort to get us such an amazing venue for the 2014 season." - Carissa Moore line of blue and gray Sally Fitzgibbons fin throw at Lowers. Surf photo by Chris Grant, Jettygirl Online Surf Magazine. "The news of the Lowers event being locked in for our 2014 tour was really exciting to hear. With the talent level on the Women's World Tour at an all-time high, it is a perfect time to introduce a high performance wave like Trestles. It will be an awesome atmosphere to compete in alongside the Men's Tour event and I'm predicting that all the heats will be extremely close. I'm looking forward to putting together a great performance there. I can't wait for September to roll around again next year and give it everything I've got to lift the inaugural Hurley Pro Trestles trophy." - Sally Fitzgibbons line of blue and gray California's top-ranked female pro surfer, Courtney Conlogue, gets one last hit off a foamy section at Lower Trestles. Surf photo by Chris Grant, Jettygirl Online Surf Magazine. "I'm looking forward to surfing a location such as Lowers on the World Tour because it’s a wave that allows high performance progressive surfing. It’s a move in the right direction for the Women’s World Tour." - Courtney Conlogue line of blue and gray Hawaiian pro surfer, Malia Manuel, testing out new boards on a clean afternoon at Lowers. Surf photo by Chris Grant, Jettygirl Online Surf Magazine. "Going into 2014 there are going to be a lot of positive changes for the Women's tour. That gave me motivation to want to re-qualify so I can be a part of such an awesome time for the sport of women's surfing. So far, I'm most excited about the added event at Trestles. Lowers is the skatepark of surfing and I'm looking forward to finally getting to compete again at that prestigious venue." - Malia Manuel line of blue and gray New Zealand pro surfer, Paige Hareb, hits the lip and projects down the line on a solid wave at Lowers this summer. Surf photo by Chris Grant, Jettygirl Online Surf Magazine. "I know there used to be a women's event at Trestles a long time ago. Ever since I knew that, I've been wishing that we would get it back and now it's here! I'm so thankful to still be on tour and to be able to get the chance to surf this fun, world class wave with one other lady in the water, eeek I'm getting excited just thinking about it!" - Paige Hareb line of blue and gray Australian surfer, Bec Woods, hits the lip in Carlsbad, California. Surf photo by Chris Grant, Jettygirl Online Surf Magazine. "Too little too late for me as I won't be on your next year. But I am stoked to say that Trestles will definitely be one event I will tune into next year for the women. To be able to showcase their ability in actual waves instead of having tactical beach break conditions will be really exciting. Congrats to the ASP for getting that one on the schedule. Wish I could of hung on long enough to be there!" - Bec Woods line of blue and gray Australian pro surfer and new member of the 2014 ASP Women's World Tour, Dimity Stoyle gets her fins free at Lowers. Surf photo by Chris Grant, Jettygirl Online Surf Magazine. "I was so excited when I heard the news of Lowers! Next year is going to be my first year on tour and the timing could not have been better! I have surfed that wave a few times before and it is the most perfect wave! The crowd is insane, so just being out in the water with one other girl out is going to be so dreamy!" - Dimity Stoyle line of blue and gray 2014 ASP Women's World Tour member, Nikki Van Dijk, hooks one backside on a clean afternoon left. Surf photo by Chris Grant, Jettygirl Online Surf Magazine. "Lowers is an incredible wave obviously and I am so so excited to compete there next year. It's going to be exciting for us to show everyone our best surfing in perfect waves. It's definitely a huge step forward in women's surfing." - Nikki van Dijk line of blue and gray French surfer, Johanne Defay, hits the closeout on a sunny, Southern California afternoon. Surf photo by Chris Grant, Jettygirl Online Surf Magazine. "The dream tour aptly named. It's a perfect wave, and the girls will be able to show their finest surfing!" - Johanne Defay line of blue and gray Hawaiian surfer, Tatiana Weston-Webb, hooks a turn on an afternoon Lowers left. Surf photo by Chris Grant, Jettygirl Online Surf Magazine. "I heard rumors of Lowers being an upcoming event for the 2014 Women's World Tour when I was in France and Spain, and I was already freaking out about the rumor. When the ASP made the announcement I couldn't stop imagining how amazing it would be for the women to get to perform at such a perfect wave! The next thing I thought was this is definitely the next step to competitive surfing for women because Lowers is one of the most prestigious waves and it's a really big deal that the Hurley Pro wants to include women in the event! Many women on Tour will get a lot more publicity because of it!" - Tatiana Weston-Webb line of blue and gray Current USA Surf Team member, Nikki Viesins, hits the lip vertically at Lower Trestles, California. Surf photo by Chris Grant, Jettygirl Online Surf Magazine. "I think it will be a great venue. Lowers is a world class wave, and you can pretty much count on it to produce swell. I think it gives the women a fair chance to demonstrate their talent and prove themselves. It's a great location, and I am really looking forward to watching the event. Hopefully one day I'll be right up there with them." - Nikki Viesins line of blue and gray Tia Blanco gouges a fun Lowers left during the 2013 Surfing America USA Championships. Surf photo by Chris Grant, Jettygirl Online Surf Magazine. "I am overly excited to see that the women's tour has made its way to lowers. I have experienced heats there the past couple of years and it is one of the best places to have a contest. Lowers is such an amazing wave. The girls this year are so talented and I believe everyone has been waiting for this opportunity for them to surf such a rippable wave. Hopefully one day I will get the chance to join them!" - Tia Blanco line of blue and gray Hawaiian surfer, Mahina Maeda, drives hard off the bottom of a solid Lowers left. Surf photo by Chris Grant, Jettygirl Online Surf Magazine. "When I heard about the new World Tour event for the Women at Lower Trestles, I was shocked. I think it’s amazing that they are holding it at a world-class wave, and it gets to show the truth of about women’s surfing. Over the years we’ve been less prioritized and we should be treated as one with the boys, because every woman out there has the potential to do a man's job. If there's an amateur event at Lowers, why isn't there a pro event? Lowers is a rippable wave, and I'm excited to see my favorite surfers be out there for next year's season, and hoping I get to surf in that event sometime in the future. I’ve won a couple of National Titles there, and hoping to win a World Tour event at that same spot." - Mahina Maeda line of blue and gray Hawaiian surfer, Dax McGill, punts a nice frontside air on a fun afternoon Lowers left. Surf photo by Chris Grant, Jettygirl Online Surf Magazine. "When I heard the news about the Women's tour having a stop at Lowers I was ecstatic! I couldn't really even believe it. Lowers is one of the most perfect waves in the world. In my opinion it's the closest thing to a wave pool! This event is going to show the true potential of all the women on the tour. Hopefully one day I'll be surfing in it! Thank you Hurley for the amazing opportunity for the women. They're going to prove themselves ;)" - Dax McGill line of blue and gray USA Surf Team member, Kylie Loveland, hooks a nice backside turn at Lowers this summer. Surf photo by Chris Grant, Jettygirl Online Surf Magazine. "I think the Women's World Tour coming to Lowers is something that has taken too long to happen! Everyone loves watching the guys shred one of the best waves in Southern California, but it's only fair to let the girls have their fair share of fun too! I'm stoked to see that girl surfers are getting more opportunities just like the boys." - Kylie Loveland line of blue and gray Malia Ward throws down a nice layback snap on an overcast day at Lower Trestles, California. Surf photo by Chris Grant, Jettygirl Online Surf Magazine. "I think that it's an amazing opportunity for the girls to really show off their competition strategies and skills. And it also represents the growth and uprising of women's surfing. I believe Lowers is a magical wave that will bring out the most talent in a contest and it is a big step for women's surfing to be a part of that." - Malia Ward line of blue and gray Final Note: Thank you to the ASP, Paul Speaker, Jessi Miley-Dyer, Pat O'Connell, Bob Hurley, the Hurley brand, IMG, California State Parks and whoever else played an integral part in taking the ASP Women's World Tour to Trestles next year. With this move you have fulfilled dreams and undoubtedly stoked the imaginations of young athletes the world over who will get to witness the best female surfers competing in a truly, world-class venue. Photos: Chris Grant / | Photo of Carissa Moore © Red Bull Media House

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2011 NSSA National Interscholastic Championships Presented by Nike 6.0

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE NATIONAL INTERSCHOLASTICS GO OFF IN EXCELLENT SURF CONDITIONS AT SALT CREEK! Mira Costa College, San Clemente High School, Huntington Beach High School and Shorecliffs Middle School take team gold! (Huntington Beach, Ca - June 20, 2011) - The 2011 National Interscholastic Championships presented by Nike 6.0 witnessed a phenomenal marathon three days of performance surfing from the top college, high school and middle school surfers from around the country. The Interscholastics were blessed with a building southwest swell which pumped in excellent 4-5 foot surf at Salt Creek. 17 college teams, 12 high schools and 9 middle schools combined for nearly 370 competitors in the Interscholastic Championships. Team spirit was at an all-time high as hungry surfers competed passionately for the gold for their nationally ranked schools. In an exciting battle for first in the College Championships, Mira Costa edged out the defending 12-time National Champion UC Santa Barbara by a score of 107-106. The victory gave its Mira Costa‚s third National Championship and first since 2004. Running neck and neck with Santa Barbara going into the final rounds, Mira Costa‚s rise to the top of the podium was attributed to Brent Reilly‚s victory in the College Mens and Dayton Silva who was performing double duty placing in both the Mens and Longboard finals. Reilly, who won a National High School Mens title surfing for Carlsbad High in 2008, was on a dominating level at Salt Creek. His polished and explosive frontside attack was a perfect fit for the steep Salt Creek lefthanders. UC Santa Barbara‚s Lipoa Kahaleuahi successfully defended her 2010 National College Womens title and Troy Mothershead broke through for his first National Interscholastic Longboard title bringing his career National title count up to four. Mothershead had won an Explorer title in 2006 and an Explorer and Open title in 2007 and will now add an Interscholastic title to his resume. Top ranked San Clemente High School marched to their eleventh National title in a decisive 111-103 victory over Edison High School. Both San Clemente and Edison came out of the gates with tremendous momentum in the first two rounds jumping to a huge points advantage over the rest of their opponents. San Clemente led throughout the contest but Edison was still in the game until the semifinals when they lost their remaining Mens team competitors. San Clemente‚s Breyden Taylor battled hard with runner-up Blake Davis in the hotly contested High School Men‚s final. Taylor sealed it when he detonated on a heat high 7.5 wave score which was enough to edge Davis for the win and take home his first career National title. Taylor has become one of the standout surfers this season clinching his first NSSA conference in the Southwest Explorer Juniors division. He will be one of the leading contenders for a National title when that tier of the 2011 National Championships continues in Huntington Beach June 26-July 3. Laguna Beach‚s Taylor Pitz claimed her first National Championship in the High School Womens. Pitz, who was also a Southwest Conference Champion this season, will eye another title in the prestigious Open Womens category when the Nationals hits southside of the HB Pier next week. Huntington Beach‚s Tony Bartovich took the Longboard title. In the National Junior Varsity competition, Huntington Beach took a close 53-51 decision over Edison. This was HB‚s first trip to the winners podium at the National Interscholastic Championships since their Varsity team‚s victory in 1998. Edison‚s Dylan Aragon took the Junior Varsity Mens title while Huntington Beach‚s Paige Ortiz and Taylor McDole claimed victories in Junior Varsity Womens and Longboard respectively. Shorecliffs Middle School secured their ninth National title and sixth in a row. Their domination of the Nationals with another talented group of surfers shined as they jumped out to an overwhelming lead after round 2. They won the event with a massive point spread in a 136-74 victory over Dwyer. In a stacked Middle School Boys final, Shorecliffs team member Colt Ward took the National Middle School Boys title over last year‚s champ Kanoa Igarashi. Aviara Oaks team member Kylie Loveland claimed her first National title winning the Middle School Girls division and Shorecliffs‚ Mason Shaw won the Longboard. CBS SPORTS ALT GAMES EXCLUSIVE COVERAGE For the first time, the NSSA College Surfing Championships will be featured on national television as part of CBS Sports Network‚s coverage of The Alt Games. Highlights from the College Surfing Championships will be part of a special one-hour CBS Sports Spectacular airing on CBS on Saturday, June 25 (2:00-3:00 PM, ET). Following the CBS Sports show, more surfing action will be featured on CBS Sports Network on Saturday, June 25 (6:00-7:00 PM, ET) and Sunday, June 26 (3:00-5:00 PM, ET). For full programming information, log on to The 2011 NSSA National Interscholastic Championships is presented by Nike 6.0 and proud to have support from Huntington Surf and Sport, Surfing Magazine, Sex Wax, CBS Sports and Laguna Art College. The NSSA is a member of Surfing America, the ISA-recognized National Governing Body for Surfing in the United States. The NSSA National Interscholastic Championships is the sixth of seven events in the 2011 NSSA Championship Series. The 2011 Championship Series events include the Interscholastic State Championships at Huntington Beach Pier March 5-7 (completed), the Hawaii Championships at Kewalo Basin, Oahu, HI March 15-20 (completed); the East Coast Championships at New Smyrna Beach Inlet, FL April 7-10 (completed); the NSSA Jr. Championships at Huntington Beach Pier, CA April 9 (completed); the West Coast Championships at Huntington Beach Pier, CA May 18-22 (completed); the National Interscholastic Championships at Salt Creek, Ca June 16-18 and the National Championships at Huntington Beach Pier, CA June 26-July 3. THE SCOREBOARD - RESULTS 2011 NSSA NATIONAL INTERSCHOLASTIC CHAMPIONSHIPS SALT CREEK, DANA POINT, CA NATIONAL COLLEGE CHAMPIONSHIPS COLLEGE TEAM 1. Mira Costa 107 2. UC Santa Barbara 106 3. University of North Carolina Wilmington 87 4. San Diego State University 84 5. Point Loma Gold 81 6. Saddleback 67 7. Florida Tech 58 8. University of North Florida 56 9. CSU San Marcos 52 10. University of San Diego 51 11. USC 48 12. Flagler 46 13. University of Central Florida 44 14. CSU Long Beach 41 =15. Point Loma Green 23 UC San Diego 23 17. Daytona COLLEGE MENS 1. Brent Reilly-Mira Costa 14.33 2. Dough Van Mierlo-SDSU 11.57 3. Ben Powell-UNCW 9.93 4. Dayton Silva-Mira Costa 9.16 5. Sebastian Moreno-Florida Tech 8.37 6. Theo Lewitt-UCSB 5.84 COLLEGE WOMENS 1. Lipoa Kahaleuahi-UCSB 10.33 2. Kaleigh Gilchrist-USC 9.80 3. Amy Nicholl-UCF 9.16 4. Marissa Shaw-SDSU 8.77 5. Erika Cook-CSULB 8.33 6. Leilani Pickett-UNCW 7.10 COLLEGE LONGBOARD 1. Troy Mothershead-Point Loma 14.83 2. Kevin Osborne-UCSB 12.63 3. Dennis White-Saddleback 8.57 4. Dayton Silva-Mira Costa 8.33 5. Mick Rodgers-CSUSM 6.54 6. Drake Courie-UNCW 5.74 NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL (VARSITY) CHAMPIONSHIPS HIGH SCHOOL TEAM 1. San Clemente 111 2. Edison 103 3. Newport Harbor 90 4. Huntington Beach 64 5. Malibu 57 6. Laguna Beach 55 7. Kamehameha 50 8. Mira Costa 45 9. Jupiter 41 10. Melbourne 38 11. Palos Verdes 17 12. Marina 11 HIGH SCHOOL VARSITY MENS 1. Breyden Taylor-San Clemente 11.50 2. Blake Davis-Newport Harbor 11.16 2. Ezekiel Lau-Kamehameha 9.73 4. Derek Peters-Huntington Beach 9.60 5. Trevor Thornton-San Clemente 6.83 6. Tanner Rozunko-San Clemente 6.24 HIGH SCHOOL VARSITY WOMENS 1. Taylor Pitz-Laguna Beach 12.50 2. Shelby Detmers-Newport Harbor 3. Jasset Umbel-Jupiter 8.17 4. Emily Ruppert-Melbourne 5. Anise Guzman-Edison 6. Emmy Lombard-San Clemente HIGH SCHOOL VARSITY LONGBOARD 1. Tony Bartovich-Huntington Beach 10.57 2. Shaun Thompson-Edison 10.54 3. Fisher Grant-Melbourne 10.27 4. Kelly Zaun-Mira Costa 9.43 5. Eli Gillis-San Clemente 8.97 6. Kris Williams-Laguna Beach 5.90 NATIONAL HIGH SCHOOL (JUNIOR VARSITY) CHAMPIONSHIPS HIGH SCHOOL JUNIOR VARSITY TEAM 1. Huntington Beach 53 2. Edison 51 3. Marina 14 HIGH SCHOOL JUNIOR VARSITY MENS 1. Dylan Aragon-Edison 11.97 2. Cameron Faris-Huntington Beach 10.10 3. Dane McCrystal-Huntington Beach 8.17 4. Jordan Robinson-Edison 8.10 5. Tony Morelli-Edison 6.63 6. Taylor McDole-Huntington Beach 6.10 HIGH SCHOOL JUNIOR VARSITY WOMENS 1. Paige Ortiz-Huntington Beach 5.53 2. Torrey Miethke-Edison 2.97 3. Haley Handy-Huntington Beach 1.37 4. Brittany Gingrich-Edison 0.40 HIGH SCHOOL JUNIOR VARSITY LONGBOARD 1. Taylor McDole-Huntington Beach 6.94 2. Nathan Thompson-Edison 5.50 3. Nico Emmer-Marina 2.30 NATIONAL MIDDLE SCHOOL CHAMPIONSHIPS MIDDLE SCHOOL TEAM 1. Shorecliffs A 136 2. Dwyer 74 3. Aviara Oaks 68 4. Marco Forster 49 5. Shorecliffs "B" 47 6. Thurston 42 7. Kamehameha 40 8. Sowers 28 9. Bernice Ayer 26 MIDDLE SCHOOL BOYS 1. Colt Ward-Shorecliffs 13.34 2. Kanoa Igarashi-Dwyer 10.24 3. Daniel Tieman-Shorecliffs 8.13 4. Imaikalani DeVault-Kamehameha 7.66 5. Griffin Colapinto-Shorecliffs 6.53 6. Mitchell Arterburn-Aviara Oaks MIDDLE SCHOOL GIRLS 1. Kylie Loveland-Aviara Oaks 11.83 2. Tia Blanco-Shorecliffs 11.03 3. Sawyer Gilley-Aviara Oaks 6.40 4. Kirra Connolly-Shorecliffs 5.96 5. Mackie Albertson-Sowers 2.77 6. Kawai DeVault-Kamehameha 1.87 MIDDLE SCHOOL LONGBOARD 1. Mason Shaw-Shorecliffs 11.40 2. Kyle Perez-Marco Forster 9.60 3. Rio Donaldson-Bernice Ayer 8.07 4. Dylan Cox-Shorecliffs 6.76 5. Jordan Collins-Aviara Oaks 5.50 6. Kahiamaikalani Walker-Kamehameha 4.84 NSSA OFFICIAL SPONSORS Apparel & Footwear Sponsor: Nike 6.0 Surf Shop Sponsor: Huntington Surf & Sport Wax Sponsor: Sex Wax Print Media Sponsor: Surfing Magazine Broadcast Partner: CBS College Sports Network Water and Energy Drink Sponsor: Vitamin Water Restaurant Sponsor: Daphne's California Greek Partner: 5 Points Plaza Graphic Design College: Laguna College Member Organization: ### NSSA PO Box 495 Huntington Beach, CA 92648