OCEANSIDE–Nissan Super Girl Surf Pro —the largest female surfing event in the world —kicked off with an action-packed day of surfing as some of the top-ranked QS women battled through Rounds 1 and 2 to earn a coveted spot in Saturday’s contest.
Competition heats up Saturday as top Championship Tour (CT) surfers descend on the iconic Oceanside Pier, including reigning Super Girl Pro champ and current World #1, Carissa Moore, who’ll take on Bethany Hamilton in Round 3. The festival action also continues with the free Nissan Concert Series, headlined by Natasha Bedingfield, the Super Girl Gamer Pro esports tournament, a female empowerment panel and more. Access to all events and entertainment are free for the three-day festival that runs through Sunday.
DAY 1 Contest Results–Opening day at the World Surf League (WSL) women’s Qualifying Series (QS) Nissan Super Girl Pro QS 6,000 saw many of the current top-ranked women come firing right out of the gates. Current No. 3 Zahli Kelly (AUS) started Round 2 in dynamic form. The 15-year-old joins a handful of next generation competitors making their presence known in 2019after garnering a third-place finish at the year’s first QS 6,000. Kelly’s humble approach on land gives way to a powerful forehand in thewater and something she utilized to earn a 12.00 heat total to start. “To be honest, that was a dream start to this event,” Kelly said. “It’s pretty cool to have a seed into these higher events and sitting in a good spot on the rankingsbecause if you do well, it can really lead somewhere. ”Reigning World Junior Champion and QS No. 10, Kirra Pinkerton (San Clemente, Calif.), decimated her Round 2 debut with an impeccable 15.27 heat total, leaving runner-up Samantha Sibley (San Clemente, Calif.) needinga 9.54 to overtake her.Not all the higher-seeded competitors were as fortunate. Australian Freya Prumm delivered a heavy blow in Round 2 Heat 4, helping eliminate QS veteran Bailey Nagy (HAW)with Leticia Canales Bilbao (EUK)surviving a near-shocker. Facing a similar fate as Nagy,Alessa Quizon (HAW) was eliminated from competition.
A few notable entries into Round 3 include Tia Blanco (PRI), Basque Country’s Nadia Erostarbe (EUK), Puerto Rico’s Havana Cabero (PRI)-who helped eliminate QS veterans Brianna Cope (HAW) and Tanika Hoffman (ZAF), Sophie McCulloch (AUS), along with two big performances from Gabriela Bryan (HAW) and Kirra-Belle Olsson (AUS).