The World Surf League (WSL) has returned in full force to the shores of Costa Azul for the Los Cabos Open of Surf Womenâ€™s Qualifying Series (QS) 6,000 and Pro Junior. An important week is on hand for all involved with 6,000 points on offer to some of the QS elite, and Championship Tour (CT) women in attendance looking to back themselves up on the Tour. This also marks stop No. 2 of the North America Junior Tour for both the men and women as the women hope to fend off the international field and earn maximum points.
The Los Cabos Open of Surf celebrates five years of running with a new partnership that welcomes the Alana Blanchard Foundation to its event and looks to help a few women with financial support toward competing.
â€œI’ve been so lucky to have a brand like Rip Curl get behind me since I was a young girl,â€ Blanchard said. â€œI wouldn’t be where I am today without that kind of support, so I feel like it’s important for me to give back in that way as much as I can. I want to encourage girls to have confidence and to know that they can succeed if they put their minds and hearts into it. We started the foundation to help support them.â€
Fellow Hawaiian Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) returns to Los Cabos after a massive Final at the Outerknown Fiji Women’s Pro boosted her into the Championship Tour’s (CT) Top 10. Weston-Webb earned two Quarterfinal results at the start of the QS season which places her at No. 9 on the rankings with a chance to gain even more ground on this front now as well. After a Quarterfinal finish here at Zippers last year, the goofyfooter’s backhand attack will be put back to the test this week with nine of her fellow CT competitors and the QS elite set to do battle.
“I feel that that the Cabo event is such a great event for the Mexican surfers to see and be inspired by and I am really stoked to be a part of it every year,” Weston-Webb said. “Itâ€™s great points and itâ€™s just amazing to be surrounded by such great people, such rich culture and itâ€™s a lovely place. Itâ€™s always nice to go into your next event coming off a good result. But, I also have to refocus because Cabo is a different wave than Fiji and it is different being a Qualifying series event. I donâ€™t want to get too far ahead of myself. I am really enjoy surfing Zippers and being here in Cabo.”
After his first-ever win on the Junior Tour at stop No. 1 in Cocoa Beach,Â Ryland Rubens (USA)comes to Zippers looking to keep that momentum alive and take control atop the leaderboard. But, the San Diego native doesnâ€™t put any pressure on himself in these events with the opportunity ahead of him and, with a deadly backhand in his arsenal, has plenty to look forward to.
“It feels nice to get out to a good start, but the season just started so I’m trying not to get too ahead of myself,” Rubens said. “I don’t spend time reflecting on the past, and want to go heat by heat this year and do my best. A good result would be great for sure, but I just want to enjoy my time in Cabo as this may be the last time I will ever surf Zippers.”
Since opening its doors to the Pro Junior women, the Los Cabos Open of Surf has been dominated by an international field with two Australians, Isabella Nichols (AUS) in 2015 and Sophie McCulloch (AUS) last year, taking the title. But, North America frontrunner Alyssa Spencer (USA) hopes to change that this year along with a strong contingent alongside her. Spencer finds herself in familiar territory returning to Cabo at the top of the rankings, though wants to better her Quarterfinal finish last year — a result she dropped by yearâ€™s end.
“It feels so good to start off the year with a win again and I hope I can get a better result this year, but it is going to be very challenging because all of the girls are surfing so good,” Spencer said. “It’s so amazing to travel to places like Cabo and see different cultures. The people in Mexico are always friendly and fun. I have experienced some really amazing things that I will never forget. I am super excited to be coming back to Cabo this year to compete, the wave at Zippers can get really good so I’m hoping for some swell.”
Upcoming Los Cabos Open of Surf Womenâ€™s QS6,000 Round One Matchups:
Heat 1: Ellie Francis (AUS), Malia Ward (USA), Kayla Coscino (USA), Maile Davis (USA)
Heat 2: Kloee Openshaw (USA), Lucia Cosoleto (ARG), Alexxa Elseewi (USA), Mackie Albertson (USA)
Heat 3: Minato Takahashi (JPN), Cassidy McClain (USA), Keala Kennelly (HAW), Coral Wiggins (CRI)
Heat 4: Brittany Penaroza (HAW), Evelyn Gontier (ARG), Kayla Durden (USA)
Heat 5: Gabriela Bryan (HAW), Rachel Presti (USA), Elle Sampiere (USA), Sophie Falzone (USA)
Heat 6: Autumn Hays (USA), Brooke Daigneault (USA), Julia Camargo (BRA), Keala Tomoda-Bannert (HAW)
Heat 7: Marissa Shaw (USA), Tony Adams (USA), Quincy Davis (USA), Avery Aydelotte (USA)
Heat 8: Kaliegh Gilchrist (USA), Karol Ribeiro (BRA), Tiare Thompson (USA), Chiasa Maruyama (USA)
Heat 9: Denver Young (AUS), Julie Nishimoto (JPN), Maddie Peterson (USA), Coral Schuster (USA)
Heat 10: Josefina Ane (ARG), Nicole Fulford (USA), Kelta Oâ€™Rourke (HAW), Alexa Muss (USA)
Heat 11: Shelby Detmers (USA), Lucy Campbell (GBR), Molly Kirk (USA), Hannah Blevins (USA)
Heat 12: Emily Gussoni (CRI), Yanca Costa (BRA), Samantha Sibley (USA), Abigail Dixon (USA)
Upcoming Los Cabos Open of Surf Pro Junior Menâ€™s Round One Matchups:
Heat 1: Shane Borland (USA), Sean Foerster (CAN), Will Grossarth (USA)
Heat 2: David Economos (USA), Braden Jones (USA), Shane Frontino (USA), Levi Slawson (USA)
Heat 3: Evan Brownell (USA), Malakai Martinez (CRI), Bo Raynor (USA), Carson Dohan (USA)
Heat 4: Jackson Butler (USA), Liam Gloyd (USA), Tommy McKeown (USA), Kevin Dand (USA)
Heat 5: Elijah Fox (HAW), Alan Cleland (MEX), Ethan Mudge (USA), Caleb Crozier (USA)
Heat 6: Italo Mesinas (USA), Kyle Tester (USA), Chase Modelski (USA), Liam Murray (USA)
Heat 7: Crosby Colapinto (USA), Shane Kertesz (USA), Max Beach (USA), Agustin Cedeno (PAN)
Heat 8: Micah Crozier (USA), Adam Auffay (MTQ), Rey Hernandez (MEX), Neo Escaler (COL)
Upcoming Los Cabos Open of Surf Pro Junior Womenâ€™s Round One Matchups:
Heat 1: Brooke Young (USA), Macy Callaghan (AUS), Maile Davis (USA), Julia Camarago (BRA)
Heat 2: Alyssa Lock (AUS), Summer Macedo (HAW), Serena Nava (USA), Emily Nishimoto (JPN)
Heat 3: Emily Grossarth (USA), Brisa Hennessy (HAW), Kalohe Danbara (USA), Ana Laura Gonzalez (MEX)
Heat 4: Teresa Bonvalot (PRT), Chiasa Maruyama (USA), Alexxa Elseewi (USA), Julie Nishimoto (JPN)