The World Surf League (WSL) Sprite Soup Bowl Junior Pro returned to the water with Quarterfinal action in more fun, two-to-three foot peaks on the shores of Bathsheba, Barbados. The contest is set for the final day of competition Sunday, November 15, and the qualification picture for the WSL Junior Championships is becoming more apparent for both the Men and Women after an exciting day of surfing, but tomorrow will confirm the final rankings.
Beginning her Soup Bowl charge in the Quarterfinals, Brisa Hennessy (HAW) lit up the Bajan shoreline with impeccable style and form. Posting the Women's highest single-wave score, 8.00, and heat total of 14.00, Hennessy took full advantage of a velvety wall sitting under priority - making things extremely difficult for her competitors as heat runner-up Tia Blanco (USA) needed a 9.57 to try and take control.
"When you're in third or fourth priority all you want to do is hunt," Hennessy said. "I think Soup Bowls is such a tricky line-up and good ones can come inside of everyone so I just wanted to stay alert. I took off pretty deep on the reef and it had a really nice run on it so I was able to throw into a tailslide then got to snap off the top before finishing off with carves all the way through - it was really fun."
Currently ranked No.2 on her home region of Hawaii's leaderboard, Hennessy will need to better Summer Macedo's (HAW) result here in order to clinch her spot at the Junior Championships - and the two will meet in the Semifinals alongside Blanco and hometown favorite, Chelsea Tuach (BRB). But, for the young 16-year-old, it's just surfing at its finest.
"Summer and I are pretty close right now because she has a better result than me as her top finish," Hennessy said. "I'm really not trying to worry about that too much and just want to have fun and just want to do my best. The people out here are really nice to talk to and this wave is so fun - it's warm, the scenery is just beautiful, you can't go wrong."
Making her first appearance at a WSL event one to remember at Soup Bowl, Santa Cruz, CA native Autumn Hays (USA) took control of her Quarterfinal heat and will look to earn a place in the Final. Taking down a stacked heat, the 16-year-old posted a solid 12.70 heat total and is enjoying her first time competing at Barbados.
"I love it here - the waves are perfect and competing with these girls is so fun," Hays said. "I was trying really hard to keep my priority and not go on the smaller waves like I did in my first heat, which paid off getting two good ones. I came here feeling pretty confident since it's a right reef similar to my local break at Steamer Lane, but no doubt I'm super excited to get into a Semifinal."
Continuing his winning form from the first day of competition, Griffin Colapinto (USA) posted the Men's best heat of the day by blasting two 7.83 scores for the highest heat total of 15.66. The Californian made his return from a knee injury just in time for the Sprite Soup Bowl Junior and is loving every minute with a chance to take down a much bigger title than just the Soup Bowl.
"I'm so psyched," Colapinto said. "I'm trying to win the North America season with a win, so I had to make it down for this one. The waves were amazing here early in the week so I was loving it and we still have some great ones coming through. I went right and left for my scoring waves, we had to go a bit more left with the smaller waves today but they're really fun."
"I'm not really feeling any pressure and with hearing we should have some good waves tomorrow so as long we get a few, especially with priority I'll be pressure free," Colapinto added.
Entering the last day of competition, Dane Mackie (BRB) remains the sole representative for the island of Barbados after advancing behind Kevin Schulz (USA) in Heat 3. Going big on an outside right, Mackie earned a 7.00 and backed it up with a 5.50 in the last seconds of the heat to earn a Semifinal appearance. The 18-year-old Bajan is carrying plenty of momentum going forward with the crowd right behind him in the final Junior event of his career.
"I'm just trying to do my best here for my hometown and hopefully I can make the final with a win in the next heat," Mackie said. "I had first priority and I took a set wave but fell on my second turn so when I was paddling back out I saw a little right coming in. Luckily I was able to get a nice cutback and threw a reverse at the end that the judges gave me the score. It was really close. A win here would be amazing since it's here in Barbados and it's also my last Pro Junior."
Look for continued live scoring at www.worldsurfleague.com Sunday, November 15, as the 2015 Sprite Soup Bowl Pro Junior Champions will be crowned.