The World Surf League (WSL) Los Cabos Open of Surf began in beautiful Costa Azul, offering competitors two-foot swell at the righthand pointbreak of Zippers. Battling through the smaller conditions, the Men's and Women's Juniors took to the water - making the best of waves when they came in. The Junior Women were the first in the water and capitalized on the sets that came through with great prowess throughout the morning.
Newly crowned Australiasia Junior Champion Macy Callaghan (AUS) raised the bar of what's to be expected of her fellow competitors, finding the gems of the morning for an 8.50 (out of a possible 10) and 7.33 to earn the day's highest heat total of 15.83 (out of a possible 20). Making her way to Los Cabos for the first time, Callaghan is excited to be competing on the pristine shores of San Jose Del Cabo in both the Women's Junior and the Women's QS6000 - her main focus.
"Winning the Junior title in my region gave me a lot of confidence coming over here and I'm really happy to have this opportunity," Callaghan said. "It's hard out there being small and not a lot of waves coming through but we're all out here surfing the same waves and you just have to try your best to find some waves. That 8.50 gave me heaps of confidence and I'm excited to show that I can surf in these smaller conditions. Really just trying to get good waves and build on these types of heat scores - it's mainly practice for the QS so it's great to get some heats in."
Representing the North America region in terrific fashion, the Carlsbad, Calif., native Alyssa Spencer (USA) posted an 8.00 in the final heat of the day to earn a win. Finding herself on the best wave of the heat, Spencer took full advantage and is continuing her form from the Ron Jon Vans Pro earlier this year - her first-ever Junior Tour event that she translated to her first Junior win.
"Once in a while there would be a fun wave that came through but definitely challenging but I like it when it's like this because I put a lot of time into surfing these waves at home so when it comes down to contests I'm prepared for anything. Especially because the waves are similar to Fla. I'm riding a Stamps board and it's the same one I won florida on so it's a pretty magic board. I think I'm just learning how to be a good competitor each passing heat. Looking forward to meeting good people and great waves, as well as some sunshine - it's so nice to be out of a wetsuit for this contest. "
Earlier in the morning, Brisa Hennessy (HAW) followed Callaghan's performance in the next heat, posting a 12.24 total with a 6.54 in the process. Hennessy is familiar with the righthand pointbreak of Zippers, competing in last year's event, and took that experience into her Round 1 heat win today. Competing out of region, the Hawaiian has the QS in her sights as well but sees this as a great opportunity to dial in her equipment and strategy.
"I got in Thursday and the waves were really fun, hardly any wind, so it was definitely a bit different today but nothing I love more than challenge," Hennessy said. "I just wanted to stay busy because with priority you tend to wait, especially with first priority so I just wanted to get on the board and get some keepers. Had first priority and it was kind of a set, just went through the motions and got a few turns in - I wasn't sure what the score was going to be so to hear a 6.50 get called was great. I do this QS because it's so close to the QS and as I go through the years this will definitely be one of the destinations I look to come to in the future."
Fellow Hawaiian Mainei Kinimaka (HAW) found her groove amidst the growing wind that put some texture on the wave later in the morning. Using choice equipment, Kinimaka earned a 10.27 en route to her heat win and is looking good on her feet as she prepares for Round 2 of the Juniors in overall preparation for the main event Women's QS6000.
"I was really stoked to make that heat with it being so challenging - definitely was really nervous if waves were going to come my way and got a little lucky on the rotation," Kinimaka said. "I'm riding a 5'2 HyptoCrypto, it's so fun and perfect for this wave with the volume and width. There was a lot of texture on it so this board was great getting over it. But, this is a great way to prepare for when it gets bigger because it's so perfect that sometimes I get a little nervous being in first priority and a great set comes in so now my nerves are settled and can't wait for the next heat."
Tomorrow's 7:00am MDT call for a possible 7:30am MDT start will determine whether Round 2 of the Junior Women, Men, or the opening round of the Women's QS6000 will get in the water. The live broadcast will begin tomorrow morning and can be seen at loscabosopenofsurf.com and accessible through the WSL App.