Another massive day of action unfolded at the Los Cabos Open of Surf as the top seeds debuted in both the women's Qualifying Series (QS) 6,000 and women's Pro Junior. Much of the focus was aimed at the Championship Tour (CT) women in attendance, who were laying waste to the three-to-five foot Zippers lineup. But, some big upsets and continued performances from young guns provided plenty of nail-biting heats for some of the QS elite -- and the world's best.
Tatiana Weston-Webb showcased her formidable backhand in dominant fashion that earned her a commanding debut win. The Kauaian comes fresh from a runner-up finish at the Outerknown Fiji Women's Pro to the righthand break of Zippers and made the transition with ease. With a stacked field of competitors around here at the QS level, Weston-Webb will be bringing her best to this event.
"This wave is really fun and the girls are surfing amazing which is inspiring me to surf really well," she said. "It's such a blessing to be on Tour and surfing against girls like Steph [Gilmore] and Carissa [Moore] because they make you want to constantly surf better. It's a dream, but I don't take QS events lightly with the girls like Alyssa Spencer who can post two sevens and then you're left needing two really good waves."
Zippers welcomed back Silvana Lima with big opportunities, of which she took full advantage, and matched the highest single-scoring wave score of a near-perfect 9.00. The Brazilian loves coming to this event and showed her tenacity on one of her favorite stops during the calendar year.
"It's so good when you start with a good score like that and you really feel comfortable right away," Lima said. "I feel like if I didn't compete anymore, I'd still come to this event -- the people are so good, this wave is great and it's similar to where I'm from in Brazil."
Continuing the streak of CT winners, Keely Andrew debuted today brilliantly with an excellent 8.77 after bettering her previous wave each attempt. Currently sitting just outside the Top 10 of the CT, the Australian is keeping the jersey on and staying tack-sharp on a familiar playing field where she earned a Quarterfinal result last year.
"I made a pretty big priority error through that heat which put me behind, but it's a good confidence builder to dig that out," Andrew said. "[Surfing the Sunshine Coast] definitely plays a part, I was brought up on beachbreaks and love the fast, down-the-line snaps. I love this wave even though it's not always pumping, it's always fun for the QS especially and it suits my style for sure."
Former CT competitor and QS veteran Claire Bevilacqua charged through Round Three yesterday and delivered an even better performance today. The 34-year-old Australian played a key role alongside Caroline Marks in eliminating 2015 Los Cabos Open of Surf champion Nikki Van Dijk from the event. Bevilacqua currently sits at No. 6 on the QS and could make a big impact on the rankings with a result here in her efforts to give it a full go after time away from Tour.
"I'm so happy, I'm just in my element here with it being so amazing everywhere you go," Bevilacqua said. "I did everything I needed to do at home, I built my house and got to really surf, and train, and just work on all these things I really wanted to when I couldn't before, being on Tour. There's no pressure, I have support, and I'm just enjoying it all and living in the moment."
Tomorrow's 7:30 a.m. MDT call will determine an 8:00 a.m. start for either women's QS6,000 or Pro Junior events.