The Los Cabos Open of Surf Women's Pro Junior got underway amid all the Qualifying Series (QS) action and phenomenal surfing followed from the international contingent on hand. The Australians were again dominant (they have won this event two years running) with brilliant performances in Rounds One and Two, Heats 1-4.
But, it was a familiar face that couldn't be stopped. Summer Macedo dropped the event's highest single-wave score, a 9.17, and heat total so far, with 17.43. She still remains a threat to some of the world's best at the QS level, but also poses a huge threat as one of the top international talents competing in North America region.
"The waves were actually really fun in that heat and I was surprised because with the higher tide it usually closes out, and a lot of backwash on the face," Macedo said. "I definitely prefer waves like we had last year. To get those kind of scores really helps my confidence knowing what the judges are looking for and to keep finding waves that allow me to open up."
Macy Callaghan currently sits at No. 4 on the QS and is reigning World Junior Champion. She lived up to both titles today with two wins in the Pro Junior and Round Four win in the QS6,000. Callaghan is among the Aussie contingent who is focused on a big result in the QS, but wouldn't mind taking the Pro Junior win.
"It's been a really fun year getting some results early on at the QS level and this Pro Junior is super helpful just getting those extra heats in to stay sharp," Callaghan said. "These girls are really fun to surf against and it's great to do so toward the beginning of my career. The waves are just too good and it's been a busy day, but I'm excited to keep moving on."
Alyssa Lock nearly joined Callaghan in the double-duty across tours, but fell short in her Round Four heat on the QS. Now that she's been eliminated from that event, all of her focus has turned to the Pro Junior, where she wants to win. Despite being out of region, Lock can still walk away with some compensation for her Cabo mission.
"I'm disappointed in losing my QS heat earlier, but it's a learning experience and stoked to keep going in the juniors," Lock said. "I only arrived two days ago so I'm still feeling the jet lag, but the waves have been super fun so it's been a good day. It'd be sick to get the win here and add another Aussie to that list so hopefully I can keep going."
Chiasa Maruyama snagged a win in Round One to kick off her first-ever WSL Pro Junior event and represented Huntington Beach well -- taking out top European talent Teresa Bonvalot. While she awaits a Round Two matchup in Heat 7, Maruyama was the only North America surfer to make it out of Round One among the international field in attendance. But, some of the region's best are set to debut when the horn sounds once again for the Pro Junior women.
"I'm just so stoked right now, that was a pretty stacked heat and I've surfed against all of them in past so to get a win feels really good," Maruyama said. "This is my first Pro Junior event so I'm excited to get through the first round and feels amazing to be out of a wetsuit down here. I'm just trying to have fun and catch a few waves, it'd be great to do well in a competition, but I'm not putting any pressure on myself here."