The final day of the Turtle Bay Resort Pro, a WSL Hawaii/Tahiti Nui event, highlighted a blend of progressive maneuvers and classic noseriding as winners emerged in the Men's and Women's Longboard Pro division. The North Shore's Honolua Blomfield and Honolulu's Scotty Fong Jr strengthened their bid to make it into the World Longboard Championships next year at Papua New Guinea and increased their year-end rating, Fong Jr. with a third and Blomfield with a first in the region.
The Women's division saw Blomfield go against best friend, Kirra Seale, in the Final along with Encinitas' Kaitlin Maguire and Kelta O'Rourke and score the best wave of the heat, a 7.17. The silky-smooth surfer cross-stepped her way to the nose of the board and remained in the pocket of the wave to hang five, then powered out a couple of even-tempo cutbacks to take the lead from Seale, who secured an early 6.07. Maguire's best ride was a 5.0 for a beautiful noseride and a couple of turns above the foam, but both she and O'Rourke were unable to find necessary backup scores to overtake the heat leaders.
Blomfield is an accomplished surfer who, at just 18, placed third in the world after a Semifinal finish at the Women's Kumul PNG World Longboard Championships in Papua New Guinea this past March. She will return again in 2018 in her campaign for a World Title.
"I'm always hoping for a World Title, that is definitely my number one goal," said Blomfield. "I'm very happy to have won today, all the girls were definitely surfing very good, it was a hard Final."
This was Seale's first professional competition with the WSL and she was ecstatic to earn a runner up finish behind Blomfield.
"I'm really excited because Honolua is my best friend and I'm stoked to lose to her because she is already requalified, so I'm really, really excited to be able to compete next year on the World Tour, it's been a dream forever," said Seale. "I've competed my whole entire life and I'm just the type of person that enjoys surfing so incredibly much I feel like competing sometimes takes the fun out of it. But now all my best friends are on Tour, so I'm thinking, 'Wait I want to try!.' I surf with them all the time, I might as well try."
On the Men's side, Fong Jr. displayed progressive surfing and fast footwork against fellow finalists Kai Sallas, Ned Snow and Makamae Desoto. He found the only barrel section of the event and scored a 7.83 from the judges, making him hard to catch after backing this up with a 6.07.
"I'm super stoked, it was tough conditions but super fun and I'm just happy to be out there with all my friends, it was a really good vibe," said Fong Jr. "I've been competing with these guys growing up and all throughout my career, so getting in the Final was fun."
A commercial airline pilot by trade and surfer by hobby, Fong Jr. looks forward to greater competitive opportunities next year as the WSL Longboard Tour strengthens.
"The tour is getting a lot better, better venues, better waves," Fong Jr. continued. "I'm just happy to be part of it and hopefully I can travel...again and represent Hawaii."
DeSoto, who placed fourth in the event, is the top placing surfer on the WSL Hawaii/Tahiti Nui regional Longboard QS after today's competition.