NewsLos Cabos Open of SurfZoe McDougall

Junior Women Battle Through Quarterfinals in Mexico

Heavy surf continued to pump at ZIppers in the six-to-eight foot range, with occasional ten-foot sets. The waves continued to pump at the Los Cabos Open of Surf and surfers were tested once more. WSL / Andrew Nichols

Another heavy day of surf poured into the Zippers lineup as finals day awaited the Los Cabos Open of Surf Women's Pro Junior and postponed their Semifinals until Wednesday morning after being pushed to the limits once again. But, a few surfers rose to the occasion and posted so excellent performances.

Kirra Pinkerton Finds Her Form

Kirra Pinkerton (USA) winning her Quarterfinal heat at the Los Cabos Open of Surf. Kirra Pinkerton returned to form in Quarterfinal action. WSL / Andrew Nichols

Current North America No. 1 Kirra Pinkerton is the lone regional representative heading into a stacked Semifinal match-up. The San Clemente, California, native will face 2016/17 World Junior Champion Macy Callaghan (AUS), along with in-form competitors Zahli Kelly and Zoe McDougall. But, after a close call in Round 2, Pinkerton found her form in the Quarterfinals and looks to continue her back-to-back Pro Junior winning form.

"I couldn't find a wave to save my life yesterday, but I tried to stayed calm and when that last one came I knew I just had to hit the closeout," Pinkerton said. "We have a good paddle out area that helps and you just have to find the right waves to get through the heat. Around the five minute mark in that Quarterfinal heat I got a decent score and then after finally getting back out I just went for it to get a 7.00. If I can make the Final it'll really help me out for the rest of the year and try to get three in a row."

Hawaii Surfers Step Up

Zoe McDougall (HAW) winning her Round 1 heat at the Los Cabos Open of Surf. Zoe McDougall is on track for her best Los Cabos result. WSL / Andrew Nichols

McDougall matched her best Los Cabos finish with a Semifinal berth and now looks for her first Finals appearance in Mexico. The North Shore, Oahu, competitor relishes the opportunity to gain experience among her fellow juniors before the Los Cabos Open of Surf Women's Qualifying Series (QS)6,000 debut later this week with no worries of points just yet.

"It's nice to surf against all the girls without the pressure of it being a QS," McDougall said. "I'm out of my region here so it's good to just get some match-ups in before the main event and surf waves that are way bigger than we normally get to surf. It's pretty crazy out there and really exhausting, but I've learned that wave selection is key. You're only getting a few chances so you have to make them count."

Luana Silva (HAW) Hawaii competitor Luana Silva after hearing she earned an 8.17 to win her Quarterfinal heat. WSL / Andrew Nichols

An all-Hawaii competitor Semifinal awaits in Heat 2 with Luana Silva, Kelta O'Rourke, Savanna Stone, and Gabriela Bryan to try and help keep the event title on the islands.

"We always want to keep the title in Hawaii," McDougall added. "Even though we're a part of the U.S., there's still that rivalry between Hawaii and mainland so it's a lot of fun to be a part of."

Event organizers will reconvene at 7:00 a.m. MDT to determine a start for either the women's Pro Junior Semifinals or Round 1 of the women's QS 6,000. If the swell increases too much overnight, the women's Pro Junior event will be called off and points, and prize money, will be distributed accordingly.

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