Waves in the 2-3 foot range (1 meter) in San Bartolo, Lima, Peru welcomed the first event of the 2014 ASP Womenâ€™s Qualifying Series organized by the ASP South America. The talented veteran Jacqueline Silva (BRA), 34, took charge on the opening day of the ASP 4-Star Rip Curl Girls Pro presented by Powerade. Silva scored the dayâ€™s highest heat total of 15.65 (out of a possible 20 points) in Heat 2 of Round of 48.
â€œThis is my seventh time coming to Peru, but itâ€™s only my second time here in San Bartolo, which has provided me with some great memories,â€ stated Jacqueline Silva. â€œThis my 4th consecutive year without a major sponsor. Last year I couldnâ€™t compete because of a lack of financial support. So with the help of a friend, we created a Facebook campaign for some assistance. Thanks to the help I received from my family, friends and fans, I was able to collect enough funds to compete in this yearâ€™s events in Australia and in Peru.â€
After representing Brazil for a number of years on the Womenâ€™s WCT tour, Silva didnâ€™t requalify due to a serious knee injury in Australia due to a car crash in 2011 while driving from one event to the next. After a long rehab and without financial backing, she is focused on making it back to the elite level of surfing.
â€œUnfortunately, all of the professional surfing events for women have ceased to exist in Brazil and we also donâ€™t get much support from the surf industry. My only option was to start this fundraising campaign, and I have to admit that I was surprised with the amount of support I received. So I decided to arrive in Peru early, train hard and do well in this competition to be able to honor everyone that has helped me out.â€
Local surfer Miluska Tello (PER) was another athlete to stand out on the first day of the Rip Curl Girls Pro by scoring a 12.50 and advanced into the next round alongside Miho Ihara (JPN).
â€œI was a little scared because all of the girls from so many different countries are so talented,â€ said Miluska Tello. â€œLuckily, since this is my local spot, I was able to find the right waves and showed off my repertoire to the judges. The waves have been really small all week long, but they improved a lot today (Thursday). Iâ€™m sure the level of competition is going to increase even more when the top seeds in the ranking enter in Round 2. I hope to compete just like I did today by remaining calm and giving it my all.â€
45 athletes from 13 different countries (including the USA, Australia, South Africa, France, Spain, Chile, Ecuador, Brazil and Japan) are competing at the Rip Curl Girls Pro and will be fighting it out for U$ 7,000 in prize money and 1,000 ranking points. Competition is scheduled to continue until Sunday. This is the fourth time that San Bartolo hosts the Womenâ€™s WQS event in Peru.
Round 2 will see the 2013 Rip Curl Girls Pro event winner Anali Gomez (PER), the 2004 ASP World Champion Sofia Mulanovich (PER), speedy Brazilian Silvana Lima and WQS standout Maud Le Car (FRA) all hit the water for an action-packed day of competition.
The Rip Curl Girls Pro presented by Powerade is transmitted live on the internet at www.ripcurlgirlspro.com.