The World Surf League (WSL) Los Cabos Open of Surf Junior Women completed Quarterfinal matchups and have Semifinals set in stone with a stacked field of international and North America region surfers remaining. It was another beautiful day on the shores of Costa Azul as waves continued coming in sporadically, keeping competitors patient and wary of the ocean which would turn on at a moment's notice. The Juniors were still able to find gems that allowed for maximum scoring potential and the surfers who used priority properly found themselves into the Semifinals.
Summer Macedo (HAW) took control of the day in both the Women's QS6000 and Junior events. Macedo posted the Juniors Quarterfinal's highest single-wave score of 8.33 (out of a possible 10), and heat total, 14.50 (out of a possible 20). She won't be able to earn any points in the Junior Tour, but is elated to get more heats under her belt and prepare for the main event.
"It's actually the best it's been the whole competition and I played the waiting game which was pretty nerve-racking," Macedo said. "I can't believe that 8 came and sitting in fourth priority I thought maybe something will come and then added a six so it was an amazing feeling. It was good not to wait around after the QS heat and get right into the Juniors to keep the rhythm with the ocean.
"I wasn't planning on doing the Juniors but got in so it's great to spend more time in the water and get my feet wet, boards dialed in, and learn some strategy," Macedo added. "I've made some priority mistakes with it being so small so I'm learning from that and taking everything in."
Meah Collins (USA) found a beautiful Zippers line that allowed her to unleash a handful of turns and finish the wave off for a 7.17 (out of a possible 10) -- the highest single-wave score of the Quarterfinals. Backing it up with a 5.33, the Huntington Beach, Calif. native was relentless in earning her heat win. Collins has the lineup dialed in and will look for a big result to earn valuable points.
"The main thing I keep my focus on is staying on the right waves and not chasing the smaller ones," Collins said. "Once I found that 5 it was so nice after making a mistake and taking off on a bad wave. Every heat, every event is important in trying to get results and I know it's big in the long run but I really just to try stay in the time being. With my dad helping shape my boards and my mom here supporting me, I can't thank them enough for all they do."
Continuing her fine form from yesterday's display of critical turns in the smaller conditions for a 6.83, Sophie McCulloch (AUS) earned a Quarterfinal heat win after winning her QS battle earlier on. The Australian is gaining vital experience with each heat she surfs and picking up momentum as this contest goes on.
"I would've like to have gotten a better back up in that heat but still feels good to post a few scores," McCulloch said. "Winning my QS heat before heading back into the Juniors was great confidence. When I come to competitions like this I enjoy getting as many heats in the water as I can which definitely helped keep my rhythm out there. I think my QS heat was a better showing for me overall with two average scores that added up to something good, but the 6 in my Junior heat was great -- I just got caught up waiting for a backup."
Tiare Thompson (USA) found her way into the Semifinals behind Meah Collins and remains in the running to earn points toward the Junior Tour. With nearly all the competitors ahead of her in the rankings eliminated, Thompson can look to join Maddie Peterson (USA) and Collins in the Top 5 when the dust settles from this event.
"I just wanted to get the first wave and stay busy during that heat -- coming down to the last eight minutes I was really nervous with Mainei [Kinimaka] only needing a 4," Thompson said. "It's really difficult competing with the international girls in these smaller conditions trying to get points toward my region. Getting through to the Semifinals is such a relief after some big upsets happened yesterday so I'm super excited with this result and I want to make the Final."