After conditions looked to be improving throughout the morning, the World Surf League (WSL) Los Cabos Open of Surf Women's Qualifying Series (QS) 6000 had to battle in swell similar to yesterday. The wind began to show its presence and in one-to-three feet waves on offer, surfers were still able to put on a show for the crowd out on the beach enjoying a beautiful day at Zippers.
One of the youngest competitors in the Los Cabos Open of Surf Women's QS6000, Kirra Pinkerton (USA), is continuing to create a stir at this contest. Posting Round 3's highest heat total with a 14.00, the 13-year-old took down the heat with ease and found that form once again in Round 4. Surfing against her favorite surfers is something Pinkerton was beyond excited to do and will now have that chance as she is into Round 5 where the Top Seeds await.
"It's definitely hard out there and I could feel the pressure in that last heat," Pinkerton said. "I was not expecting scores like that going into my Round 3 heat so that was amazing. I was sitting really deep and catching the corners of the bigger ones but the other girls were sitting pretty wide where I noticed it was closing out. It's so cool getting the opportunity to surf with some of my idols and be in the same contest -- it's something I've wanted to do for so long and can't believe it. I was hoping to just make one heat so this is above anything I could ask for."
Brisa Hennessy (HAW) used the smaller conditions to her advantage and took down some big names in the process -- including former World Champion Sofia Mulanovich (PER) and Hawaiian charger Keala Kennelly (HAW). Though the QS is not her main focus this year, the 16-year-old is looking poised through her opening rounds and into Round 5.
"I'm definitely keeping my focus on Juniors and try to qualify for the World Championships but this is giving me so much confidence to surf against some of these incredible women -- it's very humbling and I'm feeling very fortunate," Hennessy said. "I was bummed about the loss in the Junior event here but since it's not my region it wasn't a big blow and was a great experience to prepare for the QS event. I learned that my board wasn't quite working so changing it to epoxy was a big help and I noticed a massive difference. I think it's getting better out there compared to the first few days but hopefully it picks up even more and we can really get some surfing done."
Rounding off the terrific form of younger surfers making it through to Round 5, Alyssa Spencer (USA) earned a Round 3 victory, posting one of the top two scores of the day with a 7.67. The 13-year-old then went on to take down higher seeded competitor Holly-Sue Coffey (AUS) in Round 4. It's a dream run for Spencer who made it to the Quarterfinals of the Junior Women's event before being eliminated, but still remain in great position on the rankings list.
"It felt amazing to get through these rounds against some of the older girls who have the seeding into later rounds," Spencer said. "I never get to surf with these girls so this is pretty cool. I'm just trying to take it heat by heat and tell myself that I can compete with them and I can do it. My backhand my strongest suit and I'm feeling really strong on it so I just want to keep doing what I'm doing and hopefully make a few more heats."
Dominic Barona (ECU) earned her an impressive 12.50 heat total despite the rough conditions and is into Round 5 as one of the veteran QS competitors to be aware of. Hailing from Ecuador, Barona did not have to travel far to the shores of Los Cabos and is embracing everything as it comes as she was all smiles coming out of the water.
"I'm really happy to be here and all the younger girls are ripping in these tougher conditions," Barona said. "We have to be ready for conditions like this but I'm excited to make it through that heat. I love this wave, it's one of my favorite spots and Mexico is so beautiful -- all the people, the culture, it's all so incredible. Coming from Ecuador this place is like a second home to me and can't wait to surf more heats at this event."
Tomorrow's 7:30am MDT Call will determine an 8am MDT Start for remaining heats of Round 4 of the Los Cabos Open of Surf Women's QS6000 and get into Round 5. For more information go to worldsurfleague.com or download the WSL App . Tune in for live coverage at loscabosopenofsurf.com beginning at 8am.