The Women's Qualifying Series (QS) scorched through a marathon day of action at the Paul Mitchell Supergirl Pro QS6000, completing Rounds One, Two, and Three in their entirety, along with Heats 1 - 8 of Round Four. Spectators on site were treated to impressive, high-performance surfing throughout the day . New-comers and some usual suspects debuted on opening day in consistent, three-to-five foot, occasional overhead, conditions on the southside of the Oceanside Pier.
Posting three excellent scores, meaning they were an 8.00 or higher, Kahanu Delovio (HAW) put on a dominating performance throughout the opening day of competition. The 17-year-old posted the day's highest heat total of 16.90 (out of a possible 20) and single-wave score, 8.73 (out of a possible 10), in Round Three. Hailing from Kailua-Kona, Hawaii, Delovio is part of the first heat back in the water tomorrow as Round Four will be finished.
"It was such a good heat getting that eight really early and it boosted my confidence so high -- then I found another one," Delovio said. "I saw that some heats were slow and others had a lot of waves in it so I just wanted to get a fast start not knowing what the heat would bring. I was stoked to be able to do that right away."
But, it's a learning experience for Delovio and the young Hawaiian is hoping to gain some quality experience as she prepares for a big year in 2017.
"I haven't quite had the chance to start traveling through all the other countries but I'm looking forward to getting my career started," Delovio added. "I'm planning on doing the QS next year. But, I've been here the whole summer and I love it, it's almost like Hawaii but not quite -- there's just so many waves to practice on and a lot of good opportunities out here."
Stephanie Single (AUS) made her debut in Round Four with a commanding heat win -- putting the field into a combination situation, meaning the other surfers needed two new scores to overtake her lead, with a 15.70 heat total. The Aussie is approaching the Paul Mitchell Supergirl Pro with a mellow mentality and it paid dividends for her. With the introduction of top seeded surfers tomorrow, Single will keep a level head in her preparation for Round Five.
"I've been relaxing and really enjoying the holiday actually, and surfed with my friend Frankie [Harrer] in Malibu before coming here," Single said. "I've also been surfing El Porto since it's right near where I'm staying. I'm really just trying to have fun this year. I got lucky being in the right spot at the right time for the first set and felt really in sync with it after that. I'm happy with the way I surfed and posting up those three 7s. It definitely builds my confidence but I'm taking them as they come and don't want to get ahead of myself."
Returning from a serious knee injury while competing in the Samsung Galaxy Women's Championship Tour (CT) Drug Aware Margaret River Pro, Felicity Palmateer (AUS) is back in fine form. Making her way through two rounds of action, the Australian earned a spot into Round Five tomorrow amid a stacked day of competition. Winning her Round Three heat and earning runner-up behind newcomer Macy Callaghan (AUS), the Australian couldn't be happier getting back into the ocean.
"I tore my MCL at Margaret River after getting into the WCT event as the trials winner and I've been away for two and a half months," Palmateer said. "I've done this event a few times and competed in the QS last year so I know what level of competition to expect. I'm looking to take each heat as it comes with my knee and see how it feels, but hopefully keep progressing through. Everything feels good at this point, just getting in the water and standing up on a wave is an accomplishment each time so I'm excited to be back."
Ariane Ochoa (EUK) made her way to the Paul Mitchell Supergirl Pro from Basque Country, Basque and is making every second count. Clinching a spot into Round Five with a last-second ride, Ochoa earned a Round Four heat win after making it through two previous rounds. It was a long, successful day and she's hoping for more of the same tomorrow.
"I can't even explain how happy I am to make it through all three heats today, I'm just so excited," Ochoa said. "I was just trying to catch a little one as the heat died down, but kept finding closeouts and taking that last one in the final seconds felt great to get that score. This is my first year here at Oceanside and competing in the QS. I was really nervous in those first heats coming all the way here to California and not knowing how I would do so now I'll get some rest and come back ready for tomorrow."
Tune in live at supergirlpro.com for the 7:30 a.m. PDT start as action resumes with Round Four, Heat 9. For more information go to www.worldsurfleague.com , or download the WSL App to get event updates on your mobile device.