Paige Hareb, the lone WSL Championship Tour (CT) surfer from New Zealand, has officially withdrawn from the first-ever women's Corona Open J Bay after breaking ribs number 9 and 10 while surfing in Mexico. Hareb first joined the elite Tour eight years ago but fell off in 2014. She's been grinding away on the WSL Qualifying Series (QS) ever since -- just requalifying this season.
"I'm absolutely gutted," said Hareb in her post. "Heartbroken (and rib broken). UNFORTUNATELY I have to pull out of the QS event here in Mexico and the Corona Open J-bay event for now."
While Hareb has had a shaky start to the season, she started to regain her footing at last month's Founders' Cup of Surfing when she helped lead her team to victory in Lemoore, California. Although it did not help her cause in terms of CT rank, it showed her competitors what she is capable of. Currently ranked at No. 16 on the CT (the first 10 qualify) and at No. 9 on the QS (the first six qualify), this injury comes at a crucial part of the season for her.
"I did a turn and jumped off right before a rock and it was sweet but I came up right in front of it with my board touching it and me about a meter away," continued Hareb. "I couldn't get my board in time before the next wave so I tried to swim sideways to the side of the rock but the next wave came super quick and slammed me sideways sooo hard straight into it. I heard my ribs crack underwater!"
With one of the more brutal injuries we have seen this season, Hareb will be looking to heal as quickly as possible to get back into the swing of things.
Catch the first-ever women's Corona Open J Bay live daily on the WSL and Facebook July 6 - 16.