Women's Finals Day Draw Locked In
Makena Burke: It's Not Beginners Luck For the QS Newcomer
It's Burke's first-ever QS event and while she may not have experience at this level, the 15-year-old knows what it takes to compete. The Ventura, California, native smashed through her debut QS heat in yesterday's proceedings, but pushed the scale even higher with a near-perfect 9.33 to eliminate one Hawaii's top Pro Junior surfers Savanna Stone.
"I'm so happy to get that second, clean wave of the set it was so good," Burke said. "It was crazy to wake up and see waves, I didn't expect that and it was amazing. I want to make the Final so bad now. It's going to take a lot of focus and keeping my mind in a good space, take deep breaths, and just keep having fun."
No Shortage of Fun for Kailey Bogart
If any knew how to keep having fun, it was the youngest competitor in this event -- 13-year-old, North Shore, Oahu, native Bogart.
After getting through Round 1 and spreading her infectious smile, the frothing teenager went one further today and took down a big Round 2 heat with her last-second wave. After Tiare Thompson overtook the lead, pushing Kayla Durden to third-place, on the final exchange, scores dropped for Bogart to the sound of a 5.87. But, it's all fun for Bogart after becoming a USA National Snowboarding Champion and overcoming a serious head surgery at just five-years-old and now finds herself into her first-ever QS finals day.
"It's so amazing and I was so happy with my last wave, it was just so much fun out there," Bogart said. "I think I'm the youngest girl competing and I'm surfing against the women who I look up to toward competing -- and I just won a heat, it's insane. It's amazing to be in this event when I wasn't even born the last time it happened here. My technique is all about going out and just surfing, do your best, and whoever's winning is the one having the most fun. I think I'm one of those people."
Olivia Pessanha Delivers In Debut
The 16-year-old comes to the Outer Banks after a year of getting some QS experience in Australia and Mexico, and debuted brilliantly in Round 2. Pessanha earned an 8.17 and backed it up right away with a 7.67 to solidify her heat win over a talented draw including Tanika Hoffman, Vans US Open Pro Junior Finalist Kayla Coscino, and Costa Rican Rubiana Brownell.
"I'm glad the surf picked up because that was super fun out there," Pessanha said. "It's my first year competing and I'm stoked to be doing these events. I feel like I'm a little more confident here because I feel like I should be able to make those heats which is nice. It's good to train at home in San Diego since it's pretty similar and I think it's important to have the right boards at these beachbreaks."
One For the Home Coast: Molly Kirk Claims Round 2 Win
Atlantic Beach, Florida, native Kirk now resides in San Clemente, California, to be more involved with the surfing world and it's paying off in the shape of a big debut heat win today. But, the 18-year-old is ready for her full-time QS charge next season as she leaves her Pro Junior career behind this year and a result here will help that cause greatly.
"I've surfed Jennette's so bad, but also so good -- you just don't know what you're going to get," Kirk said. "This builds your confidence going out and getting a heat win like that. My backhand was definitely better so that helped and I'd love to get some points here. These QS 1,000s help so much to get a better seed into the higher-rated ones, just that one round skip would be incredible. I've been here so many times so I feel comfortable, even just being at home on the East Coast is great."
A 7:30 a.m. EDT call will determine an 8:00 a.m. EDT start for men's Round 4 to get finals day underway and crown two, possibly brand new WRV Outer Banks Pro Champions.