Today's action at the Pismo Beach Open culminated with the Women's Quarterfinals. Held at the optimal tide, the conditions and swell continued to deliver for the final four heats of the day, and the women competitors put on an outstanding display for the crowd that had gathered on a beautiful Saturday afternoon in Central California.
Hailing from Carlsbad, Ca, 15-year-old Alyssa Spencer (USA) set the pace for the women this afternoon, posting both the highest heat score and wave score in Quarterfinal 1. After recently suffering a broken bone in her leg, Spencer has shown no signs of a lapse in performance with the second straight day of dominating form.
"The wave right next to the pier has been so fun," said Spencer, with a big smile. "I've been lucky to have my heats on the higher tide when it's been working. My best wave was on the right, which was my plan, but I was able to get my back up score on a left which finished the heat nicely for me. I had seen some good lefts and wanted to get one in a heat."
Spencer will meet fellow goofy-foot Samantha Sibley (USA) in Semifinal 1.
WSL North America Junior Women's Regional Champion Kirra Pinkerton (USA) was able to withstand a hard-fought battle with Bailey Nagy (HAW) to advance through to tomorrow's Semifinal. Sitting in second place and requiring a score in the dying seconds of the heat, Pinkerton consolidated a two-turn combination that just earned her the score needed, taking the heat by a mere .01 over her opponent.
"I knew a wave could come at any time and I just needed to wait for my opportunity," said a relived Pinkerton. "When Bailey got her seven, I knew it would be a good score and it was going to be a matter of having a chance to get the score I needed. Once the wave came, I just needed to not overdo it and make sure I did the turns I wanted and finish the wave. I had some similar scores already, so I knew what it was going to take."
New to WSL competition in 2018, 15-year-old Mathea Dempfle-Olin (CAN) took the heat win in the final match-up of the day. Earlier this summer at the Los Cabos Open of Surf Dempfle-Olin came onto the scene in fine form with a strong opening performance, earning a 25th place finish at the QS6000 rated event. She's heading into finals day with nothing but experience to gain in only her second Qualifying Series appearance.
"I like the right that is going into the pier, but I wasn't feeling any pressure and just wanted to surf the best I could. It feels good to get a pretty good score with just one turn. I have a coach and we've been working on doing that, so I can make something from each opportunity. It's all very new to me and I'm learning every time I surf a heat. I'm having fun."
Event organizers will reconvene for tomorrow's 8:00 a.m. PDT call to determine a possible 8:30 a.m. start for the men's Quarterfinals.