The women's QS1,000 Ballito Pro pres. by O'Neill wrapped up today in super fun three-to-four foot surf. Here's a breakdown of the event's final.
Leilani McGonagle pulled the trigger first in the four-surfer Final against Rachel Presti, Anne Dos Santos and Sarah Baum . The Costa Rican got a quick forehand combo and a low score under her feet in the opening moments to get things underway.
The Australia-based, Durban surfer Baum answered with two backhand turns on a right and took an early lead with a slightly bigger opening score. All four surfers quickly got a few rides on the scoreboard but with the incoming tide, waves seemed to be shorter and offered limited sections to hit.
The battle continued as average scores became the norm and all four surfers stayed in contention with only medium requirements to turn the heat. McGonagle made things considerably harder for her opponents when she dropped a 6.2 inside the last five minutes of the heat.
But Baum fought back right away with a solid two-hit combination on a right for a 7.50 to finally seal the deal on a career-second QS win and this time on home turf.
"I'm on top of the world!," she said. "I'm just so happy to be at home with friends and family, to have this event right here and everyone supporting me, I can't wipe this smile off my face. I was a bit slow in the beginning of the heat, just patiently waiting for those good ones. The waves died off and I had to make due with what I could, but in the end it paid off."
McGonagle dominated the Final and saw the win slip right through her fingers in the dying moments of the heat, unfortunately forced out in second position.
"I knew all the girls in the competition were good surfers, but I had the names picked out even before it started so it's funny how it worked out," she said. "I really wanted to win, but it's alright. Next time!"
Presti and Dos Santos placed third and fourth respectively in the women's QS1,000 Ballito Pro pres. by O'Neill.
This event also marked the end of the regional qualifying series and crowned Zoë Steyn as the 2019 African QS Winner. The 15 year-old South African from East London was rewarded for a consistent effort throughout the season with two equal fifth places highlighting her results.
Steyn also claimed the 2019 African Junior Qualifying Series win and sets herself up as a serious South African hope for future seasons.
Tune in from July 1-7, 2019 and check out all the photos, videos, LIVE webcast and updates right here on worldsurfleague.com!