All eyes were on the water for the Nissan Super Girl Pro QS 6,000 Final that Samantha Sibley emerged victorious from for the first time in her young career, ultimately becoming the youngest Super Girl in event history. But that wasn't the only inspiring moment in Oceanside on Finals day.
One of the day's highlights witnessed the first Adaptive Surfing Heat take to the water and get the entire crowd behind every ride, sending goosebumps throughout the beach.
With famed pro-surfer Bethany Hamilton and Charles Webb, who runs the US Open Adaptive Surfing Championship, providing commentary - six inspirational female surfers paddled out for a 20-minute contest this afternoon. USA Adaptive Surf Team member, Olivia Stone, took the top honors with an amazing performance as she rode one of her scoring waves from the outside nearly to the shoreline.
Sixteen-year old Olivia Stone, and 11-year old Faith Lennox finished first and second, respectively, in the first ever Super Girl Surf Pro Adaptive Heat, and Retired USMC Captain Sarah Bettencourt earned third place. Regardless of the outcome, all of the six competitors who took to the lineup were winners in their own right for helping prove that anything is possible with passion and determination.
"It was incredible to hear my name called first and to step on the tallest step of the podium, and being announced as the winner was a moment that I will always remember," said an elated Stone, a congenital bilateral above the elbow amputee. "If you have a passion and you want to pursue it, just don't look back and keep charging. I just want to show everyone that women are strong and we are super."
"I think surfing is one of the hardest sports to go after and to have all these amazing adaptive athletes go for it just inspires other people to go out and do it," Hamilton said. "The ocean is such a place of healing and healthy environment. All of us can struggle with different things in life that can make it awful or downhill really fast, so it's such a healthy place to be in with adaptive differences or not. It's a place to celebrate your time and grow, and be challenged."
For more on this incredible showcase, visit www.SuperGirlPro.com