A critical Finals Day awaits at the World Surf League (WSL) U.S. Air Force Super Girl Surf Pro, a Qualifying Series (QS) 3000, as North America and Hawaii/Tahiti Nui competitors are dwindled to just 16. Two-to-four foot swell continued to provide dreamy conditions for nearly the entirety of day two as top seeds debuted in the Round of 64 before action continued into the Round of 32. Now, 3,000 points are on the line with some of the respective region's top-tier talents ready to leave everything in the water.
Spectators in attendance and watching online were treated to a spectacle from one of the world's best, Caroline Marks. The 2021 Nissan Super Girl Surf Pro winner, and runner-up here in Jacksonville Beach last season, unleashed a world-class performance to earn an excellent 17.23 (out of a possible 20) heat total. Marks' signature, world-class backhand attack led to an 8.83 (out of a possible 10) before backing that up with another impressive showing in the Round of 32 for her shot at a second Super Girl cape.
"Everyone's surfing so well so it's good to make it to Finals Day," said Marks. "I'm stoked the waves stuck around, yesterday was really fun because of the hurricane so I just enjoyed myself. I feel like this event has grown a lot since last year so it's great to see all the new faces. (To win another cape) is definitely the goal."
Some of Hawaii's top-tier talents debuted in force for their Round of 64 heats, but the Round of 32 provided plenty of spoilers as current Hawaii/Tahiti Nui No. 1 Moana Jones Wong held her ground firm. The North Shore, Oahu stand out took control of her debut with an impressive 14.34 on her array of forehand attacks and kept that momentum going into the Round of 32. By securing her place into Finals Day, Jones Wong knows how critical that is toward the 2023 Challenger Series.
"This event is super crucial for surfers in both North America and Hawaii because this our (region's) last chance at whether or not we make the Challenger Series," said Wong. "Making it to the Round of 16 was that much more crucial. It's so awesome to see all the support from the girls on the beach, every one of these (Super Girl) contests I've done there's just so much of here."
San Clemente, California's undeniable talent field made their presence known in force with Kirra Pinkerton accruing a 15.37 heat total in her debut before stealing the show once more in the Round of 32 as conditions became difficult at low tide. Pinkerton, 20, is looking for her breakthrough result of the 2022/23 season and edged closer with a brilliant showing to move into the Round of 16.
"I just wanted to get a few waves and they're pretty good right now, it's probably the best conditions I've ever surfed in Florida, " said Pinkerton. "I've been working harder than I ever have been toward winning another event and finally breakthrough again. The Super Girl would be a really cool event to do it because I've been coming to these events since I was 11 and I hope it happens."
Fellow San Clemente standout Sawyer Lindblad found excellence in her Round of 64 debut, earning a 8.17, before posting a 15.33 heat total. The recent Round of 16 finish on the Challenger Series raised the 17-year-old's confidence heading into this event where she looks to become the first competitor to win back-to-back Super Girl events - and the first to do so on both coasts.
"It'd be really cool to get another Super Girl cape and I've been working really hard, hopefully it pays off tomorrow," said Lindblad. "I'm definitely just focusing on the moment and trying to get the best waves of the heat. Also, working to get an early start and just get better at surfing heats."
Event organizers will reconvene at 7:30 a.m. EDT to determine a likely 8:00 a.m. EDT start.
The U.S. Air Force Super Girl Surf Pro will run November 11 - 13 and be streamed LIVE November 12 and 13 at www.WorldSurfLeague.com, the WSL YouTube channel, free WSL app, and www.SuperGirljax.com.
For more information, please visit www.WorldSurfLeague.com.