It was exciting day at the Banzai Pipeline in North Shore Oahu where the Women’s Pipeline pro wrapped up in perfect 3-5 feet waves with 6 foot sets and beautiful clean sunny conditions that held up all day.
One more year of hard work, sacrifice and sisterhood paid off in what turned out to be an exciting event and an amazing display of talent and drive. All divisions put on a great display of determination to find the barrel at one of the World’s best waves.
The bodyboarding final not only turned out to be an international final but each girl is a top rider in their respective homeland. All four girls charged some serious Backdoor barrels and showed off with some high-powered “rolos” to spice things up.
This was a high-scoring final with tight results. Hawaii’s Claudia Ferrari took first place, her first title at Pipeline after so many years of “almosts”. Puerto Rico’s Natasha Sagardia followed her with second place, putting her small island’s name up there with the best.
After an all-Hawaiian Semis and Final, “Miss Pipeline”, young Alana Blachard made this her second win once more, solidifying her status as the “one to beat” for years to come. Leah Dawson claimed second place after quickly finishing her Longboard Final and running to the beach to make the final.
Rochelle Ballard accepted her third place trophy without first expressing her gratitude to Betty Depolito and her perseverance and sacrifice to make this all possible. At 12 years old Kallee Krebbs, took fourth place, becoming the youngest competitor to ripher way to the final. Helena Suehiro was given the “Soap Factory Rookie of the Year Award” for her strong performance up to the Semi finals.
Last year’s Longboard champ Leah Dawson did it again, and claimed first place. This year she made both the shortboard and the longboard finals. Caron Farnham snagged the sickest Backdoor Barrel on her Longboard and received the “Best Ride” award .
After such a great turnout the future looks bright for this event. “Betty is doing an excellent job,” said ASP Hawaii Rep Faith Wenzl. “This year we had 2 WCT surfers who entered the event, and that makes it even bigger. Its also a good experience for the girls who are not used to ASP rated events. There is definitively a future.”
Competing here is also a great opportunity for girls to come to Pipeline, practice and get used to this difficult break. Girls like Jenna Murad, from San Diego, entered this event for the first time. “My first time surfing Pipe was 4 days ago. I was exited and stoked to surf with Keala in my second heat. I have had the best week of surfing here this past week. I want to surf here more.”
Contest director Betty Depolito has opened the doors for the women who want to perform in this spot. “I am happy with everything. This is a great opportunity for all the girls,” she said. “It is good for their surfing and good for their positive thinking. As years go by they’ll get more used to the size and position. This year we had big names like Bethany, Rochelle, and Keala who truly appreciate surfing this wave. I’m looking forward to the future.”
- 1)Alana Blanchard
- 2)Leah Dawson
- 3)Rochelle Ballard
- 4)Kallee Krebs
- 1)Claudia Ferrari
- 2)Natasha Sagardia
- 3)Aoi Koike
- 4)Daniela Freitas
- 1)Leah Dawson
- 2)Megan Godinez
- 3)Candice Appleby
- 4)Stacia Ahina
- 5)Mimi Horiguchi
- 6)Kawehi Whitford