The first day of the Cholo’s Women’s Pipeline Pro kicked off yesterday on the North Shore, Oahu, with surfing’s top women lining up to take part in the ASP WQS 1 Star Womens Event, running from 6 – 16 March 2007.
The day started off on a solid 6 foot WNW clean and glassy Pipeline with some macking 8 foot sets dumping on the reef with spectacular power and perfection, making it an intense challenge for the first round of the shortboard trials which kicked off the event.
The tension was rising and the drama rolling as the girls paddled out at serious Pipeline and gave it all they got to get the ride that would get them through to the next round. WCT’s Keala Kennely and Rochelle Ballard were part of this year’s event and ripped their way to the Quartefinals as well as Kauai’s Bethany Hamilton. They will be a challenge for trialists Leah Dawson, Gabi Cope, Kendell Krebs, and Melody Hass who will meet them at the Quarters.
After the Shortboard trials the girls of Bodyboarding paddled out and charged, demonstrating their more seasoned experience and skills in such heavy and big conditions. Aoi Koike from Japan scored the only perfect 10 of the day shaking up the crowd and adding to the excitement and drama at the beach.
The years of female Bodyboarding competitions at Pipeline have given these girls the confidence and knowledge needed to excel in serious Pipe and to pave the way for the other divisions that have just recently been given the opportunity to perform competitively at this infamous male-dominated break. Daniela Freitas, Natasha Sagardia, Carolina Casimero and Chiaki Okuyama all won their heats at the Quartefinals and will be a force to reckon with on the upcoming Semifinals.
Conditions held off gracefully through the morning until mid-day, when westerlly winds began to blow strong and changed the scene, bringing in some chop and nasty closeout sets. Nevertheless the day went on and the girls acclimated to the changes, looking for high-scoring maneuvers when barrels could not be found.
This will definitively be a day to remember both for the epic conditions and sizeable surf and for the amazing courage and sportsmanship the women of surfing displayed throughout the entire day. The Long Board round will go on day two along with Bodyboarding SemiFinals and the Shortboarding QuarterFinals. Don’t miss it.
Watch it live on: www.surfinglive.com