Courtesy of WSL North America
- Women Debut Brilliantly, Power Through Opening Rounds With Big Performances
- Fireworks Continue For Men’s Contingent, Surge From East Coast Contenders
- More Available At WorldSurfLeague.com
NAGS HEAD, North Carolina/USA (Thursday, August 29, 2019) – An action-packed day unfolded at the World Surf League (WSL) Men and Women’s Qualifying Series (QS) WRV Outer Banks Pro QS 1,000 presented by Pacifico and Sanuk with both events powering through to their respective Quarterfinal draws in two-to-four foot (1 – 1.2 metre), dropping swell. Women debuted with Round 1 and 2 action while the men blitzed through Rounds 3 and 4 as they continued to perform brilliantly. Only eight remain with a new women’s victor awaiting, and a maiden QS victory, and two former event winners look for a second men’s victory.
The women’s draw features numerous up-and-coming threats that are amid working their way through the competitive scene and Pro Junior talent Serena Nava (Huntington Beach, Calif.) showed she’s adapting very well. The 17-year-old’s developing power will be something to note as she continues to grow and her forehand attack was on full display to earn an impressive 13.84 (out of a possible 10) heat total. This marks her first Quarterfinal appearance, along with runner-up Ella McCaffray (San Diego, Calif.), in a QS event and carries a lot of momentum into finals day.
“This is my first time here and just to make a few heats, something I haven’t really done on the QS before, is great and my surfing feels really good right now,” Nava said. “My coach and I have been working a lot in California so it’s great to see it show in a heat. My turns feel stronger and my heat strategy is improving so I’m just really happy to see it all come together.”
Also making her first Quarterfinals appearance, Kayla Durden (Jacksonville Beach, Fla.)
found her rhythm in a WSL jersey and earned her long-awaited
breakthrough. Durden is riding the momentum from a local victory and
powered her way through Round 1 before showing that confidence in a
solid Round 2 performance using her prominent backhand. Now she prepares
for a first-career finals day on the QS level and will look for more of
the same facing an in-form McCaffray.
“It was super fun out there and I feel like I had a bit of an advantage on my backhand while the other girls were on their forehands with a lot of rights coming in,” Durden said. “I tried to showcase that differential and the waves just kept coming so it worked out really well. That win back home is actually the whole reason I surfed it because I knew I could get some heats in at home which put me in a great head space coming here.”
Durden’s fellow Floridian Zoe Benedetto also punched her ticket for a big Quarterfinals appearance after coming into this event as one to watch — posting a solid 13.76 heat total along the way. Rounding out Quarterfinalists, a Hawaii duo including Luana Silva and Kailey Bogart join Barbados’ Chelsea Roett along with Peru’s Sol Aguirre to complete a solid international, and out-of-region, contingent.
“The waves are really fun and I’m just happy to make it to the Quarterfinals to keep going,” Aguirre said. “I’m really just looking to have fun and looking for waves that will give me multiple maneuvers so I’m happy to find a few. The US Open was a really good experience to surf at that level and it was nice to go home to recharge for this one.”
The men wasted no time getting right to work in their vital Round 3 and 4
match ups to determine their Quarterfinals with more fireworks
throughout the rest of the day.
Chauncey Robinson’s (Melbourne Beach, Fla.) nerves didn’t show in his Round 4 heat, after holding onto an advancing position in Round 3, not catching a wave in the first 12-minutes before opening up with back-to-back scores to put him into first. Robinson then unleashed his signature forehand power wraps to earn a 7.03 and secure a Quarterfinal spot after battling with Kim Matheus (BRA), also advancing, Robert Grilho (HAW), and Rob Kelly (Ocean City, N.J.). The 21-year-old’s best finish of 2019 came on the East Coast with a Semifinal appearance in Florida and is looking for more here in the Outer Banks.
“I definitely waited a very long time and that’s been happening a lot in my heats recently where I’ll get a slow start or barely get by so to win that one was great moving forward,” Robinson said. “It’s reassuring when you get a score like that on your second wave and makes the heat a lot less stressful. Having those back-and-forth battles within the heat keeps you fired up and the competitive energy high so it keeps me motivated.”
|2016 WRV Outer Banks Pro winner Kilian Garland (Santa Barbara, Calif.)
is back in great form after blasting his way through both Round 3 and
Round 4 with victories. Garland’s performances resembled that of his
breakthrough year, this being his first-ever QS win, and posted a solid
15.14 heat total in Round 4 showcasing a powerful forehand rail game.
But, the 32-year-old must face defending event winner Renan Peres Pulga (BRA) in a heavyweight Quarterfinal bout. |
“It felt good to get some rhythm and feel out the conditions, everyone is surfing really good and I feel like there are some good names on the back-half of the draw with a former champion and some good East Coasters,” Garland said. “It’s been a long time since I’ve felt that rhythm after getting into the biggest events which were a challenge but it’s great to be back in the Outer Banks. I don’t know if it’s because I’m use to these kind of spots that aren’t so crowded even though I’m okay with crowds, I think it’s just a lot more relaxed which helps.”
Joining these competitors, a pair of New Smyrna Beach, Florida, natives including current North America No. 3 Noah Schweizer and Daniel Glenn will hope to keep the title on the East Coast but have the likes of Anthony Fillingim (CRI) and Jake Kelley (Ventura, Calif.) to deal with.
|Event organizers will reconvene at 8:00am EDT to determine a possible 8:30am EDT start for Quarterfinal action.|
For more information, please visit www.WorldSurfLeague.com.
CLICK HERE FOR MEN’S RESULTS AT THE WRV OUTER BANKS PRO
CLICK HERE FOR WOMEN’S RESULTS AT THE WRV OUTER BANKS PRO
The WRV Outer Banks Pro QS 1,000 presented by Pacifico and Sanuk runs on the best days between August 28 – September 1 at Jennette’s Pier, Nags Head, North Carolina.