Alyssa Spencer (USA) emerged victorious at the World Surf League (WSL) Nissan Super Girl Surf Pro powered by Celsius, a North America and Hawaii/Tahiti Qualifying Series (QS) 3,000-level event.
Pictured: Event runner-up Sawyer Lindblad (USA) (L) and winner Alyssa Spencer (USA) (R) overpowered their atop the podium. Credit: © WSL / Steinmetz
Spencer is the first California-born surfer in the history of the event to win Super Girl capes on both the East and West Coasts. Lindblad’s near back-to-back victory pushed her further ahead on the North America QS rankings as both Spencer and Lindblad now prepare for the remaining 2023 Challenger Series events.
The women’s Final featured event standouts Spencer and Sawyer Lindblad (USA). Two of North America’s premier competitors provided the crowds on the beach and pier plenty of fireworks. Spencer’s aggressive forehand set the tone for the Final, earning an excellent 8.50 (out of a possible 10) and 5.83 early in the heat to put pressure on Lindblad. But, the defending Super Girl Surf Pro victor responded in dynamic form, posting a 7.93.
However, Spencer wasn’t done and utilized her powerful forehand once more to earn a 7.53 in the dying minutes and all but seal her first Super Girl Surf Pro win near home.
“To win coast-to-coast capes is amazing,” said Spencer. “It’s honestly a dream come true. I’ve had this event written in my checklist of goals that I’ve had pretty much since I started surfing, so to win it feels amazing. This event is just so special with empowering women and it makes us all feel so special for being here. Thank you to all my friends and family, and to everyone in the community, I definitely felt the love today.”
Pictured: Spencer's undeniable Finals Day form yielded multiple excellent heat totals, including a 16.03 Final showing. Credit: © WSL / Steinmetz
Spencer’s incredible Finals Day run began with a dominant win in the Round of 16 over Ella McCaffray (USA), earning an excellent 16.40 (out of a possible 20) heat total, before posting another excellent heat total in the Quarterfinals over reigning North America Regional Pro Junior Champion, Talia Swindal (USA).
Spencer’s impeccable form continued into the Semifinals over fellow North America standout Zoe Benedetto (USA) and carried that momentum into the Final. Spencer’s involvement with the WSL Rising Tides mentorship program earlier in the week continues to inspire the next generation along with her powerful performances.
“It’s really important to me to share my love of surfing with the younger generation and to be a light and good role model for them,” said Spencer. “I enjoy surfing with them so much, and hanging out with them. They inspire me, so it’s so cool to be a part of WSL’s Rising Tides and programs like that, that inspire the next generation.”
Runner-up, Lindblad's Finals Day performance was a fiery display of progressive surfing earning excellent scores. Lindblad earned the highest single-wave score of the day, a near-perfect 9.00 in her Semifinal bout with Hawaii/Tahiti Nui No. 1 Keala Tomoda-Bannert (HAW). Prior, Lindblad also earned impressive wins over Zoe McDougall (HAW) in their Round of 16 dual before taking on fellow San Clemente standout Kirra Pinkerton (USA) in the Quarterfinals.
“If I make a few heats, I will make it on the WSL Championship Tour, which is just crazy to think about,” said Sawyer. "I'm so excited for Brazil and Portugal now. This event definitely gives me some confidence after getting some good scores this weekend. It was super cool coming in each heat and seeing all of the young girls. They definitely inspire me to be the best version of myself and I hope to inspire them to follow their dreams."
Lindblad’s runner-up pushes her further ahead atop the North America QS rankings as she now prepares for the EDP Vissla Ericeira Pro Presented by Estrella Galicia PT.
Zoe Benedetto and Keala Tomoda-Bannnert Notch Valuable Semifinal Appearances
Putting on a showcase of their own heading into the Semifinals, Zoe Benedetto (USA) and Keala Tomoda-Bannnert (HAW) both provided dazzling moments throughout Finals Day. Benedetto’s incredible, 8.67 start to her Round of 16 dual with Erin Brooks (CAN)) kicked off Finals Day in excellent fashion before taking on Kaia Howard (USA) in their Quarterfinal out. But, the Floridian’s dream run was cut short by eventual winner Spencer in the Semifinals.
Tomoda-Bannert continued her Finals Day streak to start the 2023/2024 Hawaii/Tahiti Nui QS season. One of Kauai’s standout competitors, Tomoda-Bannert extended her rankings’ lead after overpowering Bella Kenworthy (USA) in the Round of 16 and an in-form Taylor Stacy (USA) in the Quarterfinals before facing eventual runner-up Lindblad in a dramatic Semifinal out.
The North America contingent return to action at the Air Force Super Girl Surf Pro QS 3,000 in Jacksonville Beach, Florida, beginning November 10 - 12. Hawaii/Tahiti Nui competitors will compete at The Hawaiian Islands Present the Sunset Pro QS 1,000 beginning October 28 - November 6.
Nissan Super Girl Surf Pro Powered by CELSIUS Final result:
1 - Alyssa Spencer (USA) 16.03 3,000 points
2 - Sawyer Lindblad (USA) 14.30 2,340 points
Nissan Super Girl Surf Pro Powered by CELSIUS Semifinals results:
HEAT 1: Alyssa Spencer (USA) 16.33 DEF. Zoe Benedetto (USA) 9.67
HEAT 2: Sawyer Lindblad (USA) 15.33 DEF. Keala Tomoda-Bannert (HAW) 14.00
Nissan Super Girl Surf Pro Powered by CELSIUS Quarterfinals results:
HEAT 1: Zoe Benedetto (USA) 12.67 DEF. Kaia Howard (USA) 9.70
HEAT 2: Alyssa Spencer (USA) 16.16 DEF. Talia Swindal (USA) 11.33
HEAT 3: Sawyer Lindblad (USA)15.10 DEF. Kirra Pinkerton (USA) 9.50
HEAT 4: Keala Tomoda-Bannert (HAW) 12.50 DEF. Taylor Stacy (USA) 10.33
Nissan Super Girl Surf Pro Powered by CELSIUS Round of 16 results::
HEAT 1: Kaia Howard (USA) 9.67 DEF. Mia McLeish (USA) 8.03
HEAT 2: Zoe Benedetto (USA) 15.84 DEF. Erin Brooks (CAN) 11.83
HEAT 3: Talia Swindal (USA) 12.84 DEF. Sara Freyre (USA) 11.74
HEAT 4: Alyssa Spencer (USA) 16.40 DEF. Ella McCaffray (USA) 13.00
HEAT 5: Kirra Pinkerton (USA) 14.77 DEF. Sage Erickson (USA) 10.34
HEAT 6: Sawyer Lindblad (USA) 13.37 DEF. Zoe McDougall (HAW) 4.83
HEAT 7: Keala Tomoda-Bannert (HAW) 13.90 DEF. Bella Kenworthy (USA) 11.50
HEAT 8: Taylor Stacy (USA) 15.00 DEF. Vaihitimahana Inso (HAW) 11.20