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Emerging Challenger Series Talents and Longboard Icons Take Control at Wallex US Open of Surfing

The women made their highly-anticipated debuts today at the World Surf League (WSL) Wallex US Open of Surfing presented by Pacifico, Stop No. 4 of the Challenger Series, and Huntington Beach Longboard Classic, Stop No. 1 of the WSL Longboard Tour, in continued, pulsing swell at Huntington Beach.

The full day of competition saw electric performances from emerging Challenger Series contenders in their Round of 48 debuts.

Following the Challenger Series, the world’s best longboard talents showcased poise and grace during their Opening Round.

Pictured: Silvana Lima (BRA) posted the highest score of the event so far, a near-perfect 9.33 (out of a possible 10), for her aerial today at the Wallex US Open of Surfing Presented by Pacifico. Credit: © WSL / Nolan

Former Championship Tour (CT) surfer and progression pioneer, Silvana Lima (BRA), put on a spectacle in her Round of 48, Heat 6 debut with a near-perfect 9.33 (out of a possible 10). The Brazilian icon took to the air and stomped the landing, continuing to show her ability to push women’s surfing. She then earned a 6.33 to post the day’s highest heat total, a 15.66 (out of a possible 20).

“When I saw that wave I knew it was perfect for an air,” said Lima. “Big thanks to everyone watching in Brazil. I’m sure my girlfriend probably screamed when I landed that air, it was a sick one. I’m really happy with my performance. I know I was a little lost in the beginning of the heat and it probably made a few people nervous, but everything worked out in the end and I look forward to the next round.”

One of the sport’s rising stars Erin Brooks (CAN) set the scale in her US Open of Surfing debut, posting a brilliant 14.27 heat total in dominant form. The 16-year-old capitalized on the waves on offer, taking control of the heat over former Championship Tour (CT) competitor Pauline Ado (FRA), and emerging talent Eweleiula Wong (HAW). Nanaho Tsuzuki (JPN) advanced in second place behind her.

“Well, I’ve been surfing out here the last few days, and since I am a goofy footer I have been going left a lot, so I found those little, fun lefts by the pier and I’m super stoked,” said Brooks. “I had a pretty bad heat in South Africa, so it was really nice to win this heat. It definitely was a boost to my confidence.”

Current Challenger Series No. 15 Ellie Harrison (AUS) has made a name for herself with moments of brilliance throughout the 2023 season. She notched another impressive heat win today in her US Open of Surfing debut. Harrison’s powerful forehand combination led to one of the highest single-wave scores of the day, a 7.83. She now looks to build on this momentum to better her season’s best result so far of an equal ninth.

“It was good to start with that 7-point ride, a bit of a confidence boost for the rest of the heat,” said Harrison. “In Snapper and Ballito I got a couple of ninths and it was fun making some heats. Coming here I watched all the heat analyzers from the past couple of years, so I was excited to come here and just try showing my surfing. The goal is to make the Top 10 and to try and requalify for the Challenger next year, so if I can do that then that’s perfect, and if not, then I’ll go back to the Qualifying Series and that will be fun too.”

Another qualification threat from Australia and current No. 9 on the Challenger Series, Zahli Kelly, earned a valuable heat win in the Round of 48. Southern Californian and current No. 10 Bella Kenworthy advanced to the Round of 32 alongside her in second position. Also, notching debut heat wins were South America’s rising threats Sophia Medina (BRA) and Sol Aguirre (PER). They will join Leilani McGonagle (CRC) and Yolanda Hopkins (POR) in the Round of 32 where top-seeded competitors await.Women’s Longboard Tour Displays Poise Under Pressure at Huntington Beach Pier to Start 2023 Season

Following the Challenger Series showcase, the world’s best women longboarders kickstarted their 2023 World Title race and put on a clinic of poise and style at the Huntington Beach Pier.

Defending event victor and 2022 World Title runner-up Kelis Kaleopa’a (HAW) started her season in pristine form. Kaleopa'a earned the highest scores of the Opening Round, a 7.83 single-wave score and a 14.00 heat total.

The 18-year-old’s agility on the opportunities presented proved to make the difference over 2022/2023 North America Longboard Regional Champion Avalon Gall (USA) and event wildcard Chloe Coleman (USA) and she will move directly into the Round of 16.Reigning WSL Longboard Champion Soleil Errico (USA) kept her winning form intact in her 2023 season debut. Errico overcame the afternoon conditions by using her style and nose-riding capabilities to demonstrate a glimpse of her potential. The Malibu, California, local has her eyes on back-to-back World Titles and will need a big result here to be in the running.

“I was just happy to get the first heat jitters out just because I haven’t competed since October,” said Errico. “I just have to make that Top Eight, but having it at Malibu is great. That’s my favorite wave in the world and it’s home, so yeah, I am excited for this year. I definitely wanted to win that heat so I don’t go into the Elimination Rounds, so I am glad to skip that round.”

Three-time WSL Longboard Champion Honolua Blomfield (HAW) kickstarted her fourth World Title hunt with a brilliant Opening Round victory. Blomfield’s comfort level on the nose with the tricky afternoon conditions earned her a solid win over Longboard Tour veteran Maria Fernanda Reyes (PER) and 2023 Season Wildcard Liv Stokes (CAN).

“I am pretty excited about this event because it is my first contest this year, so it felt good to just get the jersey back on,” said Blomfield. “I am looking forward to there being three events in places I have never surfed before, except for here, but I am looking forward to Bells. It might be a little cold but we will see what we can do there, and then in El Salvador should be fun too.”

Also notching key Opening Round victories were 2016 World Champion Rachael Tilly (USA), multiple World Title Runner-Up Chloe Calmon (BRA), Keani Canullo (HAW), Maya Glasenapp (REU), and Tully White (AUS).

Tomorrow’s competition looks likely to run the men's Challenger Series Round of 64. The competition will start at 8:05 a.m. PDT.

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Wallex US Open of Surfing Presented by Pacifico Women's Round of 48 Results:

HEAT 1: Zahli Kelly (AUS) 10.50 DEF. Sara Freyre (USA) 10.33, Carolina Mendes (POR) 8.60, Moana Jones Wong (HAW) 8.53

HEAT 2: Ellie Harrison (AUS) 12.70 DEF. Nadia Erostarbe (EUK) 10.93, Minami Nonaka (JPN) 9.47, Anon Matsuoka (JPN) 7.54

HEAT 3: Erin Brooks (CAN) 14.27 DEF. Nanaho Tsuzuki (JPN) 9.87, Eweleiula Wong (HAW) 9.20, Pauline Ado (FRA) 8.93

HEAT 4: Sophia Medina (BRA) 11.63 DEF. Bella Kenworthy (USA) 10.83, Puamakamae DeSoto (HAW) 8.27, Natasha Van Greunen (RSA) 7.37

HEAT 5: Sol Aguirre (PER) 12.10 DEF. Zoe Benedetto (USA) 10.23, Francisca Veselko (POR) 10.17, Talia Swindal (USA) 9.17

HEAT 6: Silvana Lima (BRA) 15.66 DEF. Daniella Rosas (PER) 9.87, Tessa Thyssen (FRA) 9.24, Ella McCaffray (USA) 8.03

HEAT 7: Leilani McGonagle (CRC) 10.17 DEF. Ariane Ochoa (EUK) 8.43, Jessie Van Niekerk (RSA) 8.36, Dominic Barona (ECU) 5.83

HEAT 8: Yolanda Hopkins (POR) 10.93 DEF. Kirra Pinkerton (USA) 9.23, Nyxie Ryan (AUS) 7.74, Nora Liotta (HAW) 7.30

Wallex US Open of Surfing Presented by Pacifico Women's Round of 32 Matchups:

HEAT 1: Gabriela Bryan (HAW) vs. Zoe McDougall (HAW) vs. Zahli Kelly (AUS) vs. Nadia Erostarbe (EUK)

HEAT 2: Sophie McCulloch (AUS) vs. Macy Callaghan (AUS) vs. Ellie Harrison (AUS) vs. Sara Freyre (USA)

HEAT 3: Bronte Macaulay (AUS) vs. Sawyer Lindblad (USA) vs. Erin Brooks (CAN) vs. Bella Kenworthy (USA)

HEAT 4: India Robinson (AUS) vs. Luana Silva (BRA) vs. Sophia Medina (BRA) vs. Nanaho Tsuzuki (JPN)

HEAT 5: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) vs. Amuro Tsuzuki (JPN) vs. Sol Aguirre (PER) vs. Daniella Rosas (PER)

HEAT 6: Vahine Fierro (FRA) vs. Teresa Bonvalot (POR) vs. Silvana Lima (BRA) vs. Zoe Benedetto (USA)

HEAT 7: Alyssa Spencer (USA) vs. Sarah Baum (RSA) vs. Leilani McGonagle (CRC) vs. Kirra Pinkerton (USA)

HEAT 8: Isabella Nichols (AUS) vs. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) vs. Yolanda Hopkins (POR) vs. Ariane Ochoa (EUK)

Huntington Beach Longboard Classic Women's Opening Round Results:

HEAT 1: Honolua Blomfield (HAW) 11.40 DEF. Maria Fernanda Reyes (PER) 9.84, Liv Stokes (CAN) 9.16

HEAT 2: Keani Canullo (HAW) 11.17 DEF. Kirra Molnar (AUS) 9.70, Sophia Culhane (HAW) 7.27

HEAT 3: Kelis Kaleopaa (HAW) 14.00 DEF. Avalon Gall (USA) 8.67, Chloe Coleman (USA) 3.73

HEAT 4: Soleil Errico (USA) 12.23 DEF. Haley Otto (HAW) 11.00, Luella Pace (USA) 7.90

HEAT 5: Chloe Calmon (BRA) 13.17 DEF. Lindsay Steinriede (USA) 11.13, Natsumi Taoka (JPN) 8.00

HEAT 6: Zoe Grospiron (FRA) 9.07 DEF. Maya Glasenapp (REU) 9.04, Mason Schremmer (USA) 8.23

HEAT 7: Rachael Tilly (USA) 12.94 DEF. Alice Lemoigne (FRA) 12.00, Roisin Carolan (AUS) 6.97

HEAT 8: Tully White (AUS) 7.83 DEF. Kaitlin Mikkelsen (USA) 7.54, Luana Soares (BRA) 6.40

Huntington Beach Longboard Classic Women's Elimination Round Matchups:

HEAT 1: Sophia Culhane (HAW) vs. Luella Pace (USA)

HEAT 2: Lindsay Steinriede (USA) vs. Maya Glasenapp (REU)

HEAT 3: Mason Schremmer (USA) vs. Chloe Coleman (USA)

HEAT 4: Maria Fernanda Reyes (PER) vs. Roisin Carolan (AUS)

HEAT 5: Kaitlin Mikkelsen (USA) vs. Liv Stokes (CAN)

HEAT 6: Kirra Molnar (AUS) vs. Luana Soares (BRA)

HEAT 7: Alice Lemoigne (FRA) vs. Natsumi Taoka (JPN)

HEAT 8: Avalon Gall (USA) vs. Haley Otto (HAW)

Wallex US Open of Surfing Presented by Pacifico Men's Round of 64 Matchups:

HEAT 1: Samuel Pupo (BRA) vs. Gatien Delahaye (FRA) vs. Jorgann Couzinet (FRA) vs. Shion Crawford (HAW)

HEAT 2: Morgan Cibilic (AUS) vs. Dylan Moffat (AUS) vs. Reef Heazlewood (AUS) vs. Joshe Faulkner (RSA)

HEAT 3: Cole Houshmand (USA) vs. Lucca Mesinas (PER) vs. Te Kehukehu Butler (NZL) vs. Nolan Rapoza (USA)

HEAT 4: Jackson Baker (AUS) vs. Joel Vaughan (AUS) vs. Kalani Ball (AUS) vs. Brodi Sale (HAW)

HEAT 5: Michael Rodrigues (BRA) vs. Kade Matson (USA) vs. Justin Becret (FRA) vs. Ian Gouveia (BRA)

HEAT 6: Maxime Huscenot (FRA) vs. Jett Schilling (USA) vs. Conner Coffin (USA) vs. Jabe Swierkocki (USA)

HEAT 7: Kolohe Andino (USA) vs. Ezekiel Lau (HAW) vs. Luke Thompson (RSA) vs. Adin Masencamp (RSA)

HEAT 8: Filipe Toledo (BRA) vs. Crosby Colapinto (USA) vs. Mateus Herdy (BRA) vs. Michael Dunphy (USA)

HEAT 9: Leonardo Fioravanti (ITA) vs. Timothe Bisso (FRA) vs. Kauli Vaast (FRA) vs. Rafael Teixeira (BRA)

HEAT 10: Frederico Morais (POR) vs. Joan Duru (FRA) vs. Jarvis Earle (AUS) vs. Eli Hanneman (HAW)

HEAT 11: Jacob Willcox (AUS) vs. Edgard Groggia (BRA) vs. Evan Geiselman (USA) vs. Alister Reginato (AUS)

HEAT 12: Jake Marshall (USA) vs. Eithan Osborne (USA) vs. Keanu Asing (HAW) vs. Sheldon Simkus (AUS)

HEAT 13: Nat Young (USA) vs. Mikey McDonagh (AUS) vs. Lucas Silveira (BRA) vs. George Pittar (AUS)

HEAT 14: Imaikalani deVault (HAW) vs. Alejo Muniz (BRA) vs. Jackson Bunch (HAW) vs. Leo Casal (BRA)

HEAT 15: Jadson Andre (BRA) vs. Carlos Munoz (CRC) vs. Miguel Tudela (PER) vs. Tiago Carrique (FRA)

HEAT 16: Kanoa Igarashi (JPN) vs. Deivid Silva (BRA) vs. Marco Mignot (FRA) vs. Jordan Lawler (AUS)

Huntington Beach Longboard Classic Men's Elimination Round Matchups:

HEAT 1: Taylor Jensen (USA) vs. Brendan White (USA)

HEAT 2: Kevin Skvarna (USA) vs. Saxon Wilson (USA)

HEAT 3: Cole Robbins (USA) vs. Troy Mothershead (USA)

HEAT 4: Edouard Delpero (FRA) vs. Chase Lieder (USA)

HEAT 5: Kaimana Takayama (USA) vs. Jack Van Wagoner (USA)

HEAT 6: Max Weston (AUS) vs. Kai Ellice-Flint (AUS)

HEAT 7: Tony Silvagni (USA) vs. Ben Considine (AUS)

HEAT 8: John Michael Van Hohenstein (HAW) vs. Nicolás Andrade (ESP)

The Wallex US Open of Surfing presented by Pacifico is proudly supported by Wallex.US, Pacifico, Cup Noodles, Hurley, 805 Beer, Red Bull, Sambazon, Shiseido, Surfshark, YETI, Aloha Collection, Aventon E-Bikes, Board & Brew, Boxed Water, Deville Canned Cocktails, Feelgoodz, Flexfit, Fuji Film, Huntington Surf & Sport, Jack’s Surfboards, Nixon Watches, Pura Vida, Ralphs, Tractor Beverage Company, USAF 330th Special Warfare, Visit Huntington Beach, William Grant & Sons, Professional Teqball, Tractor Soda, Victoria White, and Youtheory.

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