Caption: Coco Ho (HAW) finds success after a very tough start to the 2016 season and now sits at No. 4 on the Women’s QS rankings.
HUNTINGTON BEACH, Calif./ USA (Sunday, July 24, 2016) – The World Surf League (WSL) Women’s Qualifying Series (QS) Paul Mitchell Supergirl Pro QS6000 caped Coco Ho (HAW) as its 2016 champion after an incredible performance. Ho powered through Round Seven, Quarterfinals, Semifinals, and finished off strong in the Final over fellow Hawaiian Malia Manuel (HAW) to claim her third Supergirl Pro title — two as a Junior and first as a QS competitor. Despite a slight decrease in swell, two-to-four foot conditions were on offer and the competitors took full advantage of the gems coming through.
The win jumps Ho from No. 21 to No. 6 on the Women’s QS rankings and now sits within the requalification bubble after a rough start to the year.
“This event is so unique in that we get to walk away with a cape, but it was so much more to me than that this year,” Ho said. “I’ve had the worst competitive year and needed this result, all I can think about is points. It’s definitely going to take consistency throughout the second half of the season and I’ve just had to wash away these first six months — this just feels so amazing.”
Ho posted two of the top scores on the final day of competition, earning a 9.00 (out of a possible 10) in the Final to match the highest-single wave score of this year’s event. The Oahu, HI, native topped fellow Oahu islander Carissa Moore (HAW) with an equally impressive 8.50 in the Semifinals, and overcame Nikk Van Dijk (AUS) in the Quarterfinals.
“I’ve basically changed everything from my training to my boards, just mentally started over and I’m so happy there’s still enough events in the year — I’m climbing,” Ho added. “Malia and I are always traveling together and on the opposite side of the draw so we’re always saying ‘let’s do this,’ and now it’s finally happened. She’s the sweetest soul and always by my side when I need it most. I wouldn’t have even cared who won, it was such a great feeling to surf with her.”
Earning runner-up to her good friend, 2013 Paul Mitchell Supergirl Pro champion Malia Manuel did not go down without a fight — posting a 7.10 and 6.17. By making it to the Final, Manuel now sits at the No. 1 position on the Women’s QS rankings after a great run at this year’s contest. The Kauai, Maui native showcased her powerful surfing and smooth style that progressed her through each round, topping Australians Macy Callaghan (AUS) in the Quarterfinals and Laura Enever (AUS) in the Semis.
“I really like being a bridesmaid,” Manuel said laughing. “It’s the third time that I’ve gotten second but it’s such a good feeling. There’s a lot of pressure going into QS events as a CT surfer so it’s great to make the Final and get into rhythm for the US Open — especially being by the pier and the whole atmosphere.”
“This result relieves so much pressure from the CT knowing that I’m in a good spot to requalify and I can just focus on my surfing for the second half of the year,” Manuel added. “It’s as similar a feeling to being in the top three of the CT and I want to make more Quarters and Semis on that level. Hopefully I can even get a win after being since my rookie season that I’ve won one.”
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Manuel and Ho were joined alongside a loaded the Semifinals draw featuring all CT competitors as Laura Enever (HAW) and Carissa Moore (HAW) had a shot at being draped with the iconic pink cape.
In a tight Semifinal battle with Manuel, Enever was in need of a 7.09 and earned a 6.50 on her last scoring wave with just minutes remaining. Bettering her Round Six result from last year, the Australian gained plenty of momentum throughout this event and will take that to Huntington Beach next week.
“I’ve never made it past Round Six in this event so it’s great to make a few more heats here,” Enever said. “I’m No. 10 on the CT which is right on the edge and now I’ve got another third place result on the QS after getting one at the start of the year. With Oceanside being so similar to Huntington I just took every heat like it was a world tour heat and preparing for that. I wanted to find the strategies I needed to get ready and with it being such a tricky wave I was excited to get a couple of good heats under my belt. “
After a brilliant performance yesterday and through the first two heats of finals day, Moore fell to good friend and fellow Hawaiian, Ho. Taking down Holly Wawn (AUS) in Round Seven, and up-and-coming phenom Caroline Marks (USA) in the Quarters, the 3-time WSL Champion looked in good form once again as she posted one of the day’s highest single-wave scores of 8.50. But, the changing conditions created a lot of texture on the water for competitors and Moore was on the wrong side of the wave’s fortune.
“It felt good to get a good surf on and not feel any pressure and with the tide coming down it was tricky to find right ones,” Moore said. “It was very similar to Huntington so I’m excited to get a good practice in here. I’m feeling really confident and hopefully it’ll be a good week up there. Seeing all these young girls out here and smiling, it’s why we do what we do and it’s so encouraging for us.”
Updated Women’s Qualifying Series Top 6 Rankings:
1. Malia Manuel (HAW) 16,250
2. Bronte Macaulay (AUS) 15,300
3. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 14,850
4. Keely Andrew (AUS) 11,550
5. Silvana Lima (BRA) 11,200
6. Coco Ho (HAW) 11,050
Paul Mitchell Supergirl Pro Women’s QS6000 Final Results:
1 – Coco Ho (HAW) 14.50 6,000 points $10,000
2 – Malia Manuel (HAW) 13.26 4,500 points $5,000
Paul Mitchell Supergirl Pro Women’s QS6000 Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Malia Manuel (HAW) 10.26 def. Laura Enever (AUS) 9.67
SF 2: Coco Ho (HAW) 13.33 def. Carissa Moore (HAW) 7.36
Paul Mitchell Supergirl Pro Women’s QS6000 Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Laura Enever (AUS) 11.67 def. Sage Erickson (USA) 5.07
QF 2: Malia Manuel (HAW) 10.93 def. Macy Callaghan (AUS) 10.27
QF 3: Carissa Moore (HAW) 13.07 def. Caroline Marks (USA) 9.76
QF 4: Coco Ho (HAW) 12.77 def. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 10.26
Paul Mitchell Supergirl Pro Women’s QS6000 Round Seven Results:
Heat 1: Sage Erickson (USA) 13.66 def. Maud Le Car (FRA) 8.66
Heat 2: Laura Enever (AUS) 10.67 def. Meah Collins (USA) 8.20
Heat 3: Macy Callaghan (AUS) 7.43 def. Mahina Maeda (HAW) 7.17
Heat 4: Malia Manuel (HAW) 12.83 def. Dominic Barona (ECU) 4.63
Heat 5: Caroline Marks (USA) 10.67 def. Silvana Lima (BRA) 7.33
Heat 6: Carissa Moore (HAW) 13.00 def. Holly Wawn (AUS) 7.33
Heat 7: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 12.34 def. Zoe McDougall (HAW) 9.37
Heat 8: Coco Ho (HAW) 14.10 def. Bronte Macaulay (AUS) 12.33