Vahine Fierro Wins Turtle Bay Resort Pro; Maui’s Macedos Sweep Hurley Surf Club Pro Junior Men and Women’s Titles
HALEIWA, Oahu/Hawaii – (Monday, October 16, 2017) — Multiple titles and qualification scenarios were on the line today at the Turtle Bay Resort Pro and Hurley Surf Club Pro Junior men’s and women’s events. These events wrapped up the World Surf League Women’s and Junior regional circuits for Hawaii/Tahiti Nui, crowning champions in each. Maui’s Summer Macedo and brother Ocean Macedo took the junior wins in clutch Final scenarios while Tahiti’s Vahine Fierro put a stamp of success on the Women’s QS. Runner up athletes Barron Mamiya (HAW) and Zoe McDougall (HAW) also found victory as the Regional Junior Champions alongside Savanna Stone (HAW), who takes the Regional Women’s QS title home to Kauai.
The day was bursting with high-intensity heats as the Women’s QS division chipped away to reveal four finalists, including Fierro, Tiare Thompson (USA), Alyssa Spencer (USA) and Brianna Cope (HAW). In the final heat of the day, Spencer had a commanding start with a mid-range score of 5.60, but lost the lead after she suffered an interference on Thompson. Fierro, known for her fearless approach and stylish backside surfing, continued to collect scores and ultimately found the best wave of the heat, a 7.50 that she snuck under Spencer’s priority.
Fierro, a dangerous competitor on her backhand, took down a field of international competitors for the Women’s QS1,000 win. Image: WSL/Freesurf/Heff
“It feels really great to win today because I’ve been making Finals but not winning, so I’m really happy to take the win this time,” said Fierro. The Tahitian competed last year at the Turtle Bay Resort Pro Junior and missed out in the Semifinals and built momentum after nabbing a runner up finish at this year’s Papara Pro Vahine Open Tahiti and Wahine Pipe Pro. She battles with the best of Hawaii’s athletes and was elated to take today’s win.
“It’s a really good feeling when you beat somebody that you really look up to, especially these girls from Hawaii, I really look up to them. They’re so good and I’m always admiring their surfing so it feels good to win against them,” said Fierro.
L to R: Vahine Fierro (PYF), Tiare Thompson (USA), Alyssa Spencer (USA) and Brianna Cope (HAW). Image: WSL/Freesurf/Heff
The audience held their breath during the dying minutes of the Hurley Surf Club Women’s Pro Junior Final, which saw Macedo, McDougall, Leila Riccobuano and Keala Tomoda-Bannert battle through a flurry of wind-swept waves. McDougall had the lead for the majority of the 30-minute heat and scored a 7.00 and 5.50, but Macedo fought back and with five minutes left on the clock, scored an 8.17 and then backed it up with a 5.07 in the final seconds.
The win cemented Macedo’s place in the upcoming World Junior Championship in Australia, alongside McDougall, the newly crowned 2017 WSL Hawaii/Tahiti Nui Regional Junior Champ.
Although an event win evaded McDougall today, the North Shore junior has an even better title to celebrate – Regional Junior Champion. Image: WSL/Freesurf/Heff
“Qualifying for Worlds has been one of my biggest goals this year because I’ve gotten third or fourth in the rankings the past few years and so I was just like, ‘I need to do it this year,’” said Macedo. “I feel like when I set goals for myself and I complete them, it just helps me out in the long run.” Macedo has been working with Quiksilver coach and former CT Top 10 competitor Freddy Patacchia this season.
“This event actually put a lot of pressure on me and talking to my coach, Freddy P., I told him, ‘I feel so pressured because this is the one event I really need to do good, I really need to qualify,’” continued Summer. “He told me to use the pressure and rise under it, so that’s what I really focused on doing.”
Summer Macedo kept calm and advanced past a stacked Final heat of juniors. Image: WSL/Freesurf/Heff
Her brother, Ocean, set the precedent for a Macedo sweep after he won the first division of the afternoon, the Hurley Surf Club Men’s Pro Junior, against a loaded heat of Hawaii standouts. The Maui surfer took a commanding lead early when he dropped a 6.33 after closing out the most critical section of the wave with a vertical snap and a strong finish on the inside. Macedo went on to combo competitors when he scored an excellent 8.33 for multiple powerful maneuvers on a set wave, although Mamiya wasn’t close behind. The North Shore junior secured a 6.93 and was on a determined hunt for waves, but fell short after failing to stamp out the necessary backup score for the win.
Mamiya puts on a display of progressive surfing for the Turtle Bay Resort crowd. Image: WSL/Freesurf/Heff
Mamiya still ended the day on top however, as he was crowned the 2017 Regional Junior Champion and awarded a travel scholarship along with McDougall. Mamiya is set to compete in the World Junior Championships next year and Macedo’s win catapulted him to a qualifying position as well. Finn McGill, who did not compete at the Hurley Surf Club Pro Junior due to an ankle injury, also secured his place at Worlds along with Maui’s Elijah Hanneman.
Tomorrow the Turtle Bay Resort Pro will complete with the Men’s and Women’s Longboard Pro division to cap off the series of surfing events. Tune into WorldSurfLeague.com for LIVE scoring or check back to the event pages for a recap of the action.
Surfers shown in order of 1st through 4th, all athletes from Hawaii unless otherwise noted