The World Surf League (WSL) Los Cabos Open of Surf began in beautiful Costa Azul, offering competitors two, occasional three-foot swell at the righthand pointbreak of Zippers. Battling through the smaller conditions, the Men’s and Women’s Juniors took to the water, completing their respective Round 1 heats in their entirety – making the best of waves when they came in and capitalizing on sets.
Newly crowned Australiasia Junior Champion Macy Callaghan (AUS) raised the bar of what’s to be expected of her fellow competitors, finding the gems of the morning for an 8.50 (out of a possible 10) and 7.33 to earn the day’s highest heat total of 15.83 (out of a possible 20). Making her way to Los Cabos for the first time, Callaghan is excited to be competing on the pristine shores of San Jose Del Cabo in both the Women’s Junior and the Women’s QS6000 – her main focus.
“Winning the Junior title in my region gave me a lot of confidence coming over here and I’m really happy to have this opportunity,” Callaghan said. “It’s hard out there being small and not a lot of waves coming through but we’re all out here surfing the same waves and you just have to try your best to find them. That 8.50 gave me heaps of confidence and I’m excited to show that I can surf in these smaller conditions. Really just trying to get good waves and build on these types of heat scores – it’s mainly practice for the QS so it’s great to get some heats in.”
Representing the North America region in terrific fashion, the Carlsbad, Calif., native Alyssa Spencer (USA) posted an 8.00, backing it up with a 4.43, in the final heat of Round 1 to earn a win. Finding herself on the best wave of the heat, Spencer took full advantage and is continuing her form from the Ron Jon Vans Pro earlier this year – her first-ever Junior Tour event that she translated to her first Junior win.
“Once in a while there would be a fun wave that came through but it was definitely challenging,” Spencer said. “I like it when it’s like this because I put a lot of time into surfing these waves at home so when it comes down to contests I’m prepared for anything. I’m riding a Stamps board and it’s the same one I won the Florida event on so it’s a pretty magic board. I think I’m just learning how to be a good competitor each passing heat. I’m looking forward to meeting good people and great waves, as well as some warm water – it’s so nice to be out of a wetsuit for this contest.”
Following the women, Junior Men took to the water and got their Round 1 completed in similar conditions going into the late afternoon hours. But, that did not sway the 18-and-under field of competitors from delivering some impressive surfing in demanding swell.
In Round 1, Heat 7, Marco Fignot (FRA) found the day’s closing gems for two near-excellent scores with a pair of 7.67s. It’s Fignot’s first time competing in this event and the Sayulita, Mex. native showed no signs of nerves in his heat win – comboing the field with a Round 1 heat total high of 15.34.
“This morning I had a good surf so I felt really confident in my surfing and my board felt great but it was hard to find that good wave to open up on,” Mignot said. “Getting those two high 7’s was great, I feel like I know how to surf these smaller conditions and patience was a big factor in getting those rides. This is my first time competing here and it’s so amazing. I just want to do my best surfing and enjoy every moment as it comes.”
Cole Houshmand (USA) posted one of the better single-wave scores with a 6.57 and heat totals, 12.44, of the day. Competing for the first time at Zippers as well, Houshmand is no stranger to the lineup and used that knowledge for his heat win.
“It felt really good to get the nerves out of the way with the smaller waves,” Houshmand said. “You just had to be really patient and find one that let you in for a few turns. Overall it’s great practice and stoked to make it through that heat.”
“I’ve just picked a couple lineups from the last time I was out here along with practicing yesterday and stick to the ones I trusted,” Houshmand added. “Hopefully the swell shows up and I’ll take the experience I have into it. I’ve been here for a freesurf trip and we scored here so great so it’s great to know what this wave is capable of. I’m always stoked to come here, I love Cabos and everything here – the people are great and surf can be super fun.”
Making his way from Acapulco, Mex., Luis Rey Contreras (MEX) took down his Round 1 heat in defining fashion – earning a 6.57 and 5.17. Competing in his first-ever Junior Tour event here at the Los Cabos Open of Surf, Contreras is beaming with confidence and into Round 2 with plenty of momentum.
“I’m so happy to win that heat and competing with a great field of international surfers,” Contreras said. “It’s amazing to be representing Mexico and this is very important to me and my career. Having these events here in Mexico is incredible and having the opportunity to show my surfing on a larger scale than I would normally be able to do.Being here really helps with my confidence with these waves so similar to my home break in Acapulco and I’m really looking forward to the next round.”
Tomorrow morning’s 7am MDT call will determine a 7:30am MDT start for either Round 2 of the Men’s or Women’s Junior, or Round 1 of the Women’s QS6000 action to get underway.
Los Cabos Open of Surf Junior Men’s Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: Gabriel Morvil (USA) 12.83, Zane Booth (USA) 7.77, Parker Cohn (USA) 0.00
Heat 2: Liam Gloyd (USA) 9.30, Shane Borland (USA) 7.77, Nick Marshall (USA) 6.84, Kael Farber (USA) 3.84
Heat 3: Micah Crozier (USA) 9.50, Alan Cheland (MEX) 5.70, George Nickoll (USA) 2.66, Jeff Knell (USA) 0.00
Heat 4: Cole Houshmand (USA) 12.44, Brock Crouch (USA) 10.56, Christopher Kervin (USA) 6.70, Zach McCormick (USA) 0.00
Heat 5: Luis Rey Conteraras (MEX) 11.67, Chauncey Robinson (USA) 7.87, Dylan Hord (USA) 4.57, Gael Jimenez (MEX) 4.20
Heat 6: Sebastian Mendes (USA) 9.34, Jackson Butler (USA) 9.34, Sam Reichel (USA) 6.93, Matias Canto (ARG) 3.67
Heat 7: Marco Mignot (FRA) 15.34, Jose Lopez (MEX) 8.26, Quentin Turko (USA) 6.33, Shane Kertesz (USA) 3.17
Heat 8: Evan Brownell (USA) 12.73, Eithan Osbourne (USA) 9.90, Brian-Eric Hart (USA) 7.53, Braden Jones (USA) 5.93
Los Cabos Open of Surf Junior Women’s Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: Alyssa Lock (AUS) 7.74, Evelyn Gontier (ARG) 3.90, Alexa Muss (USA) 3.73
Heat 2: Macy Callaghan (AUS) 15.83, Zoe McDougall (HAW) 11.93, Josefina Ane (ARG) 5.80, Jordyn Barratt (USA) 1.93
Heat 3: Brisa Hennessy (HAW) 12.24, Sophie McColloch (AUS), Vittoria Farmer (AUS) 5.84, Elle Sampiere (USA) 3.56
Heat 4: Leila Riccobuano (HAW) 7.10, Gabriela Bryan (HAW) 6.44, Malia Faramarzi (USA) 1.40
Heat 5: Brittany Penaroza (HAW) 8.06, Aloha Lopez (HAW) 6.37, Nicole Fulford (USA) 4.83
Heat 6: Mainei Kinimaka (HAW) 10.27, Jaleesa Vincent (AUS) 6.77, Luana Silva (HAW) 6.40, Avery Aydelotte (USA) 5.60
Heat 7: Summer Macedo (HAW) 8.23, Kayla Coscino (USA) 5.80, Ren Hashimoto (JPN) 3.57, Lucy Callister (AUS) 1.20
Heat 8: Alyssa Spencer (USA) 12.43, Kobie Enright (AUS) 6.56, Dax McGill (HAW) 5.60