Surf n Sea Pipeline Pro
Presented by Brazilian Show Room
WSL QS 1000 Women's Event
Banzai Pipeline, Oahu, Hawaii
16 - 27 March, 2015
Kennelly edges past Honolua Blomfield and Melanie Bartels for the win
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 21 March, 2015 - Honolulu - Kauai's Keala Kennelly, 36, drew upon every ounce of her Pipeline and competitive experience today to win the Surf N Sea Pipeline Women's Pro, presented by Brazilian Show Room.
A seasoned professional and big wave specialist who has been ranked as high as #2 in the world, Kennelly was unstoppable in waves that ranged from clean 4- to 6-foot barrels in the morning, to hefty double-overhead, wind-blown beach break conditions in the final. The Surf N Sea Pipeline Women's Pro is a QS1,000 event sanctioned by the World Surf League, and is run in conjunction with the Pipe Pro Junior Men's event.
Runner-up to Kennelly was North Shore's rising star Honolua Blomfield (Haleiwa); third place was former touring professional Melanie Bartels (Waianae); fourth was Moana Jones (Haleiwa) - the youngest of the finalists at just 15 years of age who was impressive in the solid surf on hand.
Moana Jones © Mike Latronic
From the outset of the 35-minute final, Kennelly took a totally different approach to the other finalists, heading further west towards gnarly waves at Off-The-Wall. It was there that she scored some of the biggest rides of the day, opting for high-risk vertical turns and critical close-out maneuvers that shot her to an early lead she never relinquished. Her rivals stayed busy, each scoring plenty of rides but none that matched the size and scoring potential of Kennelly's.
"I've been surfing out here since I was about 12, so I've put in a lot of time," said Kennelly. "Being a big wave surfer definitely helped today. I've taken my fair share of beatings, so for sure it helps to not be intimidated when the conditions are heavy like they were today.
"The final was tough. There were none of the barrels we had this-morning, so it all came down to big turns. I watched the heat before mine and saw Anastasia Ashley get a few of those wide ones, so I definitely knew what my strategy was."
Equal fifth after semi-final losses were Southern Californian pair Natalie Anzivino and Anastasia Ashley.
Melanie Bartels © Mike Latronic
In the Pipe Pro Junior Men's event, which still has one more day of competition remaining, defending champion Seth Moniz (Honolulu) continued to set the bar, along with Kalani David (Haleiwa) and Northern California's Nic Hdez.
Despite the increasingly difficult conditions at hand, Moniz and Hdez skillfully adapted their maneuvers to suit, while David logged one of the best airs in the event so far.
"Every contest I do I'm 100% in," said Moniz, 17, who recently posted a win in the Sunset Beach Pro Junior. "There's so many good kids surfing here, so you've definitely got to surf strong.
"My win at Sunset was a real confidence boost. I've never won that event so I was stoked. If I can get a good result here then maybe I can win the ratings and that will give me a good seed into next year and into the Qualifying events.
"Surfing out here all the time really helps. I stay here (at Pipe) all winter, so I get a lot of water time and I'm pretty comfortable out here in all kinds of conditions. It's about knowing the reefs and how every swell direction works, working with the ocean. It's knowing what's under you, having good equipment, and knowing the break that makes the difference."
A high surf advisory is in effect for the North Shore of Oahu tomorrow. Organizers will assess the conditions at first light and a Pipe Pro Junior Men's champion may be crowned by end of day.
SURF N SEA PIPELINE WOMEN'S PRO, Presented by Brazilian Show Room
1st - Keala Kennelly (Kauai) - 11.85 points; 1,000 ratings points, $2,000
2nd - Honolua Blomfield (Haleiwa) - 9.1 points; 750 ratings points, $900
3rd - Melanie Bartels (Waianae) - 7.9 points; 560 ratings points, $600
4th - Moana Jones (Haleiwa) - 5.8 points; 525 ratings points, $500
H1: Keala Kennelly; Honolua Blomfield; Natalie Anzivino (USA); Jessica Anderson
H2: Melanie Bartels; Moana Jones; Anastasia Ashley (USA); Bianca Valenti (USA)
H1: Keala Kennelly; Jessica Anderson (CHL); Zoe McDougall; Sophia Bartlow
H2: Honolua Blomfield; Natalie Anzivino (USA); Emilia Perry; Bailey Nagy
H3: Anastasia Ashley (USA); Moana Jones; Frankie Harrer (USA); Kahanu Delovio
H4: Bianca Valenti (USA); Melanie Bartels; Brittany Penaroza; Hannah Van Veen
Continuation of Round of 32 from Tuesday...
H5: Frankie Harrer (USA); Brittany Penaroza; Kelta O'Rourke; Pomare Dreisziger (CHL)
H6: Moana Jones; Hanna Van Veen; Terumi Nakajima (n/s); Cayla Moore (n/s)
H7: Bianca Valenti (USA); Anastasia Ashley (USA); Malia Ward (USA); Brittany Gomulka
H8: Melanie Bartels; Kahanu Delovio; Emily Nishimoto; Jamilah Starr
PIPE PRO JUNIOR MEN'S:
Round of 64:
H1: Tomas Tudela (PER); Luke Shepardson; Shayden Pacarro; Tomas King (CRI)
H2: Ryland Rubens (USA); Skip McCullough (USA); Taylor Clark (USA); Wyatt McHale
H3: Nic Hdez (USA); John Mel (USA); Kain Daly; Timothee Bisso (GLP)
H4: Kalani David; Eala Stewart; Wil Reid (USA); Riley Laing (AUS)
H5: Jake Marshall (USA); Makai McNamara; Noah Collins (USA); Kala Willard
H6: Seth Moniz; Daniel Glenn (USA); Ulualoha Napeahi; Jacob Szekely
H7: Kanoa Igarashi (USA); Benji Brand; Lucca Mesinas Novaro (PER); Hunter Johnson
H8: Colt Ward (USA); Cody Young; Josh Benjoya (USA); Imaikalani Devault
H9: Kona Oliveira; Jordy Collins (USA); Cam Richards (USA); Wilem Banks
Trials Heat 1: Seth Moniz; Cody Young; Tomas King (CRI); Christopher Bluthardt; John McElgunn (USA); Logan Bediamol
Trials Heat 2: Josh Moniz; Alex Pendleton; Wilem Banks; Julian Burke (USA); Makana Pang; Kelson Lau