The World Surf League (WSL) Copa El Salvador Impresionante Women's Qualifying Series (QS) 6000 presented by Body Glove returned to the water in more phenomenal, four-to-six foot conditions at Punta Roca. It was a full day of high-performance surfing that completed Round 2 in its entirety and the Top Seeds are set to begin their campaigns in Round 3. The prevailing winds forced an early ending to a otherwise spectacular day and the women will get another chance at pristine morning conditions when competition resumes.
Stephanie Single (AUS) made her debut in Round 2 as a higher seed and posted the event's highest single-wave score with a near-perfect 9.33 (out of a possible 10), and heat total thus far with a superb 18.10 (out of a possible 20). Returning to this event once more, Single is looking to better her Round 4 performance at a wave she has found extreme comfort in. The Australian only caught three waves throughout the heat, but posted nothing smaller than an 8.50.
"I was just in the right spot at the right time for the first one and I felt like I safe-surfed it just to get a score on the board but the judges liked it," Single said. "After that I found a couple more and was able to really open up on them -- it's just way too fun out there. Having that eight, I was a little worried because I know these girls can get a score like that out here and the waves went a little quiet. But, when I got that nine I just knew I was going to have fun out there."
"I felt pretty good out there after not having a good surf the last two weeks," Single added. It's really similar to my home break at Lennox Point and I surf there all the time so I'm prepared for this. It's so good to be back here after the event was super fun last year -- I love this place and really excited to be back."
15-year-old Australian Macy Callaghan (AUS) is beginning to show her talent on the biggest stage of the QS here in El Salvador. Posting some incredible numbers of her own, Callaghan continues to build momentum in this event -- earning a 9.00 and 8.87. Riding new equipment that holds her rail much better, the Australiasia Junior Tour Champ is becoming a formidable opponent for the top seeded surfs who make their appearance tomorrow.
"I wanted a set and to get a couple good turns in, but I fell behind the section on my first wave so I learned from that quickly," Callaghan said. "I was happy to get another really good one and that's when my nine came. There's a couple that are really fast out there and others that stay open, it's a little tricky to get the perfect ones but when you do they're so dreamy. I'm learning more and more how to read this wave and after my first round the nerves got out so now I'm able to just have a fun out there."
Peruvian Anali Gomez (PER) put up an impressive performance in her Round 2 debut, posting a solid 15.64 heat total and advancing into Round 3. Gomez is a veteran out in the Punta Roca lineup and she's putting that experience to use here at the QS level. After a Round 4 exit last year, the QS veteran is determined to put in a good result here and sees this as a great opportunity.
"I feel so privileged to be down here in Punta Roca again and it's probably the best day I've seen in a long time," Gomez said. "To only be out there in that perfect wave with just four of us in the water is a dream and I'm thankful for everything coming together. It's just a matter of picking the two best waves out there and letting your surfing take over. I don't underestimate anyone in this event, they're here for a reason and know all of them are capable of amazing surfing so it's going to be a tough event, but I'm super excited for it."
Leticia Canales Bilbao (EUK) was one of the last heats in the water, surfing Heat 11, Round 2, and still found some gems despite the prevailing wind filling in. Opening her Copa El Salvador Impresionante campaign with a win, Bilbao is into Round 3 and is excited to continue surfing in these beautiful conditions on offer. Hailing from Basque Country, Spain, Bilbao is familiar with this type of wave and is prepared for her next matchup.
"It was so amazing out there and I felt very confident on my board going through that heat," Bilbao said. "This is a paradise with the surf we have coming from the last event to this one, it's just incredible. I feel like this is a great place to improve your surfing with the power it has and to just surf your best. We have a few pointbreaks like this back home, there's one right near my house actually, which is good to train on and prepare for this type of power like El Salvador."
A 7:00am Call will determine a 7:30am Start for Round 3 and the debut of Top Seeds coming into the Punta Roca lineup. Tune in live at www.worldsurfleague.com , or download the WSL App , for streaming and updates throughout the day.