As history has shown, the Los Cabos Open of Surf can help make or break a season -- as well as introduce a few new names to the mix. Last year's runner-up was Ecuador's Dominic Barona, a surfer who's gone under the radar for years until that breakthrough truly introduced her to the QS elite.
With this as the third women's Qualifying Series (QS) 6,000 event, the qualification pictures begins to take major shape as the pivotal halfway point in the season. Here's a few surfers looking to take full advantage of those points on offer and make a charge for the Top 6 while trying to fend off eleven of the Championship Tour (CT) women looking for points of their own.
Curent QS Ranking: 5
Anderson has been on a roll the past few events with a win at the Siargao International Women's Surfing Cup QS1,000 and recent Semifinal finish at the Ichinomiya Chiba Open QS3,000. Currently ranked No. 5, the Australian's best finish was No. 12 four years ago, but has been just outside the cusp at No. 13 the last two years.
"The greatest lesson learned has probably been self-growth. Learning to accept each day as it comes when on the road, understanding that sometimes things don't go your way and you have to learn from it. It's been closer for a few years now but compared to previous years, I've changed a few things both in and out of the water and it seems to be positive so I'll just keep doing what I'm doing and hopefully this time it works out."
Current QS Ranking: 7 (13 prior to Ichinomiya Chiba Open)
Another Australian talent who's making her way on the radar more and more is 2015 World Junior Champion Isabella Nichols. She's had success at Zippers in the past with a win as Pro Junior, and a Quarterfinal finish in the QS6,000 last year. At just 19, Nichols has already shown her explosiveness on the CT as a wildcard and now has her eyes set to get there full-time.
"I have had success in the juniors in the previous years, and that has definitely given me a little bit of confidence, but every year is a new year and all the girls are constantly improving so I've got to be on my game. It's always important to best my results because my aim is to qualify and I want to take every opportunity given to me."
Current QS Ranking: 10
The South Shore, Oahu native is one the surfing world became familiar with just last year at the Women's Maui Pro CT event as a wildcard by taking out Johanne Defay. Though she is still in the age requirements to be a Pro Junior, the 17-year-old has shifted her focus to becoming a QS threat -- and doing quite well at it. Her third-place finish in Barbados gave her a jump up the rankings to No. 11, and, after Japan, now sits at No. 10 within striking distance of the Top 6.
"The QS is very challenging mentally, and physically as well. There are so many amazing competitors and I have been getting used to the waves and conditions and also traveling much more. I have been really focusing on strengthening both my mental and physical game too as well as getting better at small waves and beach break surfing. This is going to be my third time competing [at Cabo] and I feel like I've learned a lot over the past few years so I hope that will help me."
Tune in live June 6 - 11 and watch the Los Cabos Open of Surf action unfold