Once a year, girls have priority at Pipe. The water is cleared, and the non-competitors are forced to sit longingly on the beach as clean, 2- to 3-foot (Hawaiian) conditions provide the ideal setup for a day of friendly surf. In its 20th anniversary year, the Pipeline Women’s Pro, a three-division all-girls event, attracts bodyboarders and longboarders (who gladly take advantage of one of the few—of not only—times of the year when they can get waves at Pipe) and shortboard WQS surfers (who are also taking advantage of the situation—a chance to surf a world-class event without the presence of the World Tour competitors, almost all which are at Bells).
The day was full of highlights, but we’ll just stick with one: The Shortboard Final, featuring Hawaiian phenom Carissa Moore, Australians Claire Bevilacqua and Laura Enever, and Californian Anastasia Ashley. It was a heated final, but, ultimately, a clean barrel on the wave of the heat won Claire $3,500 and 1,000 WQS points. We caught up with the Pipe aficionado to get her take on the event and find out what’s on her agenda for her coming year.
How were the conditions the final day?
There were still a few 3-foot bombs, and there were a few barrels to be found, but basically just small, fun reefbreak waves.
Was it a close Final?
I think it was really close. I injured my leg freesurfing the morning the comp started, so I wasn’t in top form. But I just had this inner motivation and drive that wouldn’t let me back down.
You were the oldest in the final—what do you think about this upcoming generation?
I’m 26, so mid-age for this sport. I don’t really get fazed by any hype surrounding the old or new—everyone is talented in their own way and I’m just stoked to be challenging the world’s best. I wasn’t gonna get hassled by the grommets out at Pipe, though—I made sure of that! [Laughs]
You’re definitely not a stranger to Pipe. Do you think your experience there put you at an advantage?
Definitely. Confidence is vital out there….that, and the fact that my Volcom family is the best support system anyone could have, and we all live, eat, and sleep at the Pipeline house.
What rank does this put you in on the WQS?
It’s my second event—I’m not worrying about points, I just want to keep being consistent and surf better everyday. I won’t be doing any World Tour events this year—just WQSs and surf trips for my self-made mini-movies. They’re just short, fun action-packed packages from my surfing adventures.
What else do you have planned for the year outside of the competitive realm?
My home base is, and always will be, Western Australia…I do winter here on the North Shore and summer in California and Italy where my dad lives. This year, I hope to get some big barrels with my best mates on the road searching for fun and swell.
Women’s Pipeline Pro Results
1. Claire Bevilacqua (AUS)
2. Carissa Moore (HAW)
3. Anastasia Ashley (USA)
4. Laura Enever (AUS)
1. Cori Schumacher (USA)
2. Crystal Dzigas (HAW)
3. Kaitlin McGuire (USA)
4. Rachel Spear (HAW)