The 2007 Women’s Pipeline Pro is the world’s most intense women’s surfing competition now that the WCT dropped Teahupoo from the ladies schedule. Keala Kennely and Rochelle Ballard showed up to represent the Hawaii WCT crew and joined a bulging international field of competitors for some ASP points and a share of the purse.
Day one of competition started in solid 6 foot clean and glassy Pipeline with some macking 8 footers sprinkled in to keep the girls on their toes.
“The 2007 Women’s Pipeline Pro is the world’s most intense women’s surfing competition now that the WCT dropped Teahupoo from the ladies schedule”
The shortboard trials was a tense scene, with heavy drama as the girls took on some serious Pipeline. One competitor received some stitches on the chin by the on-site doctor and a few boards snapped, but some sick pits were found and even some good open face moves. Leah Dawson, Gabi Cope, Kellee Krebs and Melody Hass moved from the trials to the quarter finals to meet up with Keala Kennely, Rochelle Ballard and Bethany Hamilton.
Around noon onshore winds made conditions rather tricky and the bodyboarding divisions kept the crowd on their feet. This was a day for the women’s surfing history books as the women showed amazing courage and sportsmanship at Pipe.
Day two was smaller, 3-5 feet, but super clean and the girls seemed more stoked after surviving day one to see the more user friendly conditions. Backdoor had some sizzlers and contest organizers had a bit of trouble keeping non-competitors from sampling a few.
The ladies reaped the rewards of another year of hard work from Betty Depolito and crew as mother nature took care of the epic conditions.
After the all Hawaiian semis and a stunning performance in the finals Ms. Alana Blanchard snagged her second Pipeline crown. Leah Dawson got a close second after quickly finishing her longboard final and running up the beach to get her jersey for her other final! Rochelle Ballard accepted third place and expressed her gratitude to event founder Betty Depolito for making women’s competitive surfing at Pipeline possible. 12 year-old Kallee Krebbs took fourth place showing that Hawaii’s Carissa Moore is not Hawaii’s only teenage phenom. Krebbs is the youngest person to make a final at Pipeline. Helena Suehiro nailed the Soap Factory Rookie of the Year Award for her gutsy performance in her close semi-final heat.
Last year’s Longboard champ, Leah Dawson, pulled it off again, back to back wins at the Pipe on a longbaord, then second in the shortboard. Megan Godinez got second, Candice Appleby third, Stacia Ahina fourth, Mimi Horiguchi fifth and Kawehi Whitford sixth. Caron Farnham pulled into the filthiest backdoor drainer to receive the “Best Ride” award.
Claudia Ferrari nailed first place in the bodyboarding after many yers of second place. Natasha Sagardia got second, Aoi Koike third, Daniela Freitas fourth.
For more information check www.banzaibetty.com.
The event was live on surfinglive.com and watched worldwide