BANZAI PIPELINE, Oahu/Hawaii (Friday, March 9th 2012) – Bianca Valenti (USA), 26, has won the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) 1-Star SeaHawaii Women’s Pipeline Pro surpassing an experienced field of World Tour Surfers and up and comers to take the win.
The women and junior women’s shortboard competition ran in the most treacherous conditions the event has seen to date. A five-to-seven foot Northeast swell provided gnarly long running rights with consistent and contestable waves at Gums, the sandbar to the east of the Pipeline reef. Stormy conditions delayed the event until the final day of the holding period and the ladies were forced to brave waves with wind swirling in every direction and chocolate brown water (from 7 straight days of Monsoon rains prior to the holding day of the event). Unfortunately it wasn’t the picturesque Pipeline the girls and contest director Betty Depolito (aka Banzai Betty) had been dreaming of. Regardless, it was game time and the women charged.
Valenti, a talented water-woman, had her eyes on the biggest waves of the event, and rode them with style, grace, power and courage, thus earning her the SeaHawaii Women’s Pipeline Pro Title. Bianca is no stranger to dumping beach breaks as a resident of Marin County/San Francisco. Her knowledge and experience proved its worth, as each heat she passed through with the onlooker’s impressed approval. She proved on this Aloha Friday, that she is not just a talented surfer, but an incredibly smart and adaptive competitor choosing the waves that offered the highest scoring potential in big stormy surf without following suit to other competitors who were swept down the beach in seconds.
Other standouts in the main event were: Alessa Quizon (HI) who offered her vertical backhand attack to the intimidating right-hand runners. And last years main event winner, Tatiana Weston-Webb, a 15-year old from Kauai proved her charging status, making both the women’s and junior women’s finals, and earning two 3rd place finishes.
Alisha Gonsalves (HI), 19, surfed a stellar event as well, taking home the Junior Girls title, and making the semi’s in the main event. The field of Junior girls impressed every human on the beach, some of them looking like ants on the wave until a huge fan of spray was thrown from their fearless maneuvers.
The event was a great success. Though conditions were not ideal, the ladies were given a stage to step up to, and when given the opportunity they rose to the challenge. And so they went with the same eye of the tiger as we’ve seen in the male events. Hopefully next year the women will get the classic Banzai Pipeline that they came to charge.
With a growing prize purse of $10,000 for the Women’s Pro Event and $3000 for the Junior women, The SeaHawaii Women’s Pipeline Pro was another exceptional event for the women surfers of Hawaii and beyond. Special thanks go out to all the local supporters of the event: Sik Chix, Matsumotos Haleiwa, Surf n Sea, B’s Bar and Grinds, North Shore Surf Shop, Steve’s Frozen Chillers, Xcel, Pipeline Gear, Sunrise Shells Hawaii, Surfer the Bar, Grass Skirt Grill, Pizza Bobs, Lanikai Juice Company, Banzai Productions, Wendy’s Catering, Flhi Girls Sports TV, Jerry’s Pizza, ASP & Faith Wenzel, NAPA Auto Parts, Breakers Restaurant, Volcom House, Scoop of Paradise Ice Cream, Hon Moto, Kona Brewery Longboard Lager, Wyland Gallery, State Commission for the Status of Women, Outrigger Duke Kahanamoku Foundation, Jameson’s Restaurant, Hon Moto, and San Lorenzo Bikinis… And a big shout out to North Shore’s Aloha Life Saving team who ran the jet-ski assist, getting the ladies past the dangerous surf to the chocolate brown barrels safely.
Women’s Division Shortboard Results
1. Bianca Valenti(USA)
2. Aleesa Quizon(HAW)
3. Tatiana Weston-Webb(HAW)
4. Natalie Anzivino(USA)
Women’s Junior Division Shortboard Results
1. Alisha Gonsalves(USA)
2. Kallee Krebs(USA)
3. Tatiana Weston-Webb(HAW)
4. Mahina Maeda(HAW)