Image Credit: © WSL/McGregor

Finals Day Set For O’Neill SMTH Shapes Rookie Rippers

The World Surf League (WSL) O’Neill SMTH Shapes Rookie Rippers Junior Qualifying Series (JQS) 1,000 completed the Men’s and Women’s Semifinals in pumping 3-4 foot waves at Ballito to set up an exciting Finals Day tomorrow. The next call will be Saturday, July 1 at 07:00 local time.

Ryan Kainalo On Track For Title Defense 
Ryan Kainalo (BRA) is on track to defend his title in Ballito after defeating Luc Lepront (RSA) in the first Men’s Semifinal. Kainalo was quick to his feet to open up with two massive turns for a 7.83 (out of a possible 10) to jump in the lead. The Brazilian then raced down the line and launched a clean air maneuver for a 6.83 for a total of 14.66 (out of a possible 20). Despite surfing a smart heat, going left and right to find the set waves and move around without priority, Lepront fell short and exits the competition in third.

Kainalo will come up against South Africa’s Daniel Emslie, who eliminated Mitch du Preez (RSA) in the second Men’s Semifinal. Du Preez’s strong backhand put him in the lead, but he couldn’t find a decent backup score. Emslie’s lightning-fast surfing meant he could fit in more than three turns on a wave, coming from behind to take the win and book a spot in the Final.

Anon Matsuoka In Second Consecutive JQS Final
The first Women’s Semifinal was a matchup between two goofy-footers, South Africa’s Louise Lepront and Alyssa Spencer (USA). Lepront found a long runner to open her encounter, but right behind her, Spencer found a great looking wave, managing the bumps on the face and completing two strong turns. Lepront stayed busy to try and find another decent wave, but Spencer shut down the heat with a powerful two-turn combo and advanced to the Final.

Anon Matsuoka (JPN) booked a spot in her second consecutive JQS Final when she defeated Puamakamae DeSoto (HAW) in the second Semifinal. It was a slower heat, but the judges noticed Matsuoka’s committed backhand turns in the most critical section of the wave and she was rewarded for her effort, eliminating DeSoto.

The next call will be on Saturday, 1 July at 7:00 a.m. local time for a possible 7:30 a.m. start.

O’Neill SMTH Shapes Rookie Rippers Women’s Semifinal Results:
HEAT 1: Alyssa Spencer (USA) 14.34 DEF. Louise Lepront (RSA) 9.50
HEAT 2: Anon Matsuoka (JPN) 12.50 DEF. Puamakamae DeSoto (HAW) 8.93

O’Neill SMTH Shapes Rookie Rippers Men’s Semifinal Results:
HEAT 1: Ryan Kainalo (BRA) 14.66 DEF. Luc Lepront (RSA) 12.00
HEAT 2: Daniel Emslie (RSA) 12.17 DEF. Mitch du Preez (RSA) 7.66

O’Neill SMTH Shapes Rookie Rippers Women’s Final Matchups:
HEAT 1: Alyssa Spencer (USA) vs. Anon Matsuoka (JPN)

O’Neill SMTH Shapes Rookie Rippers Men’s Final Matchups:
HEAT 1: Ryan Kainalo (BRA) vs. Daniel Emslie (RSA)

The O’Neill SMTH Shapes Rookie Rippers JQS 1,000 holds a competition window through Saturday, July 1, 2023.

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The O’Neill SMTH Shapes Rookie Rippers is proudly supported by O’Neill, SMTH Shapes, KwaDukuza Municipality and Surfing South Africa.