Blanchard wins Pipeline Pro

HALE‘IWA, O‘ahu — A west-northwest swell provided near perfect conditions for Hanalei’s Alana Blanchard as she beat out her fellow Kauaians to win the Cholo’s Women’s Pipeline Pro yesterday.

It was a Kaua‘i-dominated quarterfinal with Kaua‘i holding eight of the 16 spots.

Blanchard beat out Bethany Hamilton, Gabi Cope, Melody Hass, Adriana Mendival, Mia Melamed and World Champions Tour surfers Keala Kennelly and Rochelle Ballard.

The day started off Tuesday with clean, 6-foot waves, with some sets swelling to 8-footers.

This is the second win for the 16-year-old who won the first Cholo’s Women’s Pipeline Pro in 2005. That also happened to be the first time a women’s event took place at Pipeline.

This year’s event attracted approximately 110 of female surfers from across the globe to surf the famous beach.

Other Hawai‘i surfers were Leah Dawson, Helena Suehiro, Anna Fry, Brandi Zyrckel and Paige Alms.

Blanchard came out on top, winning not only the title, but a check for $2,000.

Blanchard’s other accomplishments include the 2006 International Rip Curl Gromsearch championships and the T & C Women’s Pipeline Championships and Hawai‘i Amateur Surfing Association state championships in 2005.

Dawson took the longboard division.

Claudia Ferarri won the bodyboarding division.

• Lanaly Cabalo, sports editor, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 237) or lcabalo@kauaipubco.com.

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