Early (or late?) exits for Cope, Kinimaka at Galicia Pro

With the Kauai Marathon coming up this weekend, a huge group of wahine surf competitors had a marathon session of their own on Tuesday as the Galicia Pro narrowed its field down to 24 competitors. Plenty of favorites and some surprises made their way through the lineup in small conditions to get this QS 6,000 contest moving towards its most important phase.

These European events are the most difficult to both consume and report on because of the time difference. Galicia, Spain is 12 hours ahead of Hawaii. When we’re winding down for the evening, they’re just starting to paddle out. Even though they surfed well past a suitable dinner hour — well, I guess that’s all relative in Spain — the event finished for the day just as folks here were heading to work.

This creates a situation where any information provided here could be a full session behind in terms of timeliness. So the only way to talk about it with complete accuracy is to recap who is definitely out, instead of who is only maybe still in.

Cue the “Debbie Downer” sound effect.

Koloa’s Brianna Cope was looking very solid in her heat with a great chance to advance until the closing minutes. Cope, who came into the event ranked 21st on the Qualifying Series season, held the lead in her four-woman heat with a modest 10.00-point total. The high tide had made big scores difficult to come by, but she seemed to be in a good position before both France’s Ana Moreau and Barbados’ Chelsea Tuach overtook her with their final waves.

Cope will take a 25-place result and apparently didn’t have the greatest luck on dry land, either. She posted on her Instagram that her bag containing rental car keys and some Euros was stolen, which led to a Spanish tow truck odyssey that probably didn’t put her in the greatest head space before the contest.

Anahola’s Mainei Kinimaka has been having a very impressive rookie season on the QS. She entered Spain with a top-50 ranking after some solid results at the recent Supergirl Pro and the Hainan Pro to start the year. But she won’t be bettering those results this week as she was foiled in her Round of 48 heat. Australia’s Philippa Anderson had one of the day’s best sessions with a 15.00 winning total. France’s Maud Le Car held second with just a couple small scores but Kinimaka’s many attempts to pick up a 5.38 came up short and she’ll exit with a 37th-place result.

Laura Enever was one of the event’s top seeds, but she fell victim to the conditions in the day’s final heat, finishing fourth as local Lucia Martino and American Tia Blanco — who was wearing the white jersey, fittingly — advanced to round four. Enever came in ranked sixth on the QS, so her re-qualification stats for next year’s Championship Tour are by no means safe. She also exits with a 37th-place result while having watched fellow CT surfers Malia Manuel, Alessa Quizon and Coco Ho all advance to round four.

That’s as far as we can see for the moment, but those three Hawaii wahine may have all hit the lineup overnight if the waves were cooperative. Results can be found at worldsurfleague.com, as well as the live webcast for anyone working the graveyard shift or suffering from an incurable sleep disorder. But for everyone else, duerme un poco!


David Simon can be reached at dsimon@thegardenisland.com.


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