Melbourne Beach Native Caroline Marks Wins World Surf League’s Los Cabos Open
By Space Coast Daily // June 18, 2018
2016 Space Coast Sports Hall of Famer
ABOVE VIDEO: Caroline Marks after her win at Los Cabos Open on Sunday.
San José del Cabo, Mexico – The World Surf (WSL) women’s Qualifying Series (QS) Los Cabos Open of Surf QS 6,000 crowned Caroline Marks (USA) its 2018 victor in terrific fashion. Zippers continued to deliver clean, three-to-four foot conditions for finals day and the Championship Tour (CT) competitors in attendance showcased their dominance.
But, it was the 16-year-old who took down an all goofyfooted Final against one of this year’s most consistent competitors, Tatiana Weston-Webb (BRA).
“I’m beyond excited to win this one, it’s always been one of my favorite events that I’ve come to for the last few years,” Marks said.
“We probably had the best waves ever this year, it was nuts and everyone was ripping this whole time. It’s amazing to have my mom and brother here, it’s Father’s Day, I’m just so stoked. It’s an incredible feeling and winning is really hard at these events so when you do, you have to enjoy it.”
The Melbourne Beach, Florida, native, now San Clemente, California, resident, showcased a dominant backhand in the Final, earning a near-perfect 9.43 (out of a possible 10) and 17.06 (out of a possible 20) to take the lead from Weston-Webb at the ten-minute mark.
The Brasilian stayed busy, trying to find waves worthy of the 8.74 needed, but Marks held firm with priority and showed patience beyond her years until the final horn sounded. This marks the current QS No. 1’s second QS 6,000 victory in 2018 and now sits comfortably at the top with 16,200 points – all but requalified for the 2019 CT.
“It feels really good to be in the position I’m in on the rankings,” Marks said.
“This is the best year of my life and I’m just really enjoying it. Every stop I’ve been to this year has had amazing waves and I’m so fortunate to be on Tour with all those girls surf so well, and work so hard. It really pushes me to my best. This year I’ve just wanted focus on bettering my surfing, not worrying about results, and I’ve ended up with the best results in my life.”
The Final was a battle between Marks and Weston-Webb, two of the event’s best performers with ten excellent scores, meaning they were above an 8.00, between them. The Brasilian’s backhand is one of the best in the world, as she sits at No. 3 on the CT, but is on a streak of runner-up finishes in 2018 on both the QS and Top 17. Weston-Webb remains confident heading into the mid-year mark and sits comfortably within a requalification spot on both fronts.
ABOVE VIDEO: Fourteen-year old Caroline Marks’ career is already the stuff of surfing legends. At 11, this goofy-footed ‘tween was the youngest girl to make the USA Surf Team. She is also the youngest female ever to surf in a World Surfing League Women’s Pro event.
“It was a really fun Final and I felt like I was going to win, but I’m appreciative of the second-places that keep coming,” Weston-Webb said.
“I’m thankful to keep making Finals and just hoping I win one soon. I was really just having a great time and that’s what it took for me to get to that Final in this events. It feels amazing and I’m trying to get those little steps to go higher and higher. That’s what it takes and obviously now it’s going to take some wins to make my way up to the top — that’s my goal now is to improve on that Final result.”
A Semifinal finish for Keely Andrew (AUS) gives her another keeper result in 2018 heading forward in hopes of solidifying herself for requalification. The Sunshine Coast, Australia, native ripped her way past Round 6 before facing 2015 event winner Nikki Van Dijk (AUS). Andrew, needing a 9.06, dropped a 9.07 in the last three minutes with her fast, technical forehand attack. But, a slow start in the Semifinal proved too much to gain ground on an in-form Weston-Webb.
“I’ve grown to expect more of myself and I would’ve loved to win it for an even better result, but I’m really happy with how I surfed,” Andrew said. “Coming out of Keramas, it was good to get right back into the rights and I used the same board so it’s good to know it works different conditions. I’m stoked with the waves I got here and the next QS is Oceanside so hopefully I can draw the line there to really focus on the Tour.”
Defending event winner, Silvana Lima (BRA), looked poised for yet another Finals appearance, but fell to the eventual winner Marks in a one-sided affair. The Brasilian still retains the best track record of any competitor at this event, never missing the Quarterfinals or better, but continuously made mistakes that ended up being her demise. Now, Lima prepares for a big back-half of 2018, beginning Jeffrey’s Bay early next month.
“This is a good result with over 3,000 point and it feels good to get this far, but Caroline [Marks] was ripping the whole event,” Lima said.
“She deserved to win that heat and I made some big mistakes. I fell so much on my waves, and now I have work on that. This wave is still my favorite and the vibe here is amazing. All the locals are always so supportive and cheer for me, it’s incredible. I can’t wait for J-Bay after getting waves like today, it was so good here this event.”
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