Bianca and Alisha: Pipe girl power

Bianca Valenti and Alisha Gonzalves have conquered the Open and Junior divisions of the 2012 SeaHawaii Womens Pro, at Pipeline, Hawaii.


The female surfing contest got underway in the gnarliest conditions ever, in the history of the event. Stormy conditions delayed the competition until the last day of the holding period and surfer girls had to bare with whatever conditions were available. "Not to much to pick and choose from in storm surf, I was just happy with my equipment, and was fortunate", said Valenti.

Unfortunately, there were not the most ideal Pipe conditions. Four-to-six feet Hawaiian scale waves, winds coming in from all directions and a ripping current throughout the day led all women to a very challenging task out in the lineup.

"I just gave it my all out there, not much you can do with those chocolate barrels. It was a work out but I am happy to keep the trophy home" exclaimed Gonzalves.

"We were very lucky that we were able to finish the contest due to the crazy stormy conditions. Thanks to the water patrol, Aloha Lifesaving, they made this contest happen giving rides to the ladies out to the lineup between each heat", said contest director Betty Depolito.

This year's Junior division featured girls from Hawaii, USA, and a lone competitor from Canada. The Women's division had the majority of competitors from Hawaii and USA, but also individual competitors from Australia and Canada.

The youngest of the competitors was 12-year-old Meah Collins, daughter of surfing legend Richie Collins. Meah competed in not just the Juniors but also the Womens division as well making it to the quarterfinals.

The veteran is Pipeline pioneer Rochelle Ballard at 41. Rochelle, who competed on the WQT for 17 years, retired in 2007 and enjoys competing back at the place where her and Keala Kennelly paved a path for women surfing at Pipeline.

Besides the most dangerous weather conditions the SeaHawaii Womens Pro at Pipeline has ever seen, it's defending champion Tatiana Weston-Webb that was able to turn heads. Tatiana a 15-year-old grom from Kauai, HI surfed an astounding seven heats between the Junior and Women divisions and made the finals in both divisions.

She surfed a massive 2 1/2 hours of heat time and three heats surfing back-to-back-to-back. Although not taking home the title in either division she most certainly made a lasting impression on all spectators.

Therefore she was named the Princess of Pipeline. Natalie Anzivino out of Dana Point took home the title for the Women's division and Alisha Gonsalves from Honolulu, HI finished up on top of the Junior's division.

Women's Junior Division Shortboard Results
Finals
1. Alisha Gonzalves (USA) ; 2. Kallee Krebs (USA) ; 3. Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) ; 4. Mahina Maeda (HAW)

Women's Division Shortboard Results

1. Bianca Valenti (USA) ; 2. Aleesa Quizon (HAW) ; 3. Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) ; 4. Natalie Anzivino (USA)