ASP World No. 10 Jacqueline Silva (BRA) has defeated teenage European sensation Pauline Ado (FRA) in clean 2-3ft (1m) surf to win the Davidoff Cool Water Wave 5 star WQS at the 2007 Rip Curl Boardmasters. Silva dominated the 30-minute final, which was held this weekend in front of thousands of sunbaking spectators packed onto Newquay’s Fistral Beach.
The 28-year-old led for the majority of the final, eventually posting an 8.00-point ride on her last wave to total a two-wave combined score of 14.83 points. Ado struggled to find the form she’d shown throughout the contest, posting low scores of 4.67 and 4.33 to finish runner-up.
“It’s a great feeling when you win and I am so happy to win this event today,” said Silva during the winner’s presentation. “It was a really hard event, because the waves were quite small the entire time, so I had to be really patient to get the best waves.” Silva placed 9th and 5th in the first two ASP Women’s World Tour events this season and hopes to take this momentum into Stop 3 in Brazil next week.
“The break we’ve had on Tour during the past few months has been good, because I’ve had some spare time to spend with my family and friends,” said Silva. “When I get the chance to do that, I feel good and relaxed, so I think this helped me a lot.” For Ado, the World Qualifying Series is not a major focus in her career yet, but the 16-year-old was obviously ecstatic to place second overall and outclass many of her more experienced rivals.
“This is a really huge result for me,” said Ado. “I didn’t come here to get a result, I just came here to learn, so this result is just unbelievable. I didn’t surf my best in the final, but the waves were really hard and Jacqueline surfed really smart and got the best waves in the final.”
The former ISA World Junior Champion’s road to the final was no easy task, having to defeat current ASP World No. 10 Megan Abubo (HAW) in the semi-finals and former ASP World Tour competitor Julia Christian (USA) in the quarter-finals before that. “It’s always hard when you’re against these really good surfers, but I didn’t really have any pressure on me,” said Ado. “For me, it’s just about catching the best waves and surfing the best I can.”
Her semi-final heat was a low-scoring affair, but Ado’s two-wave combined score of 10.34 points was enough to hold off Abubo in second. The Hawaiian veteran had a last minute chance to knock Ado out of first when she paddled into a solid set wave, but fell off the wave on the first turn and missed her opportunity.
“I blew it, I just totally blew it,” said Abubo after the heat. “I thought I’d just go for a really big turn at the start of the wave, because I knew it wasn’t going to be a really long wall, but I just overdid it and blew it, and I am absolutely regretting that now. It’s okay though, because you don’t win big heats being safe.”
“I came here to win, but while that didn’t happen, I’m definitely happy to get a result,” continued Abubo. “I’m also happy to get some momentum during the long break in the ASP World Tour season and I’m using this as a tool to get ready for the World Tour event in Brazil next week.” The 29-year-old is 13 years older than 16-year-old Ado and was quick to sing the teenager’s praises after the matchup.
“She’s super talented,” said Abubo. “To make the final here with the talent pool we had in this event is a pretty big accomplishment and she’s a great representation for European surfing.” Ado defeated American Julia Christian in Quarter-Final 3. The Californian was sitting at No. 16 on the WQS ratings coming into the event this week, but with the 5th place and 1460 ratings points, now jumps to No. 12 on the rankings.
“I’m really stoked to make the quarter-finals, but I’m disappointed I couldn’t go on any further,” said Christian. “The conditions are quite difficult with these extreme tides and we had to move down the beach to a different bank, which caught me a little out of position a few times, but Pauline snagged the better waves and surfed well, and that’s the way it goes some times.”
“Pauline is always a standout and she’s definitely going to have a long future in surfing,” continued the Californian, when asked about her European competitor’s raw talent. “She’s so young and quiet, but she’s actually very competitive. She’s one of those ’silent but deadly’ types and I’m really stoked for her – I hope she can keep going.”
Silva was ranked second on the WQS ratings coming into the Rip Curl Boardmasters, but with the win now moves ahead of Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) into the No. 1 position. Miley-Dyer, the 2006 ASP World Tour Rookie of the Year, was defeated by fellow Australian Laurina McGrath in Quarter-Final 1.
McGrath surfed well all morning and was unlucky not to overcome Silva in her semi-final. Silva led comfortably for most of the heat, but McGrath had some chances in the final five minutes. She posted an excellent 8.67-point ride late in the heat to apply pressure, but the ocean went flat for the final few minutes and the Australian was unable to get another strong scoring wave.
“I am really happy with this third place result,” said McGrath. “I’ve been struggling through the middle part of the year, so that’s definitely a confidence booster going into our next event in Brazil.”
“The competition is always tough at this level. Jacqueline is surfing really well and she’s always so consistent, so when she got those two 7.00-point rides it was hard to play catch-up. I nearly got it, but just didn’t have to enough to get the win.”
Davidoff Cool Water Waves Women’s 5 star WQS Results (Rip Curl Boardmasters)
Jacqueline Silva, BRA (14.83 points) def. Pauline Ado, FRA (9.00 pts)
SF 1: Jacqueline Silva, BRA (14.84 pts) def. Laurina McGrath, AUS (14.17 pts)
SF 2: Pauline Ado, FRA (10.34 pts) def. Megan Abubo, HAW (9.37 pts)
QF 1: Laurina McGrath, AUS (12.84 pts) def. Jessi Miley-Dyer, AUS (5.53 pts)
QF 2: Jacqueline Silva, BRA (13.00 pts) def. Nikita Robb, ZAF (9.50 pts)
QF 3: Pauline Ado, FRA (16.167 pts) def. Julia Christian, USA (11.17 pts)
QF 4: Megan Abubo, HAW (17.16 pts) def. Rebecca Woods, AUS (11.73 pts)