The 2010 event was held in the largest waves ever surfed at Nelscott Reef. Buoy readings peaked at 24.6’@16 seconds producing some 50 foot faces. Sunny and glassy conditions persisted all day. Making it to the finals were Kohl Christensen, Peter Mel, Jamie Sterling, Rusty Long, Chris Bertish, Kealii Mamala.
The women’s event, which was the World’s first, ran the next morning and included Keala Kennelly, Savannah Shaughnessy, and Mercedes Maidana. Keala Kennelly won and dedicated the win to close friend Andy Irons, who passed away the day before.
It may not be as big of a deal as women’s suffrage, but it was certainly historic for today’s women surfers. The Nelscott Reef Big Wave Classic, one of the stops on the Big Wave World Tour, included women for the first time–by way of the very first female heat.
The Nelscott Reef Big Wave Classic is held annually on the Oregon coast, but until this year’s event, even big-wave-riding females have been excluded. HA, that is funny.
Women already are surfing big waves, including Tahiti’s infamous Teahupoo. Some of the women who have ridden waves such as these were at Nelscott Reef last week. The 32-year-old Hawaiian surfer Keala Kennelly, who was actually the first female to ride Teahupoo, won against her two female competitors at Nelscott Reef on Wednesday. You so rock Keala!!
The Nelscott Reef Big Wave Classic this year produced some of the biggest waves in its history–with some 50 foot faces.
“… the women surfers stared down wave faces four and five times their body length and a breaking point that shifted around the reef and had them skittering out of the way and struggling to set up on waves.”
At the end of this year’s event, the surfers, regardless of gender, reportedly agreed that it’s high time women had their own big wave tour.
We’ll see what happens, but here’s hoping!
Much Aloha, Auntie Colleen
“The best surfer in the world is the one who’s having the most fun”