Caroline Marks Wins Florida Pro, Sign Of An Explosive Year Ahead? We Think So
EVENT // 2018 FLORIDA PRO
Floridian Caroline Marks has had an explosive start to 2018 winning the first women’s Qualifying Series 6000 event in front of her home crowd at Sebastian Inlet, Florida on the east coast of America. The 15-year-old moved through each round by-passing fellow surfers before solidifying her win against Western Australia’s Bronte Macauley. On her way through the draw, Caroline made her new World Championship Tour compatriates familiar with upsets that are perhaps just a sign of what’s to come ahead of the first CT event, the Roxy Pro at Snapper Rocks on the Gold Coast.
This is a monumental kick-start to the year from the prodigal surfer who now calls the west coast home. As you might remember from our podcast conversation with Caroline in December, this girl is more than ready to change things up among the top surfers in the world. Her power, speed and flow, as well as her confident, fun and mature character, are sure to rattle some of the previous front-runners and we’re excited to see how it begins to play out.
The event had a number of high seeded upsets early with smaller conditions but today on finals day Sebastian Inlet put on three-foot clean conditions for the women.
Caroline seemed unstoppable as she defeated fellow goofy-footers, Tatiana Weston-Webb in the semi-finals and then Bronte in the finals. She said after her win, “To start like this is something I dreamed of. It was a goal of mine to win a QS6,000 and I want to win the QS rankings this year. Going into the CT, I’m just expecting to learn this year. I know it’s going to be a huge learning curve, but I’m going to enjoy it. Now I’ll enjoy this win with my family and friends before trying to carry this momentum into Australia.”
Bronte also had a cracker start to her second year on tour with a runners-up place in what can come down to a crucial event for requalification in 2019. “I wanted a third or better, and it was definitely worth coming to this one,” Bronte said. “The crew here made the best of conditions and the calls were spot on all week I think so I’m really thankful for that. Of course, there’s that desire to win the Final, but if you can get a few keepers right away it relieves that stress of the year. My goal is to finish in the Top 10 of the CT this year, but if I can keep this up on the QS I’ll be really happy to put a full year together.”
Ron Jon Florida Pro Women’s QS6,000 Final Results:
1 – Caroline Marks (USA) 12.67
2 – Bronte Macaulay (AUS) 6.20
Ron Jon Florida Pro Women’s QS6,000 Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Caroline Marks (USA) 12.10 def. Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW)
SF 2: Bronte Macaulay (AUS) 10.14 def. Macy Callaghan (AUS) 9.13
Ron Jon Florida Pro Women’s QS6,000 Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 12.93 def. Paige Hareb (NZL) 7.14
QF 2: Caroline Marks (USA) 14.66 def. India Robinson (AUS) 11.57
QF 3: Bronte Macaulay (AUS) 12.76 def. Silvana Lima (BRA) 10.67
QF 4: Macy Callaghan (AUS) 13.83 def. Keely Andrew (AUS) 9.77
* QS6000 events are the highest points events for the women’s qualifying series in 2018. QS surfers are seeded into events and their total point score at the end of the year is accumulated. The top six ranked surfers have the opportunity to qualify for the following year’s Championship Tour, however, typically there are a number of CT surfers in the top of the QS rankings which allows them to requalify if they are below the 10th position on the CT but if they are above they are classified as double qualifiers.
There are 6 x QS 6000 events in 2018.
The Qualifying Series also hosts events with 1000 points, 1500 points and 3000 points and all events can be seen HERE.