Ashley returns to conquer Pipeline
By Dayton Morinaga
Advertiser Staff Writer
O'ahu's North Shore will always be a special place to Anastasia Ashley.
Now she has a first-place trophy to remind her.
Ashley won the North Shore Soap Factory Pipeline Women's Pro surfing contest yesterday.
Ashley, 23, grew up on O'ahu's North Shore, but moved to San Clemente, Calif., nine years ago.
"I always come back here to surf," she said. "This is actually my favorite spot right here (at Pipeline)."
The Pipeline Women's Pro is the only all-female contest held in the famous Pipeline waves.
"This is meaningful just because it's Pipe," Ashley said. "It's one of the most dangerous waves in the world, so anytime you can win here, it's pretty prestigious."
Wave-face heights ranged from 4 to 8 feet, but conditions were inconsistent due to gusty winds.
"It wasn't the best Pipe, but it was fun," Ashley said. "There were a couple good (waves) that came through."
Ashley clinched the win late in the 20-minute heat when she completed several risky turns on a fast-closing wave. The judges rewarded her with a score of 8.5 (out of 10), which was the best wave of the final.
Paige Alms of Maui had the early lead, but ultimately finished a close second.
Ashley's best two waves received a total score of 14.83 to top Alms' total of 13.16. Ashley received $1,000 for the win.
Bailey Nagy of Sunset Beach placed third. It was an impressive showing considering that she is 14 and an eighth-grader at Kahuku Intermediate.
"This is amazing," she said. "I don't really get to surf Pipe that much, so I was so stoked just to be in the final."
Kaua'i's Rochelle Ballard placed fourth. She scored the wave of the day, receiving a perfect 10 for a barrel ride in the quarterfinals.
COSTA-TAYLOR TOPS BODYBOARD DIVISION
Yesterday's event also featured a bodyboarding division, with Brazil's Karla Costa-Taylor prevailing over an international field.
It was her second bodyboarding victory at Pipeline. Her first win came 10 years ago.
Since then, she gave birth to two children. Her husband, Alistair, and both kids were there to watch her win yesterday.
"I can't do this alone anymore," she said. "My two kids and my husband helped me win this."
Alistair Taylor, who is also a professional bodyboarder, offered advice to Karla in the middle of yesterday's final.
"After one of my first waves and he told me I still needed to get a good wave because the other girls were getting good waves," Karla said. "After that, I went back out and just tried to get anything I could."
Costa-Taylor's two best waves came late in the heat, receiving scores of 8.23 and 6.5.
Jade Robles of Hale'iwa had the early lead, but finished second. It was her best showing in a professional bodyboarding contest.
"I don't really surf out here that often, so I was stoked just to be in the final," said Robles, who is 29 and a teacher at Mililani Waena Elementary.
Sari Ohara, a 14-year-old from Japan, placed third; Lumar Gittard of Venezuela was fourth.
Surfing: 1, Anastasia Ashley, $1,000. 2, Paige Alms, $500. 3, Bailey Nagy, $300. 4, Rochelle Ballard, $200. 5 (tie), Tatiana Weston-Webb and Hana Harrison. 7 (tie), Dax McGill and Shruti Kartik.
Bodyboarding: 1, Karla Costa-Taylor, $1,000. 2, Jade Robles, $500. 3, Sari Ohara, $300. 4, Lumar Gittard, $200. 5 (tie), Clare McGowan and Luz Marie Grande Perez. 7 (tie), Aki Ogura and Leila Alli.