Opening day spectacle sets the standard at WRV Outer Banks Pro presented by Pacifico

Sean Woods of USA surfs in Heat 1 of Round of 104 at the WRV Outer Banks Pro presented by Pacifico on August 30, 2023. (Photo by Lizzy Fowler/World Surf League)

A magical opening day at the World Surf League (WSL) WRV Outer Banks Pro presented by Pacifico, a North America Qualifying Series (QS) 1,000, to provide a high-performance spectacle. Clean, four-to-six foot conditions pushed competitors to their best and the men’s Round of 104, Round of 96, alongside women’s Round of 40 and Round of 32 rose to the occasion. Impending weather will shut down competition for Thursday, August 31, as the men prepare for the Round of 64 battles.

A jaw-dropping performance from Sebastian Williams (MEX) set the scale for what’s to be expected with a near-perfect, 18.90 (out of a possible 20) heat total. Williams’ aerial antics garnered a near-perfect 9.90 (out of a possible 10) after showcasing an air-reverse before finishing the wave with a full-rotation. The Mexican standout’s free surfing abilities are known across the world and now he looks to find that rhythm in competitive surfing once again.

“I surf every heat like it’s a Final, that’s just the way I surf,” said Williams. “I really want to make the CT and you have to give it all you have from Round 1, there’s no such thing as easy heats for me. In a heat, nerves are more sensitive and amp levels are highger. To land a couple airs in heats always feels better than to land them in free surfs and I’m stoked to make a statement in Round [of 96].”

After his success in the Dominican Republic, Manuel Selman (CHL) is back in the North America region full-time and looking for his chance to break through. Today, he did just that with a near-perfect 9.00 on his dangerous backhand attack with multiple major maneuvers. But, Selman now returns to the top-seeded Round of 64 where he will look to continue his surge.

“I’m so stoked on that wave, it just stood up perfect all the way to the inside and I went to my strong suit which is backside turns,” said Selman. “It paid off and I’m super stoked, the waves are firing and I think it’s going to be really good for the rest of the day. I’ve been in Indo before coming to Virginia Beach and then here so I’m stoked.”

Pictured: Isauro Elizondo (PAN) displayed his ability to attack critical sections and earned a big debut heat win. Credit: © WSL / Fowler

Isauro Elizondo (PAN) is also on the hunt to make his goals a realization and kicked off with an impressive 14.25 heat total on aggressive forehand gauges. The rising threat continues to find his footing in competitive surfing, making early rounds before finding untimely exits, and sets his eyes on making career-best results moving forward in the 2023/2024 season.

“Waves are firing and I’m really stoked, probably some of the best QS conditions we’ve had in awhile,” said Elizondo. “I’m stoked to get a couple good waves and shake off the nerves. I was trying to control myself and do my best, made a few mistakes so that was good to shake those and just keep moving forward. This event, I just want to get better than the last event and try to find a rhythm.”

Also making their way into the Round of 64 with big wins, Sean Woods(USA), Logan Radd (USA), Henry Rothey (USA), Nadav Attar (ISR), Kyle Tester (USA), Timothy Fandey (USA) 11.15, Miles McCall (USA), Quaid Fahrion (USA), Chase Niemann (USA), Cristian Padilla (DOM), Carl Burger(USA), Kai Grani Gale (PAN), and Kepa Mendia (USA) all move forward with momentum.

Newcomers Push Top Seeds, Round of 16 Match Ups Locked In

QS newcomer and part of the iconic Turner family from Huntington Beach, Bailey Turner (USA), made her statement in the Round of 40 with an excellent 16.35 heat total before taking on top seeds in the Round of 32. Turner’s clutch performance in the Round of 32 earned her a 6.50 and an advancing position behind an in-form Noah Klapp (DEU). Now, she prepares to continue her career-best run into the Round of 16.

“It felt really good to make it through a heat again and catch a couple waves, it got really tough out there compared to this morning,” said Turner. “It felt so much better to get an actual wave. It’s really good for the confidence [to post two big scores in the first heat]. In my first contest I lost in the first heat and so I’m happy to get my first heat win earlier and this is the first time advancing into the Round of 16 so I’m really excited.”

Canada’s standout competitor, Sanoa Dempfle-Olin, already has one QS victory to her name and looks to add another after a dominant debut. Demfple-Olin’s decimating backhand accrued a 14.10 heat total and starts the East Coast finale with major momentum.

“It felt really good to get two big scores in the first couple minutes of the heat,” said Dempfle-Olin. “It gave me a lot drive and confidence toward the end just to try and find some other [waves]. I didn’t get the best result in Virginia, but my surfing felt good and that’s all you can ask for.”

Recent Coastal Edge ECSC Pro victor Zoe Benedetto (USA) stayed in winning fashion after a tough start to her Round of 32 debut and joins Keanna Miller (USA), Daya McCart (USA), Noah Klapp (DEU), Kylie Dulcini(USA), Mya Kuzmovich (PUR), and Talia Swindal (USA) into the Round of 16.

Event organizers have called OFF competition for Thursday, August 31, and will reconvene Friday, September 1, at 11 a.m. EDT to make call for men’s Round of 64.

Sanoa Dempfle-Olin of Canada surfs in Heat 3 of Round of 32 at the WRV Outer Banks Pro presented by Pacifico on August 30, 2023. (Photo by Andrew Nichols/World Surf League)

Watch LIVE
The WRV Outer Banks Pro presented by Pacifico will run August 30 – September 3 and be streamed LIVE at, the free WSL App, and WSL Youtube channel.

Women’s WRV Outer Banks Pro Round of 32 Results:
HEAT 1: Zoe Benedetto (USA) 13.00 DEF. Mia Moore (USA) 7.85, Lily Pierce (USA) 6.85, Mia Calderon (PUR) 6.80
HEAT 2: Keanna Miller (USA) 9.00 DEF. Brynley Beckman (USA) 8.15, Emma Stone (USA) 7.95, Story Martinez (USA) 4.45
HEAT 3: Sanoa Dempfle-Olin (CAN) 14.10 DEF. Esme Brigham (USA) 7.40, Ava Wagester (USA) 6.35, Molly Tuschen (USA) 4.75
HEAT 4: Daya McCart (USA) 9.35 DEF. Remy Todd (USA) 7.75, Rachel Wilson (USA) 7.65, Becca Kenney (USA) 4.15
HEAT 5: Noah Klapp (DEU) 11.25 DEF. Bailey Turner (USA) 11.10, Alana Lopez (USA) 9.50, Coral Schuster (USA) 8.05
HEAT 6: Kylie Pulcini (USA) 13.55 DEF. Lanea Mons (USA) 13.50, Reid Van Wagoner (USA) 9.85, Maddie Stanton (USA) 7.45
HEAT 7: Mya Kuzmovich (PUR) 12.50 DEF. Zoey Kaina (USA) 10.00, Vela Mattive (USA) 8.65, Taylor Stacy (USA) 7.15
HEAT 8: Talia Swindal (USA) 13.50 DEF. Sara Freyre (USA) 10.25, Maddie Storrer (USA) 10.05, Ayla Stutzman (USA) 7.30

Women’s WRV Outer Banks Pro Round of 40 Results:
HEAT 1: Mia Calderon (PUR) 11.20 DEF. Brynley Beckman (USA) 9.70, Míamar Soto (PUR) 9.50, Skylar Steinmetz (USA) 5.40
HEAT 2: Ava Wagester (USA) 10.70 DEF. Becca Kenney (USA) 8.95, Camden Hoover (USA) 7.10, Bella Faircloth (USA) 6.50
HEAT 3: Bailey Turner (USA) 16.85 DEF. Reid Van Wagoner (USA) 12.25, Auburn Hilley (USA) 9.15, Maggie Demsey (USA) 5.00
HEAT 4: Mya Kuzmovich (PUR) 11.50 DEF. Ayla Stutzman (USA) 6.05, Jessica Wallace (USA) 5.15, Leanne Robinson (USA) 4.60

Men’s WRV Outer Banks Pro Round of 96 Results:
HEAT 1: Sean Woods (USA) 8.65 DEF. Beckham McCart (USA) 7.65, Titus Kaimana Santucci (USA) 7.10, Cory La Roe (USA) 0.50
HEAT 2: Logan Radd (USA) 12.75 DEF. Rex Hennings (USA) 9.75, Joseph Biasotto (PUR) 7.15, Sterling Foster (USA) 6.05
HEAT 3: Henry Rothey (USA) 11.15 DEF. Max Beach (USA) 10.10, Cole Alves (HAW) 8.50, Juan Gerena Martinez (PUR) 7.45
HEAT 4: Nadav Attar (CRC) 11.35 DEF. Fletcher Whittle (USA) 7.55, Mason Farrow (USA) 6.00, Ramon Santiago (PUR) 4.85
HEAT 5: Kyle Tester (USA) 11.75 DEF. Enzo Ackermann (DEU) 9.75, Thomas Meekins (USA) 6.90, Tab Textor (USA) 5.05
HEAT 6: Timothy Fandey (USA) 11.15 DEF. Rafael Pereira (VEN) 11.10, Teddy Wittemann (USA) 9.90, Ryan Dunning (USA) 1.85
HEAT 7: Sebastian Williams (MEX) 18.90 DEF. Jairo Perez (CRC) 12.10, Jason Torres (CRC) 11.05, Luke Rebensdorf (USA) 3.65
HEAT 8: Miles McCall (USA) 10.45 DEF. Remy Juboori (USA) 8.85, Ross Adams (USA) 6.10, Ethan Foley (USA) 4.50
HEAT 9: Isauro Elizondo (PAN) 14.25 DEF. Kai Williams (USA) 10.50, Benji Lange (USA) 10.15, Christopher Bluthardt (HAW) 9.10
HEAT 10: Manuel Selman (CHL) 14.40 DEF. Dane Matson (USA) 11.15, Jack Zoltan (USA) 10.75, Alberto Muñoz (CRC) 9.85
HEAT 11: Quaid Fahrion (USA) 11.75 DEF. Cose Stoyanoff (USA) 9.60, Makai Bray (USA) 7.35
HEAT 12: Chase Niemann (USA) 11.75 DEF. Araon Alvarez Moreno (CRC) 10.15, Ocean Gittens (BRB) 9.25, Matton Bain (USA) 9.20
HEAT 13: Cristian Padilla (DOM) 12.00 DEF. Tucker Collins (USA) 9.80, Gabriel De Araujo (USA) 8.60, Romeo Stone (CRC) 8.60
HEAT 14: Carl Burger (USA) 12.50 DEF. Giorgio Gomez (COL) 11.75, James White (USA) 6.85
HEAT 15: Kepa Mendia (USA) 11.85 DEF. Gabriel Griffin (USA) 11.50, Sage Katz (PRI) 8.45, Wyatt Jeffers (USA) 2.60
HEAT 16: Kai Gale Grani (PAN) 13.50 DEF. Tommaso Layson (BRB) 12.25, Collin Shinn (USA) 5.90, Brett Oliverio (USA) 3.15

Men’s WRV Outer Banks Pro Round of 104 Results:
HEAT 1: Sean Woods (USA) 10.65 DEF. Christopher Bluthardt (HAW) 8.35, Kaiden Cameron (USA) 6.40
HEAT 2: Cole Alves (HAW) 11.00 DEF. Quaid Fahrion (USA) 10.00, Brad Ettinger (USA) 9.75
HEAT 3: Enzo Ackermann (DEU) 7.30 DEF. Gabriel De Araujo (USA) 5.50, Triston Utz (USA) 3.25
HEAT 4: Jairo Perez (CRC) 11.40 DEF. Sage Katz (PRI) 10.00, Hudson Saunders (USA) 9.65, Giancarlo Mendez (PUR) 7.05

About the WSL
The World Surf League (WSL) is the global home of competitive surfing, crowning the undisputed World Champions since 1976 and showcasing the world’s best surfers on the world’s best waves. WSL is comprised of the Tours and Competition division, which oversees and operates more than 180 global competitions each year; WSL WaveCo, home of the world’s largest high-performance, human-made wave; and WSL Studios, an independent producer of unscripted and scripted projects.

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Additional images courtesy of Janet Arnold who was onsite Wednesday can be found in the gallery below: