The World Surf League (WSL) Kumul PNG World Longboard Championships crowned Chloe Calmon (BRA) its first-ever champions on the shores of Tupira.
Chloe showed pure emotion when the final horn sounded after she earned her first WLC win in front of the massive crowd — nearly in disbelief.
The 2016 WLC runner-up had to deal with an in-form 2015 WLC runner-up Crystal Walsh (HAW)in an intense Final. The runner-up curse looked to be following Calmon into this event as she came short of the required score on two occasions — the Brazilian earned an 8.57 instead of the needed 8.60 before falling just shy again by .04.
However, Calmon’s last score of 7.20 was the lead change she needed and topped Walsh by just .41.
“It was incredible to see so many people cheering for me with my friends all there to support me through that Final,” Calmon said. “Crystal [Walsh] was surfing amazing and I knew it would take all I had to beat her after surfing against Honolua [Blomfield] in that last Semifinal. This is such a big win for me and to do it like that was such a good feeling and know I’m capable of performing when I need to.”
Walsh may leave PNG with a runner-up spot, but has put herself in the best position behind Calmon as a World Title nod. The Hawaiian posted the women’s biggest single-wave score with a near-perfect 9.50 in her Semifinal matchup against dark horse Kaitlin Maguire (USA). This experience went beyond wearing a jersey to Walsh and witnessed the beauty that PNG has to offer.
“Winning this event would have been better, but I’m not too worried with another event this year,” Walsh said. “This wave is so dreamy and perfect, it was great to have a longboard event here and really show that we can charge. Especially the locals — Ruthy [Kurumuk] was just going for it on the big days. I’m really excited and just super afraid of waking up and this being all a dream. The push for women’s equality here and awareness of violence on women that’s now being recognized is just incredible.”
The WSL would like to express its utmost gratitude to the nation of Papua New Guinea, the local support of Tupira and surrounding tribes who came to witness this historic event. A special thanks to Supreme Court Justice Nicholas Kirrwon and Andrew Abel, President/Co-founder of the Surfing Association of Papua New Guinea (SAPNG), for their relentless effort of realizing their dream to make PNG a surfing destination for future generations.
“I’ve always dreamed about winning an event, but this is completely different from anything I’ve ever thought it would be like,” Calmon said. “This was the first contest where I put aside my competitiveness and just went to have fun, so it was great to find that balance finally. Since the first heat I was so amazed by the energy of this place and just so happy about myself. I’m so thankful to be here in this amazing place with these great people and if I had gotten 1st or 2nd I would’ve been happy no matter what.”
The next World Longboard Championships event will take place in Taiwan to determine the 2017 WLC World Champion. For more information, go to www.worldsurfleague.com or download the WSL App on your mobile device.
Kumul PNG World Longboard Championships Women’s Final Results:
1 – Chloe Calmon (BRA) 15.77 10,000 points
2 – Crystal Walsh (HAW) 15.36 8,000 points
Kumul PNG World Longboard Championships Women’s Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Crystal Walsh (HAW) 17.23 def. Kaitlin Maguire (USA) 13.17
SF 2: Chloe Calmon (BRA) 15.64 def. Honolua Blomfield (HAW) 13.30