Keala Kennelly Wins 2010 Nelscott Reef
Big Wave Event in Lincoln City Oregon
In Perfect Conditions KK Becomes the First Female to Ride Big Nelscott Reef, Winning the Women’s Division
Billabong’s own Keala Kennelly made the history books this week, winning the 2010 Nelscott Reef Big Wave Classic Women’s Exhibition, and opening the door for women’s big wave surfing. Battling in perfect conditions on the Oregon coast, three women became the first to surf at Nelscott Reef, during the world’s first Women’s big wave event: Hawaiian Keala Kennelly, Argentinean Mercedes Maidana, and Californian Savannah Shaughnessy.
Keala became the the first female to catch a wave at this storied big wave location, followed by a nasty wipeout by Savannah. Each of the women caught several high scoring waves during the 1-hour heat, making the final a close one. But in the end, Keala’s scores were strong enough to take the win.
Big Wave World Tour Director, Gary Linden suited up and got out in the water with the women to share his knowledge of the reef and ensure that they were able to capitalize on the one-hour heat.
After learning that she was the first woman to ride a wave at Nelscott, Keala replied “Now that I know, it makes it that much more special”, said Keala during the award ceremony. “I want to dedicate this to Andy Irons, who was like a brother to me”, referring to the sudden loss of surfing great, Andy Irons. The Nelscott Reef Big Wave Classic is in its sixth year, but this was the first year as a paddle in only event, and the first to include women. The women’s exhibition closed out a perfect contest under great conditions and opens the door for future women’s events.