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Bianca Valenti. Photo: Pedro Bala


The Inertia

Some of the world’s most elite female big wave surfers are set to make history this week at Puerto Escondido.

Though no longer an official stop on the WSL Big Wave Tour, most of big wave surfing’s in-crowd are currently en route to Playa Zicatela, which will host this year’s Puerto Escondido Cup – now on yellow alert for a potential run Sunday, June 24.

This year, the ladies of surfing’s large-wave-riding elite will get a heat of their own, a first for Latin America.

“I am so excited for this game-changing event at one of the most challenging, yet rewarding waves in the world!” invitee Bianca Valenti told us. “Events like these are amazing because they strengthen and empower us.”

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In 2016, together with Paige Alms, Keala Kennelly, and Andrea Moller, Valenti founded the Committee for Equity in Women’s Surfing pushing for, among other things, greater female inclusion in big wave surf contests.

Since then, Maverick’s was added as an official stop on the WSL Women’s Big Wave Tour, along with Jaws, and women continue to make inroads in a segment of surf culture traditionally seen as its most male-dominated and machismo.

In addition to Valenti, Paige Alms, Keala Kennelly, Justine Dupont, Felicity Palmateer, and Laura Enever received invites to surf in the historic event. Michaela Fregonese, Nicole Pacelli, Polly Ralda, Emily Erickson, Raquel Heckert, and Isabelle Leonhardt are all alternates.

The contest will stream live on Surf Open League’s Facebook page.


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