Unfortunately, the peak was more like a bump for Queen of the Peak finals day on Oct. 2 at Cox Bay, but the surfers performed like royals none-the-less.
Californian Sara Taylor snapped up a prize purse of $2000 and the women’s open shortboard crown from defending QoP champ Hanna Scott. Crowd favourite Mathea Olin, 13, took second place in the shortboard and gracefully surfed her way to the title of longboard champ.
Her little sister, 11-year-old Sanoa Olin, won the Princess of the Peak under-16 division, scoring a 17.67 two wave total that included a perfect 10 ride.
Event organizers Krissy Montgomery and Mike Jacobsen said the ladies only competition sold out almost immediately. For 2016, there were 48 shortboard contestants, 48 longboarders and 13 entered in the Princess category. When the contest was first held in 2010, only about 40 surfers signed-up.
“Each year we’re getting higher and higher level athletes coming in. The local girls are getting better and better and just seeing the contest get stronger, you know? Who knows, maybe one day maybe we’ll do a Pro-Am,” said Montgomery.
“We had our first competitor from East Coast of Canada fly all the way from Nova Scotia out here to compete,” she said. “After her first heat, she wanted to know how to bring this home. She said the contests out there [in Nova Scotia] are a joke.” At a media event on Friday, Montgomery said the QoP was launched because the women’s division at Tofino’s annual co-ed surf contest was also “treated like a joke.”
“They made us surf at the worse times, it was super unorganized, a lot of us have commitments, they have kids or jobs you can’t just do whatever whenever and also the prize money is less than a fifth of what the men get. They treated us [poorly] so why would we participate?”
Now capping off its seventh annual showing, the QoP has blossomed into a three-day event for Canada’s surf community that includes childcare, dogsitting, an on-site hot tub and complimentary massage tent for competitors.
A live feed of the action was also made possible this year by Mascon fibre optics.
“It’s ground breaking what they’ve done. We barely were able to tell competitors what the scoring was in the past, now we can do that and tell everybody across the world through the internet,” said Jacobsen. “The download speeds at the beach were 894 megabytes a second. Almost a gigabyte a second. You don’t get that anywhere.”
Montgomery said the live feed was a miracle.
“They [Mascon] donated all their time the last month basically shlepping the fibre to the beach,” she said.
Staff from Sportscanada.tv broadcast the QoP live directly from Cox Bay. Anyone in the world with access to internet could watch the action unfold at queenofthepeak.com.