In a breathtaking display of skill that reverberated through the surfing world, Central Coast sensation Molly Picklum etched her name into the annals of surfing history by scoring a perfect 10 at the iconic Pipeline break in Hawaii this week.
The remarkable feat, a first for any woman at the prestigious location, highlighted her semifinal victory against Bettylou Sakura Johnson in what was hailed as one of the most electrifying women’s heats ever seen on the Championship Tour.
Picklum, 21, who has been in CCN’s spotlight for years, embraced Pipeline’s formidable challenge.
“There’s no more fitting place than Pipe to give me my first 10,” she said.
“I’m just so, so happy — 10 points, it’s hard to come by.”
Her daring approach and flawless execution left both spectators and competitors in awe, with fellow surfer Flick Palmateer praising the technical mastery and beauty of Picklum’s performance, calling it “absolutely insane”.
Despite her historic achievement, Picklum faced a tough challenge in the final, where 18-year-old American prodigy Caity Simmers continued her winning streak against the Aussie, marking their head-to-head record at 4-0 in Simmers’s favor.
Picklum, the 2022 Pipe Masters Invitational champion and Australia’s hope for the upcoming Olympics, showcased her formidable talent by posting the highest score of the final with a 9.27.
However, in a dramatic turn of events, she fell short of clinching the title, with her total score of 10.64 unable to surpass Simmers’s 12.66.
This competition not only underscored the rise of a new generation of surfers, with young talents like Simmers and Johnson stepping up in the absence of veterans like Stephanie Gilmore and Carissa Moore but also solidified Picklum’s status as a formidable force in the surfing world.
Simmers, now donning the yellow rankings leader’s jersey, acknowledged Picklum’s prowess.
“This girl [Picklum], she’s a Pipe Master, I couldn’t let her have it again,” she said.
As the surfing community turns its gaze to the upcoming Sunset Beach event, where Picklum is the reigning champion, her groundbreaking performance at Pipeline will undoubtedly remain a highlight of her burgeoning career, a testament to her skill, determination, and the thrilling future of women’s surfing.