The stars have aligned once again in Oceanside, California at the World Surf League (WSL) Womenâ€™s Qualifying Series (QS) Paul Mitchell Neon Supergirl Pro QS6,000. An exciting cast of the worldâ€™s best join the QS elite and rising talent from around the globe. Twelve of the Womenâ€™s Championship Tour (CT) Top 17 are set to do battle as some are in need of re-qualification points, while others look to stay sharp in a competitive jersey.
Three-time WSL Champion Carissa Moore (HAW) is back on the shores of Oceanside after a Semifinal finish in last yearâ€™s proceedings. This event goes back to Mooreâ€™s days as a Pro Junior competing alongside fellow Hawaiians Malia Manuel (HAW) and Coco Ho (HAW), and has seen it grow from afar during her time spent on the CT. But, itâ€™s a great time for the South Shore, Oahu native to get back in rhythm among her fellow Top 17 in attendance with a fresh mentality and approach.
â€œIt’s great to not have any pressure or expectations so that I can change my approach and do things a little differently than I normally would,â€ Moore said. â€œI started to understand the wave a little better last year and really enjoyed the event atmosphere.Â It’s been a nice long break between CT events, but I’m really excited to dust off the cobwebs, and nerves, and I’m looking forward to a great weekend.â€
Also in attendance is two-time Womenâ€™s CT runner-up Courtney Conlogue (USA). The past two years havenâ€™t been ideal for Conlogue dealing with injuries while trying to prepare for the back-to-back events. Even with her rib injury sustained in Fiji, the Santa Ana, California native still managed to make the Final in 2015. However, this year the 24-year-old comes in injury-free and ready to do damage — while also in search of an inaugural Supergirl Pro QS trophy to add to her resume.
“The last few years I have gone into the Supergirl and U.S. Open events with injuries either new or still healing,” Conlogue said. “I’m coming into these events this year strong and injury free. My body feels good and I’m looking forward to seeing how everything goes. It’s always awesome doing a Qualifying Series event before heading into a World Champion Tour event and every year there’s new up-and-comers which is always fun to see.”
Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) finds herself in striking distance of both QS and CT cutoffs heading into the California leg. A result in Oceanside would propel her into the Top 6 as she sits just outside of the re-qualification bubble at No. 7 on the QS and help solidify her place among the Top 17 for 2018. The Kauaian is already a past champion at this event with a win in 2015 and looks to break her Quarterfinal curse thatâ€™s fueled her QS campaign so far.
â€œThe Supergirl Pro has always been a staple event in women’s surfing, and for me the name of the event says it all,â€ Weston-Webb said. â€œWe really are Supergirls or Superwomen for that matter. Every one of us has the capability to do, or represent something greater than ourselves, and for me thereâ€™s nothing better than having an opportunity every year to be on that pedestal. This year hasn’t been my best yet so far, but it definitely is on the road to improvement. I wouldn’t say my rankings are where they ought to be, and I’m just going to work hard at every event and stay humble and know that I can surf my way to where I want to be.â€
But, amid all the world-class talent on hand, a roster full of emerging prospects will be there to put up a fight. Fourteen-year-old Alyssa Spencer (USA) is among those talents and currently leads the North America Pro Junior rankings once again heading into the summer. This event marks Spencerâ€™s first-ever WSL appearance back in 2015, where she made it to Round Four, and continues to make her mark at the QS6,000 levelÂ with a Round Five result at the Los Cabos Open of Surf just last month.
â€œI went and watched the Supergirl when I was eight years old and it was really inspiring to watch all of the girls that I look up to,â€ Spencer said. â€œIt just made me want to surf more because I thought it would be amazing if I could surf against them one day. I love this contest because now I get to surf against some of my idols and I really enjoy that because they push me and my surfing. It’s so exciting to watch where women’s surfing is going and inspiring to compete against all of the girls. I’m really looking forward to this leg of competition because it’s close to home and my family and friends come down to support me.â€
For the first time in event history, inspired by the new Rogue Sport, Nissanâ€™s Super Sport Award will be presented by Nissan Regional Vice President, Jason Stoicevich, at the conclusion of the Paul Mitchell Neon Supergirl Surf Pro 2017 competition. The winner will be presented with a brand new Rogue Sport along with an opportunity to donate $5,000 to a participating charity of their choice.
â€œNissan is proud to be the exclusive automotive partner of the Supergirl Pro surf competition and to build upon our bond with the lifestyle sports community in Southern California,” Stoicevich said. “We are excited for the competition and to provide a brand new Nissan Rogue Sport along with a $5,000 donation to a Supergirl associated charity in the name of the winner of this yearâ€™s Nissan Super Sport Award.”
The Supergirl Pro will begin July 28 and run through July 30 with the live webcast beginning Saturday, July 29. The full event schedule can be found here: www.supergirl.com.