The stars have aligned once again in Oceanside, California for the Paul Mitchell Neon Supergirl Pro QS6,000. An exciting cast including some of the world's best join the QS elite and rising talent from around the globe. Twelve of the Women's Championship Tour (CT) Top 17 are set to do battle as some are in need of vital re-qualification points, while others look to stay sharp in a competitive jersey.
Three-time WSL Champion Carissa Moore is back on the shores of Oceanside after a Semifinal finish in last year's proceedings. This event goes back to Moore's days as a Pro Junior competing alongside fellow Hawaiians Malia Manuel and Coco Ho, and has seen it grow from afar during her time spent on the CT. But, it'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.
"It'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," Moore said. "I started to understand the wave a little better last year and really enjoyed the event atmosphere. It's been a nice long break between CT events but I'm really excited to dust off the cobwebs and nerves."
Also in attendance is two-time Women's CT runner-up Courtney Conlogue. The past two years haven'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 finds herself within 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 winner at this event with a victory in 2015 and looks to break her Quarterfinal curse that's fueled her QS campaign so far.
"The Supergirl Pro has always been a staple event in women's surfing, and for me the name of the event says it all," Weston-Webb said. "We really are Supergirl's or Superwomen for that matter. Everyone of us has the capability to do, or represent something greater than ourselves, and for me there'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."
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 is among those talents and currently leads the North America Pro Junior rankings once again heading into the summer. This event marks Spencer'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 with a Round Five result at the Los Cabos Open of Surf just last month.
"I went and watched the Supergirl when I was 8-years-old and it was really inspiring to watch all of the girls that I look up to," Spencer said. "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. 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."
The Paul Mitchell Supergirl Pro QS6,000 begins July 28 and runs through July 30 -- and will be live streamed July 29 and 30.