The Paul Mitchell Neon Supergirl Pro experienced next-level surfing all weekend and culminated with a fantastic finish from event winner Courtney Conlogue. The current Championship Tour (CT) No. 4 unleashed her world-class talent on fellow CT competitor and two-time Supergirl Pro winner Sage Erickson in an explosive Final.
Conlogue was in need of a minimal score when she soared into a massive air-reverse that drew an eruption from the crowd in attendance and earned a near-perfect 9.77 (the highest single-score of the event). Conlogue last donned the Supergirl cape when the event was part of the Pro Junior series in 2009 and she now can boast a QS6,000 victory heading into the Vans US Open of Surfing.
"It's been a while after being the runner-up a few times so I'm definitely stoked to get the cape back," Conlogue said. "The opportunity to surf against Sage in the Final was a big highlight of this event. I haven't been able to compete against her in a Final in a long time and every time we surf against each other she brings out the best of me. I just know it's always going to be a fun heat and she always lays it down, so when she opened with that seven I just knew it was going to be one of those heats. It was just a great way to end this event."
The two-time WSL runner-up spent the weekend experimenting and found the recipe for success as she charged through a star-studded field including Bianca Buitendag, event standout Silvana Lima, and an in-form Tatiana Weston-Webb.
"It was such a great event and just having Luke [Egan] here after he was in J-Bay with Conner [O'Leary] has been incredible, plus to really just find a rhythm heading into the US Open with some new equipment," Conlogue added. "This is a great win and it felt good to finally follow up my win here almost a decade ago. I'm feeling good and we have some great swell on tap for Huntington so we'll see what happens there."
Erickson fell just shy of her third Supergirl Girl Pro title, but that didn't hinder her spirits as she now sits at No. 1 on the QS rankings and has renewed vigor heading into next week. The Ventura, Calif., native is currently double qualified after dispatching a string of up-and-coming threats throughout today -- including 15-year-old rising star Caroline Marks.
"I hold this contest high up on my priority list to do well and also a sense of comfort, and responsibility, to perform well for all my friends and family," Erickson said. "It was a dream to be in a Final with Courtney again and the only thing I can think of better than this would be one in Huntington. You always try to stay positive and I'm staying in the moment at each contest, not worrying about results or qualification even though it's always in the back of my mind. Now I'm sitting pretty on the QS rankings and feeling really good for the rest of the year."
2015 Supergirl Pro winner Weston-Webb unleashed her backhand once more en route to a Semifinal finish -- falling to eventual winner Conlogue. The Kauaian had a tough road to her Semifinal bout facing yesterday's spoiler Carol Henrique in Round Six and a razor-sharp Keely Andrew in the Quarters. Weston-Webb pockets a keeper result on the QS that pushes her into the Top 6. She now turns her focus toward Huntington Beach where she'll look to defend her event title.
"The goal coming into this event was to make the Final and with Courtney having a few close heats I thought I had a good shot at taking her down," Weston-Webb said. "But, it shows you just never know and I felt the wind get knocked out of my sails after they read off her two opening scores. It was good coming here, getting my boards dialed, and I feel a lot of momentum again heading into the back half of the year being a defending champion at Huntington to start it off."
A bonus for Weston-Webb and Erickson was walking away with a brand new Nissan Sport Rogue, along with $5,000 toward a charity of each woman's choosing, for standing out as the Supergirls -- based on results and social media outreach. Though it came to a coin-flip that Weston-Webb won, Nissan doubled down and presented Erickson with one of her own.
"It's such an amazing thing of Nissan to do for women's surfing showing that they really believe in us more than most people do," Weston-Webb added. "It's really awesome to be a part of it all."
Marks' dream run at the Supergirl Pro was ended by 2017 runner-up Erickson, but she walked away with even more vital experience at just 15 years old -- plus 3,550 QS points. Her Semifinal result rockets her to No. 6 on the QS rankings. This is Marks' best result on the QS so far in her young career.
"This just gives me a lot of momentum heading to the US Open where I already feel confident and no pressure already winning it twice [as a Junior]," Marks said. "It's great to keep that heat mindset with these back-to-back events and I feel really in rhythm after such a great contest here. This result puts me in that qualification spot on the rankings, but I never try to look at them because it can rattle you. It's cool, but we'll see what happens with the rest of the year and that'll be a big decision when the time comes so I'll just keep enjoying myself until then."
The women now head into the Vans US Open July 31 through August 6 with the trials beginning at 7:00 a.m. Monday morning.