The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) 6-Star Paul Mitchell Supergirl Pro continued to march through the rounds on day 2 of competition, whittling the original field of 104 down to the final 12 in clean two-to-four foot waves at Oceanside Pier.
The Paul Mitchell Supergirl Pro marks the sixth of eight ASP 6-Star Qualification Series (QS) events, offering maximum points towards qualification for the 2015 World Championship Tour (WCT).
Malia Manuel (Kauai, HI), 21, defending Paul Mitchell Supergirl Pro Champion, tore through two heats today, belting fins-free turns on both her forehand and backhand. A perennial event standout throughout her career, Manuel is hoping to find her way deep into the final rounds once again in 2014.
â€œOceanside is so fun and I'm having a great time,â€ Manuel said. â€œThis is my sixth Supergirl event and I'm always learning or evolving, whether it's a QS or CT, there are always things to improve on. I'm happy to be staying in that competition rhythm. The atmosphere is better and better every year and there are always little girls that are happy to see you when you come out of the water. I'm happy that I can have that role to motivate little girls to surf and be outside and live healthy.â€
Sage Erickson (Ventura, CA), 23, 2012 event winner, was electric at the Paul Mitchell Supergirl Pro, belting the competition's highest heat total of 17.40 on her backhand in Round 4.
â€œThe second heat was a big difference for me and the waves changed a lot with the low tide,â€ Erickson said. â€œI really wanted that Round of 24 heat, that's always the toughest round for me and the girls are always really competitive.â€
Erickson, current No. 6 on the ASP QS, is looking to post another big result in Oceanside in hopes of solidifying a position on the 2015 WCT before the final European leg of the QS season.
â€œLast year was a big struggle for me and this year I had a new outlook and drive to be competing,â€ Erickson said. â€œEach event counts for me at this point. I'm sitting in that top spot at the moment and I'd really like to solidify that spot and not have pressure going into Europe. I have a lot of family and friends here to support and that always fires me up. I have a bigger connection here than I do with any event, winning here in California. Last year I missed out on the victory and I'm looking to get that back.â€
Paige Hareb (NZL), 24, two-time event runner-up, claimed two heat wins while advancing to the Round of 12, capitalizing on the lefthanders breaking into Oceanside Pier to post her top scores.
â€œI just remembered back to last year's final and it was low tide closeouts and Malia (Manuel) won with one big turn,â€ Hareb said. â€œI just tried to start the heat like that and stay busy. I feel confident out here. I always seem to have fun and find a few fun waves. Hopefully I can keep doing that this time.â€
Silvana Lima (BRA), 30, current frontrunner on the ASP QS and past WCT competitor, carried her successful 2014 campaign to the Oceanside lineup, earning the day's high single-wave score of 8.93. Lima also hopes a strong result in Oceanside will propel her back among the elite ASP Top 17 for 2015.
â€œThe conditions were tough, but you have to surf and get a couple of waves and I was lucky to get a few lefts,â€ Lima said. â€œI'm looking to get a strong result here before going to Europe. I want to lead going into the end of the year. I love it here in California, it's always so much fun and hopefully the waves will be better tomorrow.â€
The Paul Mitchell Supergirl Pro will crown a champion tomorrow, August 10, 2014 and will be webcast LIVE via http://supergirljam.com/
Check out the full results