The Paul Mitchell Supergirl Pro was held at Oceanside Pier on July 24-26th, 2015, in Oceanside, California. The only WSL QS6000 (qualifyng series with the ability to earn 6,000 points) female competition in the Continental U.S., this year’s event was monumental for showcasing women’s surfing among unprecedented crowds and preparing the top female athletes for the US Open of Surfing. For Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW), winning the Supergirl Pro can be summed up with one word, redemption.
Weston-Webb explains her sentiments:
It feels really amazing, just to be able to win against those girls and a girl like Courtney; it’s really satisfying. You come back and get redemption and win. Yeah, I’m so beyond stoked to win.”
Last year, Weston-Webb took runner-up. This year, Weston-Webb’s powerful bottom turns and explosive manoeuvres landed her some gear, an $8,000 check, critical points for her QS ranking, and of course the coveted, pink cape. The crowds were moved by her bottom turns. “I think I just, that’s part of my style like having a really powerful bottom turn. It’s the base of everything and that’s how much speed and flow and power you’re gonna get off of for the turn, so like that’s my biggest–everyone’s biggest goal in surfing is to do a big bottom turn for a big top turn,” analyzes Tatiana. In the finals, Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) bested 2009 Supergirl champion, Courtney Conlogue (USA). Weston-Webb took a quick lead. Conlogue answered back and had multiple waves. Coming off of an injury, Conlogue was not quite healed during the Supergirl Pro. However, the way she surfed, spectators would never be able to tell. It was a tight heat, making for an exciting final. In the end, Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) won, Courtney Conlogue (USA) was runner up, and Sage Erickson (USA) and Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) tied for third. Sage Erickson (USA), former defending Supergirl champion, boasted the highest heat total of the entire event.
This year, the largest female surf contest (a field of 108 contestants) was so successful that Rick Bratman, CEO of ASA Entertainment, said that they may need to add an extra day next year to include more competitors. The Paul Mitchell Supergirl Pro continues to highlight and support women’s surfing. Courtney Conlogue (USA) remarked of the endless female inspiration: “I have quite a few athletes on the tour that I look up to, ya know? All of them encompass what inspires me.” Women’s surfing has progressed because of events like the Supergirl Pro. Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) recounts her own experience surfing with the best female competitors: “My contest surfing has improved tremendously. I have been surfing with the best in the world now because I qualified for the tour last year. Being able to compete against those girls each and every event always is a learning experience, and I brought that into this event, played my priority correctly, and ended up winning it.”
As women’s surfing progresses, it seems that the Paul Mitchell Supergirl Pro has been growing in popularity. This is evidenced by this year’s record-breaking attendance. This year, the Supergirl Pro preceded the US Open of Surfing. The confidence and support gained from comradery is of formidable benefit to those competing. For example, Sage Erickson and Courtney Conlogue, California natives, embraced each other despite the tension of the 1.1 heat total difference in the Semis. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS), who shared third place with Erickson expressed: “I’m stoked with a Semifinal result. [I am] Getting ready for the Open, which starts tomorrow, so I’ll head up tonight and get settled in. This contest was really fun and I’m looking forward to Huntington.” The Supergirl Pro is also excellent practice and preparation. Weston-Webb noted how she was able to practice the Huntington hop when waves were smaller at Oceanside. She remarked on her increased confidence going into the open: “It’s really amazing to be winning a contest right before heading into the US Open because it brings me a lot of confidence. And the US Open has a really identical wave to this. It’s Huntington Beach, and they both have piers […]. They’re both like lefts and rights, beachbreak, and yeah, it just brings me a lot of confidence going into it, and I’m really excited!” Conlogue said that she came into this event “warming up for the US Open of Surfing.” She claims she is “stoked to have conditions similar to Huntington.” The Supergirl Pro is a place of preparation and experimentation for Conlogue’s journey on tour: “For me, it’s just working out different strategies and trying new things out, working new boards, and just figuring stuff out, you know? The Supergirl, it’s nice to have them supporting women’s surfing. And yeah, we’ll see what they end up doing next year for us.”
The event also featured the Supergirl Skate Pro (a skateboarding competition presented by Active Rideshop), a festival, and several concerts and activities. The Supergirl Pro will be broadcast on FOX Sports One this fall.
Results of the 2015 Supergirl Pro:
Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 14.47, Courtney Conlogue (USA) 13.53
Heat 1: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 11.60, Sage Erickson (USA) 10.50
Heat 2: Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 12.84, Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 8.33
Heat 1: Sage Erickson (USA) 14.27, Chelsea Tuach (BRB) 10.90
Heat 2: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 10.07, Malia Manuel (HAW) 9.70
Heat 3: Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 15.00, Alessa Quizon (HAW) 13.34
Heat 4: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 15.17, Coco Ho (HAW) 7.93
Round of 16
Heat 1: Sage Erickson (USA) 10.34, Johanne Defay (FRA) 6.13
Heat 2: Chelsea Tuach (BRB) 10.23, Silvana Lima (BRA) 10.16
Heat 3: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 15.23, Justine Dupont (FRA) 13.47
Heat 4: Malia Manuel (HAW) 12.16, Laura Enever (AUS) 8.66
Heat 5: Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 11.47, Isabella Nichols (AUS) 7.60
Heat 6: Alessa Quizon (HAW) 13.34, Lakey Peterson (USA) 11.93
Heat 7: Coco Ho (HAW) 13.00, Philippa Anderson (AUS) 10.67
Heat 8: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 13.54, Dimity Stoyle (AUS) 11.83