OCEANSIDE, California/ USA (Saturday, July 29, 2017) – The World Surf League (WSL) Women’s Qualifying Series (QS) Paul Mitchell Neon Supergirl Pro QS6,000 caped Courtney Conlogue (USA) it’s 2017 winner after a marathon finals day at Oceanside Pier. This marks Conlogue’s first-ever Supergirl Pro QS victory after a hard-fought battle with fellow Championship Tour (CT) and Californian Sage Erickson (USA).
Conlogue last donned the Supergirl cape when the event was part of the Pro Junior series in 2009 and now can boast a QS6,000 victory heading into the Vans US Open.
The all-Californian Final was an absolute battle as Erickson came out firing on her backhand with a 7.83 (out of a possible 10) and quickly backed it up on her forehand — earning a 4.66. But, Conlogue responded with a 6.83 of her own before pulling the event’s highest single-scoring wave on an incredible, single-maneuver and earning a near-perfect 9.77. The current CT No. 4 showcased her innovative and progressive potential with the massive air-reverse she spun out of in the whitewater.
“It’s been awhile 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 [Erickson] 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.”
Conlogue had the toughest road to victory on paper with Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) in Round Six, and back-to-back all CT affairs with a Quarterfinal bout against Silvana Lima (BRA) and Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) in the Semifinals. The two-time CT runner-up battled through all five heats, with a few close calls along the way, but saved the best for last in back-to-back, dominating performances to cap off her amazing campaign.
“It was such a great event and just having Luke [Egan] here after he was in J-Bay with Conner [Coffin] has been incredible and to really just find a rhythm heading into the US Open with some new equipment,” Conlogue added. “This is a great win and 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 went on a tear through finals day taking down Australian Holly Wawn (AUS) in Round Six before eliminating defending Supergirl Pro winner Coco Ho (HAW) in the Quarters and 15-year-old phenom Caroline Marks (USA) in the Semifinals. Her dominating backhand attack was on display throughout the day that help propel her to a Finals appearance. Falling shy of her third Supergirl Girl Pro title didn’t hinder the Ventura, California surfer’s spirits as she now sits at No. 1 on the QS rankings with renewed vigor heading into next week.
“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 [Conlogue] again and the only thing I can think of better than this would be one in Huntington. I felt like I was under-performing a bit throughout the event just not posting the scores I wanted and wanted to go into that heat on another level. But, 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 Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 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 (PRT) in Round Six and event standout Keely Andrew (AUS) in the Quarters. Weston-Webb pockets a keeper result on the QS that pushes her into the Top 6 and now turns her focus toward Huntington Beach where she looks to defend her title.
“The goal coming into this event was to make the Final and with Courtney [Conlogue] 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. I tried to find one of the bigger, open lefts that would give me a chance, but it just never came. 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.”
But, a bonus for Weston-Webb and Erickson was walking away with a brand new Nissan Sport Rogue 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.”
Caroline Marks’ (USA) dream run at the Supergirl Pro was ended by 2017 runner-up Erickson and walked away with even more vital experience at just 15-years-old — and 3,550 points. Her Semifinal result rockets her to No. 6 on the QS rankings, but is a long way off from any decision toward CT qualification. This is Marks’ best result on the QS so far in her young career and shows that her potential is growing more with each passing contest.
“I’m over the moon and it was just an amazing two days getting to where I did,” Marks said. “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. 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 and someone mentioned it to me earlier. 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.”
Current Women’s Qualifying Series Rankings:
1. Sage Erickson (USA) 12,650 points
2. Silvana Lima (BRA) 11,750
3. Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 11,500
4. Johanne Defay (FRA) 11,200
5. Keely Andrew (AUS) 10,400
6. Caroline Marks (USA) 9,360
Paul Mitchell Neon Supergirl Pro QS6,000 Final Results:
1 – Courtney Conlogue (USA) 16.60 6,000 points $10,000
2 – Sage Erickson (USA) 12.66 4,550 points $5,000
Paul Mitchell Neon Supergirl Pro QS6,000 Semifinal Results:
SF 1: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 15.43 def. Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 9.67
SF 2: Sage Erickson (USA) 12.33 def. Caroline Marks (USA) 9.70
Paul Mitchell Neon Supergirl Pro QS6,000 Quarterfinal Results:
QF 1: Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 12.64 def. Keely Andrew (AUS) 11.67
QF 2: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 15.33 def. Silvana Lima (BRA) 13.90
QF 3: Caroline Marks (USA) 13.53 def Kobie Enright (AUS) 12.67
QF 4: Sage Erickson (USA) 11.87 def. Coco Ho (HAW) 11.54
Paul Mitchell Neon Supergirl Pro QS6,000 Round Six Results:
Heat 1: Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 11.16 def. Carol Henrique (PRT) 9.84
Heat 2: Keely Andrew (AUS) 9.44 def. Meah Collins (USA) 7.60
Heat 3: Silvana Lima (BRA) 16.17 def. Philippa Anderson (AUS) 9.96
Heat 4: Courtney Conlogue (USA) 13.74 def. Biance Buitendag (ZAF) 13.13
Heat 5: Kobie Enright (AUS) 14.50 def. Claire Bevilacqua (AUS) 9.03
Heat 6: Caroline Marks (USA) 17.00 def. Leilani McGonagle (CRI) 12.97
Heat 7: Sage Erickson (USA) 10.66 def. Holly Wawn (AUS) 10.10
Heat 8: Coco Ho (HAW) 13.17 def. Summer Macedo (HAW) 10.37