Paige Hareb has finished ninth on the 2017 World Surf League (WSL) Women’s World Qualifying Series today (Sunday 5th November) all but securing her tour card for 2018.
Hareb now has to wait until the final WSL World Tour event is completed before official confirmation on qualifying. The final event is the Maui Women’s Pro which is scheduled to take place from 25th November through until 6th December.
“I’m pretty sure I’ve qualified but still waiting on the official word so trying not to get too excited but I’m so happy” Hareb said adding “Now I’m just going to soak up the moment and not think any further ahead yet”.
Hareb has spent three years grinding it out on the World Qualifying Series in a bid to gain her tour card back after initially spending six years contesting the top echelon of the sport.
“I’m still in shock and can’t really believe it” Hareb said. “I keep looking back over the last three years and think how long it’s been but it’s also gone so quick haha, my emotions are all over the show right now” she added.
The 27-year-old Taranaki surfer is only one of three Kiwi surfers to ever qualify outright for the WSL World Tour. She sits alongside Maz Quinn (Gis) who competed on Men’s Tour in 2002 and more recently Ricardo Christie (Gis) who competed on tour in 2015.
Hareb had an incredibly tough day today with her qualification spot appearing to slip out of her grasp at the final hurdle.
“I was definitely disappointed even coming into this event knowing I could miss out on qualifying. My goal was to get it done and dusted before the last event of the year but that didn’t happen so yeah it was nervous times after I lost in the quarters”.
Hareb finished a creditable fifth at the Port Stephens Toyota Pro contested in New South Wales, Australia. However, she went into the final day of the event needing a runner-up finish to guarantee her qualification.
The quarterfinal finish saw Hareb relying on the results of other surfers, namely World Junior Champion Macy Callaghan (AUS) to go her way.
Firstly, Callaghan advanced past the quarterfinals in her hunt for a finals berth which would see her leapfrog Hareb. But it was Hareb that got her wish in the semifinals when Tatiana Weston – Webb (HAW) proved too strong for Callaghan eliminating the young Australian and keeping her in tenth place overall – vitally behind the Kiwi.
“My Dad and brother went to the comp site and left my Mum and I to watch it online on the couch at our accommodation. I felt like I could almost throw up I was so nervous watching. Those last five minutes of her heat were the longest five minutes of my life. As soon as it was finished I burst into tears and said to Mum ‘I think these are happy tears’. It’s been an intense couple of days and a big year”.
Hareb started the year strongly with a second place finish at the Anditi Women’s Pro in February and backed that up with three fifth-place finishes throughout the year and a 17th place finish in Mexico as her five counting results.
2018 should take on a vastly different look with Hareb set to contest events at all of the prime venues around the world including Australia, Brazil, Fiji, USA, France, Portugal and Hawaii. A top ten finish on the World Tour next year will cement her position on the tour for the following year.
The WSL Women’s World Tour caters for the top 17 surfers in the world making qualification extremely difficult. The 2018 Tour is scheduled to get underway in March with the first event held on Australia’s Gold Coast.
For further information please contact Surfing New Zealand’s Ben Kennings on 021 2278732 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.