In their heated Semifinal battle, Sage Erickson took the lead off of Courtney Conlogue with this wave at the Vans US Open of Surfing - Women's CT. The score was a decisive moment for the California Championship Tour veteran; she won the heat and moved on to her first-ever CT Final. Arriving in Huntington Beach ranked at World No. 9, no matter what happens in the Final, Erickson will leave here with a more solid spot on the CT, and a more solid sense of confidence.
Afterward, she soaked in the moment. "In my amateur career against Courtney [Conlogue] we were trading wins and had a good rivalry, but she always seemed to have greater success on this stage so she's been really inspiring to me. That heat was pretty gnarly, I was excited again like at the Supergirl [Pro], but I had a little more nerves in this heat as opposed to having more fun at Supergirl. This one was just game time and to have one so close I just had to stay really calm, and be in the moment. When I saw her fall at that last one I just thought, 'Oh my god, she never falls,' so I had to get back in there for priority.
"Getting in the Quarters and Semis you get more comfortable once it's more known, but breaking through them is the challenge because of the unknown for all that is. Making this Final I'm not going to change anything, I've felt really confident this whole event, Tom [Whitaker] has been amazing with just wave selection and feeling mentally confident."