HUNTINGTON BEACH, California/USA (Friday, August 2, 2013) - The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) 6-Star Ford Supergirl Pro chopped the field in half on the opening day of competition, narrowing the draw down from 96 to 48 in peaky one-to-three foot (1 metre) waves at Oceanside Pier.
The Ford Supergirl Pro is one of five ASP 6-Star events on the 2013 Women's ASP Qualifying Series, drawing several of the world's best surfers in search of crucial points towards their 2014 ASP World Championship Tour (WCT) Qualification campaigns.
Keeley Andrew (AUS), 18, smashed the day's high scores during her American debut, earning an 8.83 for a series of backhand turns followed up with a 7.60 on her forehand. The young Australian will face off against ASP WCT standout Malia Manuel (HAW), 19, in the Round of 48 and is looking forward to gaining the priceless experience that comes along with competing against the world's best surfers.
"I paddled out wanting to catch whatever looked like it'd have half-decent potential for scores and I was able to catch that first left," Andrew said. "It was a good start for the rest of the heat. I just want to get heat experience and surf against the world's best. What more can you ask for?"
Kaleigh Gilchrist (Newport Beach, CA), 21, also started strong in her Round of 60 match up, cracking an 8.00 for one powerful forehand turn while advancing to the Round of 48. Gilchrist, a former standout on the ASP North America Pro Junior Series, is looking to gain traction on the ASP Women's Qualifying Series and is out to post a standout result at the Ford Supergirl Pro.
"It's so tough out there, I think my backup was a 2.63, so you've really just got to get the waves," Gilchrist said. "That's what makes these contest hard, sometimes it ends up being the luck of the draw and luckily for me I got that one wave. There aren't too many women's events around and I've aged out of the Juniors so it's been awhile since I've had the jersey on. I'm really excited for this contest and happy to make that first heat."
Demi Boelsterli (Santa Barbara, CA), 23, displayed impressive endurance on the opening day of the Ford Supergirl Pro, advancing through four heats to solidify her position against the top seeds. The Santa Barbara native is carrying added confidence from today's success and feels the conditions reminiscent of her hometown training grounds could work in her favor.
"I'm tired, but it feels good to start from the bottom and keep pushing," Boelsterli said. "I feel confident because I've spent over an hour out there getting used to this new swell and it'll be nice tomorrow. I've surfed against most of those girls before, so I think these mushy conditions might be an advantage to me because I surf these conditions all of the time."
The Ford Supergirl Pro runs from August 2-4, 2013 and will be webcast on the Final day via www.supergirlpro.com
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