OCEANSIDE, California/USA (Saturday, August 3, 2013) - The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) 6-Star Ford Supergirl Pro returned to building two-to-four foot (1 metre) waves at Oceanside Pier today, with several ASP World Championship Tour (WCT) surfers dominating their heats despite a shock elimination from current ASP World No. 1 Carissa Moore (HAW), 20.
Malia Manuel (HAW), 19, took out two heat wins today with a hard-fought effort despite the day's tricky conditions while earning the event's highest scores. The Hawaiian belted a single-wave score of 9.60, finishing with a combined effort of a 17.60 heat total in the final minutes of her Round of 24 campaign.
"This morning I came down early and had a practice surf and as the tide was filling in my first heat got really slow," Manuel said. "I had to wait 15 minutes to get my second score and I just had to trust my instincts. This Round of 24 heat was fun, there were a lot more flurries of waves with lots of peaks and I like a little wind. I got some fun waves."
Manuel, current ASP World No. 12, has lost some close heats throughout her 2013 ASP Women's WCT season, and hopes a result a the Ford Supergirl Pro will mark a momentum swing for her year.
"I just want to get some heat wins and carry it in to the rest of the year," Manuel said. "This beginning of the year was totally different from my rookie year. I had such a good start and made a few Quarterfinals, so it was a whole different mindset. This year, I had to reevaluate what was going on. I was confident in my boards and my surfing and it was a couple things that I had to twist with heats and I know anything can happen with one result."
Pauline Ado (FRA), 22, fresh off of a 3rd place result at the US Open of Surfing, advanced through two heats today with impressive wave selection, punctuating her Round of 12 berth by defeating Moore in their Round of 24 affair.
"I didn't surf that well this morning and came second, and I guess I had a harder heat this afternoon," Ado said. "Carissa (Moore) just won the US Open and Dimity (Stoyle) won the last QS, so it was a pretty tough heat. I only got two fives, but it was enough to win. I was stressing out until the end."
Silvana Lima, past ASP World Title threat, looked at home in the peaky beachbreak conditions, unloading fins-free turns and powerful combinations to solidify her position in the Round of 12.
"I'm so confident in these conditions and I have a new board that feels really good," Lima said. "The waves are fun out there and I'm really happy to get through."
Lima, current No. 14 on the ASP Women's WCT, has struggled to find a rhythm among the ASP Top 17 this season following a severe knee injury but feels her performances are improving as the year progresses.
"This does a lot for my confidence," Lima said. "When I got injured, I wasn't able to surf at all for two years. It feels good to just surf now. My knee doesn't hurt anymore and I feel 100 percent. I'm trying to get some good results on the QS and the WCT to requalify for next year."
Paige Hareb (NZL), 23, last year's Ford Supergirl Pro runner-up, would contribute to the day's upsets, defeating defending event champion Sage Erickson (Ventura, CA), 22, in a rematch of last year's Final while securing a spot in the Round of 12.
"Sage (Erickson) has beaten me a few times now and it was good to get one back on her," Hareb said. "I'm the lone Kiwi, so it was nice to see an Aussie get through the heat with me as well. I feel good out here event though it's a tricky wave. It seems to change everyday and every tide and I'm just trying to be on to it and have fun out there."
The Ford Supergirl Pro will return tomorrow at 10am local time and crown a champion by day's end. Watch the webcast LIVE via www.supergirlpro.