The 2014 Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) 6-Star Paul Mitchell Supergirl Pro completed opening day of competition in clean waves of two-to-four feet at Oceanside Pier, marching through Rounds 1 and 2 and the first half of Round 3.
The Paul Mitchell Supergirl Pro marks the sixth of eight ASP 6-Star Qualification Series (QS) events, offering maximum points towards qualification for the 2015 World Championship Tour (WCT).
Tia Blanco (USA), 17, kicked off her Paul Mitchell Supergirl Pro campaign in excellent form, belting an 8.50 on her opening ride to win the final heat of the day.
â€œI had a relaxing day up to the heat and started with that 8.50,â€ Blanco said. â€œIt was just a medium-sized left and it kept lining up down the beach. I always get nervous and to pick up a good score at the beginning of the heat feels good. I made a couple of rounds last year and I don't have any expectations. I'm just going to keep surfing and hope for the best.â€
Maddie Peterson (USA), 16, who is making her debut on the women's QS, was the only competitor to advance through all three rounds on opening day, securing a berth in the Round 4 where the East Coaster will face the event's top seeds.
â€œI went in to today just trying to do my best and the waves came to me,â€ Peterson said. â€œI just barely got second in the last heat, but the waves are fun and I'm ready for tomorrow. This is my first ever QS event. I've done a few Pro Juniors, so I'm really nervous.â€
Mikaela Greene (AUS), 20, was another standout on opening day of competition, taking to her backhand on the lefthanders to smash an excellent 15.76 heat total while advancing to the top seeded round. The Western Australian would top reigning ASP Women's World Junior Champion Ella Williams (NZL), 19, who advanced in second, in the process.
â€œThis is my first time to the US,â€ Greene said. â€œI'm from Yallingup in Western Australia and worked a ton to get here. I'm just super excited to make it through that first round. Ella (Williams) and I are really good friends and it was really good vibes, so it was awesome. I think my backhand is definitely sharper than my forehand and I was definitely trying to hunt down the little lefts coming through.â€
Greene was sidelined from the 2013 QS season due a serious back injury and is looking to gain momentum on her first visit to California.
Holly Sue Coffey (AUS), 16, struggled to find a rhythm in Round 3, but found a lefthander in dying seconds, connecting two strong turns for a 7.67 to vault from fourth to first.
â€œI've been doing the QS for a few years now and trying to build up some points,â€ Coffey said. â€œThis is by far my favorite event because all of the girls come down and it really supports women's surfing. We have contestable waves out there and it's fun. I was out in that heat and then this little right came. I got lucky to get a wave like that at the end.â€
The Paul Mitchell Supergirl Pro event window runs through August 10, 2014. ASP will webcast the final day LIVE.