Summer time in Oceanside means one thing for the women's Qualifying Series (QS) -- the Paul Mitchell Supergirl Pro QS 6,000 July 27 - 29. It's the mid-year cutoff for those looking to earn valuable points toward a boost in their seeding heading into the back-half of 2018, and also a chance for the Championship Tour (CT) women to start looking at backing themselves up.
As in previous years, the seventh annual event takes place on the southside of Oceanside Pier and welcomes some of the world's best from 6x WSL Champion Stephanie Gilmore making her Supergirl debut, to the likes of grom talents like Alyssa Spencer looking to make their mark and an ensemble of talent between.
For the Top 17 hoping to solidify their spot on Tour via the QS, or find a momentum swing toward their CT campaigns, this marks the beginning of the end of 2018. With Supergirl as one of three remaining 6,000 events, it's nearing time to get things in order for what their goals need to be. Here's a few women looking for that momentum boost and their shot at the coveted Supergirl cape:
Beginning of the End for World's Best
Paige Hareb Returns to the Jersey
It's not been the dream start to Paige Hareb's return among the Top 17, not bettering a 13th place finish before her unfortunate injury in Mexico that's kept the New Zealand native out for over six weeks. But, the 28-year-old is never one to be left out when the pressure mounts. Hareb posted to Instagram saying "...so happy to be back in the water and heading to US for a couple of comps @supergirlpro & @usopenofsurf which I may not be at 100 percent yet, but I'll be giving it 110 percent," when announcing her return and the surfing world showed their excitement.
Hareb currently sits at No. 16 on the CT and No. 13 on the QS and can benefit greatly from a precursor to the Vans US Open of Surfing to regain her confidence -- as well as see how her body responds to giving her all.
Can Sage Erickson Continue Building Steam at Home?
Last year's Supergirl Pro runner-up and US Open winner is back for at her third cape in Oceanside. Erickson jumpstarted her summer momentum with a Quarterfinal finish at the Los Cabos Open of Surf and looks to continue fanning that flame on her home turf. The Ojai, California, native is typically never one to worry about when it comes to re-qualifying, remaining on the CT each of the last three years after falling off for a year in 2014, and has shown she still has it to earn results with two Quarterfinal results on the CT in 2018 -- she only lacks consistency this season.
But, Erickson's veteran experience is something not to overlook as she's proven time and time again that she's not going anywhere.
Also looking for a bit of momentum to swing their way, current CT No. 15 (and QS No. 7) Bronte Macaulay, No. 13 (current OS No. 5) Coco Ho, and No. 12 (and QS No. 12) Malia Manuel. Unfortunately, Silvana Lima is still on the mend and will miss this year's Supergirl Pro and US Open as she looks to regroup for the Surf Ranch Pro.
Brisa Hennessy's Bringing the Heat
The world's best in attendance will have more than enough on their hands with the talent on hand to vie for a win, including recent Volkswagen SA Open of Surfing pres by Hurley QS 3,000 winner Hennessy. The now Costa Rica representative sits at No. 10 on the QS with a big opportunity in Oceanside to begin making her qualification dream come true.
Hennessy, 18, forewent her last Pro Junior year to focus on the QS this season and it's paying dividends. Though, she will need to more solid results at the major events in order to secure her place on next year's Dream Tour roster -- currently dropping a total of 1,960 points if she's to better her to lowest results.
Will Macy Callaghan Step Up Once Again?
Callaghan is one of the favorites to join the women's CT in coming years, it is just a matter of when. The 18-year-old stepped up big at the first event of the year, earning a Semifinal appearance in Florida, and now looks to another big result before dropping any points. Callaghan's knowledge of beachbreaks rivals the best, winning her 2016 World Junior Title at Kiama, New South Wales, Australia, and showcases some her best surfing -- both forehand and backhand -- when chunky sections are on offer.
Also a few threats to keep tabs on, last year's Supergirl Quarterfinalist Kobie Enright, an in-form Holly Wawn (currently No. 6 on the QS), and former CT competitors such as Pauline Ado, Chelsea Tuach, and wildcard Alana Blanchard alongside a plethora of Pro Junior talents.
The Paul Mitchell Supergirl Pro QS 6,000 will take place at Oceanside Pier, July 27 - 29 and be broadcoast LIVE on the WSL site July 28 and 29.