Sage Erickson won the largest female surf competition in Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) history and the only ASP 6-Star event in North America, the Paul Mitchell Supergirl Pro. On August 8th-10th, well over 100 female surfers battled it out in Oceanside, California, at the Paul Mitchell Supergirl Pro. Rick Bratman, CEO of ASA Entertainment, recalled the first Supergirl Pro. Even though he faced substantial opposition in the beginning, he continued to support women's surfing. He spoke fondly of watching the greatest women in surfing grow up and grow as athletes within their profession. The 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).
In addition to pivotal points, the twenty-three-year-old Ventura native took home bragging rights, an $8,000 prize purse, and the coveted, pink cape. After making it through both Round 4 and Round 5, Sage reflected jubilantly: "It feels really good to be back at the Supergirl [Pro]. It’s always one of my favorite events just because there’s so much support and love from all the little girls that are aspiring to surf or skateboard or snowboard, any of that. That’s realistically my motivation for coming into this event, wanting to perform for them and perform for my family and friends. Right now, it just feels really good to have made two heats. There’s going to be some challenging work to get to that final. But, hopefully, I’ll get back there and get that cape.”
The competition was heated. Standouts included former two-time runner-up, Paige Hareb (NZL) and former two-time winner, CoCo Ho (HAW). Last year’s champion, Malia Manuel attempted to defend her title and represent Hawaii while celebrating her twenty-first birthday. There was quite a competitive, international playing field. In addition to Australian, Hawaiian, and New Zealand standouts, France’s Justine Dupont put on a good show. Still, one of the most interesting heats came on Saturday.
In heat three of Round 5, Laura Enever (AUS), Anastasia Ashley (USA), Pauline Ado (FRA), and Paige Hareb (NZL) faced off. While Paige and Pauline moved on, the international line-up proved exciting. Anastasia Ashley recapped of the heat: “I had great surfers, so I had to be on my A-game. It was really challenging in knowing that I had such great, world tour surfers all in my heat. Ya know, it was a stacked heat. I just didn’t get the waves I wanted. It was still good. It kind of came down to the end. I wish there was an extra minute or two to kind of get one more in, but I didn’t get it. Being able to surf against the best female surfers in the world all down at Oceanside is insane. I don’t do too many events, so to get in a heat with three other girls who are on the CT is definitely fun, and it amps me up to work harder, to try harder… definitely a good time.”
The feel-good atmosphere of the Supergirl Pro was contagious. Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) continued to shine, surfing both her forehand and backhand. She took an early lead in her heat with Brissa Hennessey (HAW), Quincy Davis (USA), and Bianca Buitendag (ZAF). Quincy Davis surfed close to shore. Bianca was in second. However, the situation kept changing. The fourteen-year-old, Brissa Hennessey would advance with her fellow Hawaiian, Tatiana Weston-Webb. Tatiana elaborates on her strategy and expresses warm sentiments: “In this event, I’ve really been proud of the way I’ve been surfing for each heat. I’m trying to surf smart instead of just surfing to my ability. Because surfing smart… I play the percentages in a right sense of mind, and I know that I can make it if I play smart. But yeah, the last heat came down to the buzzer beater wire, and Bianca got two opportunities to get a score and beat me. But I lucked out, and she never got the score. So, I’m really stoked to have made it with my fellow Hawaiian, Brissa Hennessey, who’s ripping.”
After three days of heated competition, Sunday’s contest came down to two semis. In an all-Hawaiian semi, Coco Ho and Tatiana Weston-Webb combated. Coco had a good opener given the wave conditions. Tatiana was on fire throughout the competition. Sage Erickson (USA) and Silvana Lima (BRA) took to the water for their round. They had a supremely close semi, going back and forth, staying within points of each other for most of the heat. Both Sage and Silvana had several one-hit waves. Erickson and Weston-Webb would move on to the finals. Tatiana expressed her excitement to have made the finals: “I’m super happy to have made the final. Making finals, you always want to win it. But, ya know, unfortunately it didn’t go my way and it went Sage’s way. So, I’m super stoked for Sage, but most importantly, I’m just really happy to have points for the QS [qualifying series]. So yeah, I’m stoked.”
Erickson took an early lead in the final, but Weston-Webb quickly overtook the Californian, holding the lead throughout the majority of the heat. Erickson answered back late in the heat, delivering a big backhand snap on a left and earning both a 6.83 as well as her second career Supergirl Pro victory. Tatiana was not disappointed in her result, professing: “I feel like I’m surfing really well, so I’m happy. Surfing is what I love doing. No matter what, I’ll still love surfing.” For Sage Erickson wearing the cape is “a huge honor; it represents being a Supergirl.” The points earned at this event were instrumental for Sage’s surfing career. She took time to share what this event means with regard to qualifying:
This is a huge result for me. It’s the highest points that we can get on tour. This is just going to build my campaign towards the 2015 World [Championship] Tour only stronger. Going into Europe, I think I’ll have a lot of confidence. I’m so happy to have been able to perform in front of my home state and friends and family.”
Not only are the points important for Sage, but this is a huge victory for girls everywhere, California locals, and USA as a whole.
PAUL MITCHELL SUPERGIRL PRO FINAL RESULT:
1 - Sage Erickson (USA) 12.00
2 - Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 10.50
PAUL MITCHELL SUPERGIRL PRO SEMIFINALS RESULTS:
SF 1: Sage Erickson (USA) 9.00 def. Silvana Lima (BRA) 5.54
SF 2: Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 14.00 def. Coco Ho (HAW) 10.64
PAUL MITCHELL SUPERGIRL PRO QUARTERFINALS RESULTS:
QF 1: Silvana Lima (BRA) 17.34 def. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 10.76
QF 2: Sage Erickson (USA) 12.16 def. Malia Manuel (HAW) 10.80
QF 3: Coco Ho (HAW) 14.83 def. Keely Andrew (AUS) 10.67
QF 4: Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 12.16 def. Brisa Hennessy (HAW) 7.90
PAUL MITCHELL SUPERGIRL PRO ROUND 6 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Silvana Lima (BRA) 17.73, Malia Manuel (HAW) 12.60, Pauline Ado (FRA) 10.60
Heat 2: Sage Erickson (USA) 13.84, Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 13.37, Paige Hareb (NZL) 13.17
Heat 3: Keely Andrew (AUS) 11.13, Brisa Hennessy (HAW) 7.90, Stephanie Single (AUS) 2.57
Heat 4: Tatiana Weston-Webb (HAW) 13.17, Coco Ho (HAW) 11.83, Dimity Stoyle (AUS) 5.77
The event will be broadcast on Fox Sports Net (FSN) on Wednesday, September 24, 2014.