OCEANSIDE, California/USA (Sunday, August 4, 2013) – Malia Manuel (HAW), 19, has won the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) 6-Star Ford Supergirl Pro over fellow ASP WCT campaigner Paige Hareb (NZL), 23, in peaky three-to-five foot waves in Oceanside, California.
Manuel led the Ford Supergirl Pro throughout the event’s entirety, owning the top scores of each round while progressing to the Final. The Hawaiian’s dominance would continue while securing the major victory, belting a 9.57 and 7.67 for powerful combinations on both her forhand and backhand to earn her first victory of the 2013 this season.
“The past couple of days, I really had motivation coming off of a tough result at the US Open,” Manuel said. “I wanted to do well there. It’s good to be in California, it’s like a second home to me. I wanted to get in rhythm and just finally have that push for a good result.”
Manuel, current No. 12 on the ASP WCT, had struggled to find consistency at the early season stops this year and hopes today’s major victory represents a turning point in her season.
“It felt good to finally have one event where everything came together,” Manuel said. “I’ve had such ups and downs this whole year and I was really confident, but it just never all flowed in one contest. I’m happy it happened here and I’m looking forward to finishing up the year.”
Paige Hareb, who finished runner-up at last year’s Ford Supergirl Pro, matched her efforts in Oceanside again this year. The talented Kiwi put in a polished performance throughout the entirety of the event, but was unable to find the scores needed to surpass Manuel in the Final.
“This is my best result of the year, so I’m pretty happy, but I wish I just could have performed a little bit better in the Final,” Hareb said. “It just didn’t go my way. It was pretty hard to find the right one and it was one of the hardest heats I’ve had in competition and Malia (Manuel) did well.”
Hareb, current No 12 on the Women’s WCT, was another elite competitor looking to potentially requalify for the ASP Top 17 via the Qualifying Series (QS) and her second place finish will help the goofy-footer gain traction towards attaining her goal for next season.
“I hadn’t had a good result on the QS yet this year and hopefully this will get me up there,” Hareb said. “Hopefully I’m going to move on to Europe and get some good results there and requalify.”
Pauline Ado (FRA), 22, marched through two rounds on the final day of competition besting fellow French surfer Justine Dupont, 21, en route to the final. Despite Ado’s success in the early rounds, she was unable to find a rhythm in her Semifinals clash against Manuel, finishing equal 3rd overall.
“I had a really good result in the US Open and getting a 3rd here is good for my QS ranking,” Ado said. “I’m super happy overall, but I wish I surfed better in the Semifinal. Malia (Manuel) was on every wave and I didn’t get anything, but it was a good leg for sure.”
Ado, current No. 10 on the ASP WCT, was relieved to earn another Semifinals finish following her Equal 3rd place result at the US Open of Surfing and hopes to carry her momentum in to the European leg of the season.
“The two last QS events are in Europe, so I’ll have my family and friends there and a lot of support,” Ado said. “Hopefully I can get a few more good results under my belt and requalify for next year’s WCT.”
Alessa Quizon (HAW), 19, who entered the Ford Supergirl Pro ranked No. 4 on the ASP Women’s World Ranking, earned her career-best result in Oceanside with an equal 3rd place finish. The Hawaiian goofy-footer would best fellow Oahu native Coco Ho, 22, in the Quarterfinals, but was unable to surpass Hareb in their Semifinals affair.
“I’m really happy that I made it this far,” Quizon said. “This is my first Semifinal in a 6-Star QS and I’ve improved so much from last year. I’ve had a few Quarterfinals results as well and I’m feeling confident going in to the rest of the year.”