Written by Lauren Taniyama
August 8, 2012 – Oceanside, CA – Come down to Oceanside, California this weekend to watch the biggest women’s surfing event in the world! Catch some of the world’s best female surfers competing for the points to qualify for the elite Women’s World Championship Tour. This is the only North American ASP Star Event for the women. Six of the top ten women on tour will be making their way from Huntington Beach down to Oceanside to get some more heats under their belt for the year. There are only three more events after this for the women trying to qualify for the tour.
The top ten of the world tour automatically qualify and the remaining girls must be ranked in the top 6 of the Women’s World Rankings to re-qualify for the tour. There is one wildcard spot on the tour to round out the top 17. It is pretty safe to say that Silvana Lima (BRA) will get an injury wild card next year. The majority of the top world tour women competing this weekend are currently ranked high enough to re-qualify.
The ones that are really battling for the points to stay on tour are Sarah Mason (NZL), Justine Dupont (FRA), and Jacqueline Silva (BRA). That is not to say that everyone is safe. Two women not on tour, currently ranked in the top six of the world rankings are Bianca Buitendag (ZAF) and Alana Blanchard (HAW). Alana got knocked off tour last year and is making her come back. She will look to take out the girls ranked low on tour. Bianca just won the last event at Lobitos, in the north of Peru.
Rebecca Woods (AUS), Sofia Mulanovich (PER), Pauline Ado (FRA) and Sage Erickson (USA) will be trying to hold onto their spots in the top six and will most definitely be competing in the remainder of the ASP Star events that move over to Europe after the US. Courtney Conlogue (USA), Malia Manuel (HAW) and Paige Hareb (NZL) are guaranteed spots on next year’s tour and are just doing work by surfing more heats to get more practice. I would definitely be on the lookout for Courtney, US Open of Surfing quarterfinalist, and Malia a semifinalist losing to an on fire Lakey Peterson (USA).
At these ASP Star events one must watch out for the young girls all the way back in the Round of 78. These girls are young and talented surfers that have nothing to lose and can very well take down any of the top girls on tour. Then there is US Open Junior Pro Champion and recently crowned women’s ASP Australasia Pro Junior Series title winner, Nikki Van Dijk. She will be up against Sofia Mulanovich in Round of 48, and is a force to be reckoned with. She proves that she can perform here in the California beach break and she can post good scores in her heats. She is on the cusp of qualifying and is looking like she is on the hunt.
All the female finalists from the pro junior event in Huntington Beach last weekend will be striving for a chance to take down any one of the top girls. Leila Hurst (HAW), Quincy Davis (USA) and Kaleigh Gilchrist (USA) will be there ready to compete. Leila is the next highest ranked junior on the world rankings at 30th. She is currently leading the World Junior Rankings.
There is a pretty good forecast for the event this weekend with Surfline calling for 3-4ft mix of fading SSE, SW swell and hopefully a little NW windswell which Oceanside will pick up well. I know I will probably find some waves in the area on this south swell. Come check it out and enjoy the beautiful weather that is also on the forecast.
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