This past weekend, July 27th - 29th, marked a festival of fun and next-level sports competition as the world’s greatest female professional surfers—more than 100, all told—took to Oceanside, CA as part of the only World Surf League (WSL) 6-Star event in the United States.
Live music, dance classes, meet-and-greets, and a beer/wine garden (!!) stood as the backdrop to some gnarly surfing. And Blenders was on-site for it all.
Going into the semifinals of the Paul Mitchell Supergirl Pro QS 6,000, it was Carissa Moore vs. Malia Manuel and Caroline Marks vs. Coco Ho. But in the end, only two can stand tall on Sunday, and there was a palpable buzz as previous WSL Champion, Carissa Moore, took on 16-year-old American rookie phenomenon, Caroline Marks.
Both Moore and Marks took to the two-to-three foot swells yesterday with confidence but, although it was a tight competition start-to-finish, Moore’s signature power surfing carried the day.
Moore opened with a 7.67 (out of 10), but Marks answered with a near-matching 7.00. However, in immediately adding a 6.17 score to augment her lead, Moore kept the pressure on and it was ultimately too much for Marks, who eventually managed a 6.10 but fell short of the 6.85 necessary to win.
Moore, a three-time WSL champion, nabbed her first Supergirl Pro victory in four attempts. As a result, she added 6,000 points (dang!) to her Qualifying Series Ranking total.
"I'm so excited to have my first cape and this is such a great win which I haven't been able to get all season," Moore said. "This is huge for confidence and I think I've just been over-complicating things in my mind so it's nice to simplify things. I was happy to play the game a little bit better than I have this season. It felt good to keep making heats and I just wanted to keep my head down, and just enjoy the competition. When conditions are tougher like that, it's a more about the game then the performance so I just tried to embrace that.”
We gotta note that Caroline Marks is a serious badass and that the young American has a wickedly bright future. When she was 15 in 2017, she became the youngest surfer to ever qualify for the women’s Championship Tour. The fact she’s ascended so quickly only bodes well for her future.
Here at Blenders, we’re looking forward to next year!