Oceanside will host the world's top pros Saturday in the 2011 Supergirl Pro Junior, the only six-star amateur surf contest in North America.
“We've always had girls in our contests that were on the peripheral doing side shows,” said Rick Bratman, CEO of tournament sponsor ASA Entertainment. “As we watched the girls get better and better, we thought the girls needed their own program that was all about the female side of action sports.”
As one of the biggest contests in Supergirl Pro Junior history, 16 of the world's top 20-year-old and under female surfers will compete for the coveted pink Supergirl cape.
The event, which is free to the public, begins at 11:15 a.m. at the Oceanside Pier.
“The first year we were joking around about the trophy," Bratman said. “We wanted something that symbolized Superman, but we didn’t want to get the girls red boots and a normal cape, so we went with the pink cape, and they loved it.”
Courtney Conlongue, 18, won the 2009 Supergirl Pro Junior.
“I love the cape,” said Conlongue, a native of Santa Ana, Calif. “I think it’s so cool! Two years ago, when I got on the podium and had the cape put on me, I was so stoked.”
However, surfers are not only competing against the world’s best, but also some of their best friends in the world.
“It’s cool because you see the girls fight for waves, but then out of the water it’s all hugs and high fives- the girls are amazing,” Bratman said. “These are girls that during the day they shred, while at night they’re cool, chic, attractive and intelligent.”
The surf contest is the first event in the Supergirl Jam Series, which will feature more than 100 female pros in surfing, skateboarding, inline skating and snowboarding, according to the event's website.
The second event will be held on Aug. 21 in Los Angeles and will include both skate and snow contests on the Venice Beach Boardwalk.
“I love the way the event supports women to go out there, be extreme and push the limits,” Colongue said. “It's inspiring young women to go out and pursue their dreams, and I'm all for that.”
Said Bratman: “The entire event is all about female strength, independence and empowerment.”
Bratman recalls another Supergirl contest when a 9-year-old girl was competing and "she completely held her own.”
This year, three of the top 10 female surfers on the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Women’s World Tour will compete for the Supergirl Pro Title, as well as several other big names.
"This is the biggest pro junior for the girls with the big prize money,” Bratman said, “so we tend to get most of the top girls.”
Coco Ho, of Oahu, Hawaii, is currently ranked sixth in the world and will attempt to defend her title.
“I am really excited to competing in the Supergirl Pro Junior again,” Ho said in a press release. “It’s an amazing field of surfers competing this year, and as the defending champion, I know the other girls will be gunning to get my pink cape.”
Among those looking to get their own pink capes include Malia Manuel, last year’s silver medalist and former Women’s U.S. Open Champion, as well as Conlongue, Laura Enever, Leila Hurst and Lakey Peterson.
They will be judged on who rides the best waves, ride duration and a combination of style, agility, difficulty and consistency, reports our media partner, the North County Times.
The final heat at 2:15 p.m. will last 30 minutes.
“It's incredible to watch,” Conologue said. “Every year you get tons of people that show up, and it’s really cool to just be around.”
More details on the Supergirl Pro Junior and the Supergirl Jam event series are available on its website.