Ford Supergirl Pro Champion: Malia Manuel

Photo Courtesy: Surfline (IG)

Photo Courtesy: Surfline (IG)

Malia Manuel will not just take cake for her 20th birthday on Friday, August 9, 2013. She will be celebrating in style with the pink cape from her victory at the 6-Star Ford Supergirl Pro.

Malia was on fire at the Supergirl Pro. Even with five extra minutes in the Finals, Kiwi, Paige Hareb (23) could not untangle herself from the combo situation that Malia had placed her in. Malia’s powerful first snap earned her a 9.57 which gave her the highest combined heat score of the competition (17.24). Paige surfed well throughout the competition but could not seem to catch a break due to the lack of waves in the Finals. The early dedication by Malia Manuel ultimately led to her first victory of the 2013 season. Malia is ranked No. 12 on the ASP Women’s Championship Tour. Out of 12 contestants, she won the cape, the points, and the $8,000 prize purse.

Notwithstanding her incredible rides on Saturday, crowd favorite, Bethany Hamilton did not make it from the Round of 12 to the Quarters. Paige Hareb added: “I thought the crowd was here for Bethany. So, it’s cool they stuck around.” The crowd was pumped for the Quarters. The heats were intense. Malia would best Silvana Lima by surfing aggressively. There was a French face-off between friends, Pauline Ado and Justine Dupont. Pauline Ado commented on the exchange after her transfer to the Semis: “… really tough to find an open face and I’m going against my friend. So, it is really hard.” There was also an all-Hawaiian heat between Alessa Quizon and the formidable favorite, CoCo Ho. Alessa was triumphant, earning the GoBank “New Kid on the Wave” award. Nonetheless, crowds swarmed CoCo for autographs. Lastly, a goofy-footed Kiwi would come up against a regular-footed Aussie. New Zealand and Australia seem to sport what resembles a healthy sibling rivalry in almost everything. The sport of surfing was no exception at the Supergirl Pro. Paige Hareb and Nikki Van Dijk had one of the closest heats of the day. They were quick to answer one another back with solid maneuvers. Right before the buzzer, Nikki made an excellent attempt. By only .79, Paige Hareb would move on to the Semis stating: “I knew it was gonna be close.”

In the Semis, the waves started dumping. Malia gained an 8.3 and an 8.0 putting Pauline in a combo situation. Pauline needed two scores that would be bigger than a 16.3. Malia tried for an air but did not get the grab. Pauline answered back. However, it was virtually impossible to get two waves in under two minutes. Pauline did well in California. It was clearly a strategic move on Malia’s part. Paige Hareb did not get much of a break between the Quarters and the Semis. But, it would be Alessa Quizon who could not catch a break when trying to duck dive sets. She got pounded, pushing heaps of heavy water. It was a slow heat. Paige took the tenth wave, dropped down the face, and had a big hit. After passing on multiple waves, she made that one count. With seconds left, Alessa needed a high score and Paige did well to play defense. After several runner-up moments for Malia at the Supergirl Pro in years previous, she would now take the cape.

As the last day of the competition commenced, a young girl was asked who she was routing for. Malia Kohls smiled and did not hesitate to answer: “CoCo Ho and Malia Manuel. My name is also Malia.” Malia Kohls explained that she had just gotten back from vacationing in Kuaui (Malia Manuel’s stomping grounds). She sported a bright blue Surf Channel hat with multiple autographs and tightly gripped a matching orange and blue snow cone. She rushed the beach with excitement to see Malia Manuel after each heat that she won. Malia Manuel responded to the outpouring of young, female fans: “I think it’s awesome they cheer for me, draw pictures and they’re young fans. Hopefully, they start surfing and follow a good passion. This is the biggest event of the year for the women. I think it is awesome to see so many fans and so many supporters this year. I’m really happy to be a part of it.”

Malia Kohls is taking her advice. She is going to get surf lessons. At one point, she leaned over and exuberantly whispered to her mom: “I can’t believe I met her.” 96 of the top women surfers in the world compete in the Supergirl Pro each year. It is one of the largest all-female surf competitions. More importantly, surfers like Bethany Hamilton and Malia Manuel inspire young girls with their persistence, passion, and paramount surfing ability.

FORD SUPERGIRL PRO FINAL RESULTS
1 – Malia Manuel (HAW) 17.24
2 – Paige Hareb (NZL) 3.37

FORD SUPERGIRL PRO SEMIFINALS RESULTS
SF 1: Malia Manuel (HAW) 16.33 def. Pauline Ado (FRA) 8.27
SF 2: Paige Hareb (NZL) 12.00 def. Alessa Quizon (HAW) 7.60

FORD SUPERGIRL PRO QUARTERFINALS RESULTS
QF 1: Malia Manuel (HAW) 12.50 def. Silvana Lima (BRA) 8.30
QF 2: Pauline Ado (FRA) 12.37 def. Justine Dupont (FRA) 10.16
QF 3: Alessa Quizon (HAW) 13.77 def. Coco Ho (HAW) 10.30
QF 4: Paige Hareb (NZL) 12.63 def. Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 11.84

FORD SUPERGIRL PRO ROUND OF 12 RESULTS
Heat 1: Malia Manuel (HAW) 15.03, Pauline Ado (FRA) 13.43, Rebecca Woods (AUS) 5.33
Heat 2: Justine Dupont (FRA) 11.26, Silvana Lima (BRA) 8.47, Anali Gomez (PER) 7.70
Heat 3: Alessa Quizon (HAW) 14.50, Paige Hareb (NZL) 13.57, Bethany Hamilton (HAW) 9.00
Heat 4: Nikki Van Dijk (AUS) 12.60, Coco Ho (HAW) 10.33, Phillipa Anderson (AUS) 8.50