Hamilton, Manuel showing well at Ford Supergirl Pro

I’m sure it doesn’t appear this way to the rest of the world, but to those of us here, Kauai sure feels like the epicenter of the universe this week. Starting with the all-day public testimony on Wednesday at Kauai Veterans Center over the passage of Bill 2491 and moving to yesterday’s state championship canoe races, today’s Na Pali Challenge outrigger event, today’s Na Pali Race paddle and the weekend’s Heiva I Kauai Tahitian festival, our small community is undergoing a lot of activity.

So while it feels like everything is happening in our own backyard, there are some Kauai faces in one of the most important surf events of the year right now in Oceanside, Calif. The 2013 Ford Supergirl Pro boasts the largest women’s field of the season, with 96 surfers starting in the Association of Surfing Professionals 6-Star event. After two days of heats, they have narrowed the field to 12, entering today.

Two are Kauai wahine, with current World Championship Tour pro Malia Manuel and perhaps the most famous female surfer at the event, Bethany Hamilton, each into the Round of 12.

Manuel appears to be in good form and popped a 9.60 wave in her Round of 24 heat on her way to a 17.60 total and a combo victory.

Hamilton had the second-highest point total of the Round of 24 and scored a 13.67 to take first place in a star-studded heat. She advanced alongside WCT pro and Oahu surfer Coco Ho, who edged out Kauai’s Tatiana Weston-Webb for second place. Weston-Webb’s third place in the heat ends her event with an Equal 13th place finish and 800 World Tour Rankings points.

Kilauea’s Leila Hurst also reached the Round of 24 and grabbed Equal 13th points for her finish. One shocking elimination was Oahu’s Carissa Moore, who currently holds the top spot in the WCT rankings. She was unable to get anything going in her Round of 24 heat, finishing with just a 2.34 total in a heat won by France’s Pauline Ado.

Manuel and Hamilton have taken advantage of the tiered draw, which has allowed the higher seeds and higher ranked surfers to begin later in the event. The pair had their first heats in the Round of 48, so a pair of solid heats have them now down to the final 12.

Koloa’s Brianna Cope did not have the same advantage and her third-place finish in the Round of 80 ended her event on Friday. Hanalei’s Nage Melamed took fourth in her Round of 48 heat for Equal 37th points in a heat won by Moore.

Alana Blanchard was originally slated to compete at the Supergirl Pro, but did not end up entering the field. It could put more importance on her final two WCT event results of the season, as she currently sits in 11th place on the WCT rankings. The top 10 WCT surfers gain automatic entry to the 2014 world tour, with six more from the top of the World Rankings.

The 12 surfers vying for the 3,500 World Ranking points for an event championship are Hamilton, Manuel, Ho, Ado, Justine Dupont, Anali Gomez, Silvana Lima, Rebecca Woods, Paige Hareb, Phillipa Anderson, Nikki Van Dijk and Alessa Quizon.

The final rounds will all be streamed live today on the event website: surfergirlpro.com.

• ‘My Thoughts Exactly’ appears Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays in The Garden Island. Email David Simon your comments or questions to dsimon@thegardenisland.com. Follow David on Twitter @SimonTGI


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