October 3, 2015

Can Courtney Conlogue Bring a World Title Back to California?

As Courtney Conlogue prepares for the upcoming Roxy Pro France in Landes, the path to her first WSL world title has finally been presented before her. The regular-foot’s win in Portugal last week will undoubtedly give her some extra confidence going into the next event at Hossegor, and with a win, she could take down the title.  Not only will she be the first American to win the world title since Kelly Slater in 2011, but the Santa Ana native and longtime HB Pier local could be the first Californian to win a WSL/ASP world title in 25 years.

While Floridians CJ Hobgood and Slater have brought the trophy back to the states in the 90’s and 00’s, you would have to go all the way back to Tom Curren’s 1990 world title to find a Californian holding up the big silver cup at year’s end. For the women’s side of the tour specifically, you’d have to back to 1983 when Rincon local Kim Mearig took the top spot on the ratings to become the first, and last, female Californian World Champion. Now, we’re not forgetting SoCal ripper Lindsay Steinriede’s Women’s Longboarding World Title in 2011 and admire her accomplishment. It’s just that a two event season with a smaller field of competitors isn’t quite as difficult as the grueling 10 event WSL World Tour schedule, not to mention the QS qualifying series road to get there.

Conlogue’s win over Lakey Peterson at Cascais last week saw her take the Jeep ratings lead and coveted yellow jersey back from Hawaii’s Carissa Moore, who is Conlogue’s biggest threat at the 2015 world title. Carissa will be a tough opponent during the last two events of the season. The Oahu native is trying to take back a world title of her own after Stephanie Gilmore snatched it from her in 2014. She also took a convincing win in familiar waters at last year’s final event of the season, the Target Maui Pro at Honolua Bay. You can expect that she will be the one to beat at Honolua this year as well.

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    Courtney always has her game face on in the contest area. Photo: WSL/Lodin.

Courtney has trained hard for this situation and the timing seems right. Her boards are dialed, her technique has been flawless, and she is clearly the most powerful female surfer on the planet. Her notoriously rigorous fitness routine is focused on endurance and stamina, two things needed going into the final stretch. The only area she may need to improve on is spontaneity. Her turns became too predictable at the Swatch Women’s Pro at Trestles last month, leaving her with only a quarter final finish. In her favor, the punchy beachbreaks of France will force her to react quickly and not over-think her turns or telegraph her next maneuver.

The event will get underway on October 6th as the Roxy Pro and Quik Pro France waiting periods begin. The men’s side of the title race is even tighter with 5 guys all in contention with 3 events left in the season. Mick Fanning looks to hold off Brazilian’s Adriano de Souza and Filipe Toledo as the Europe leg kicks off next Tuesday. Watch all the action live at worldsurfleague.com

Video Highlights of Courtney’s Cascais Win

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