The Billabong Girls Maui Pro
Amid swirling hype about the Eddie. Pipe Masters. A World Title race. Mick and Joel. Storm warnings. And Jaws hype. There’s another contest going on in Maui that is about to garner some perfect surf of it’s own. And while Steph Gilmore already wrapped up the title, the Maui Pro has showcased some of the best female surfing we’ve ever seen. We caught up with Billabong Girls team manager Megan Villa to find out what we can expect this week on the valley aisle.
By Matt Skenazy
SURFING Magazine: There are some pretty massive conditions on tap for next week. After Sunset, it looks like the girls can handle pretty gnarly surf, are you guys going to run the contest even if the waves are massive?
Megan Villa: The waves were huge a few years back and we had given then 13-year-old Courtney Conlogue the wildcard and she charged it. We will not run if it is really dangerous conditions, but we will run if it is big and clean. These girls do not get many opportunities to showcase their big wave surfing skills and we have already seen them prove themselves at the U.S. Open this summer and most recently at Sunset, so I am confident that if the waves are big, they will go out there and charge and really raise the bar for women’s surfing.
How has Courtney Conlogue been doing this winter so far?
Courtney just got back from a trip to Costa Rica with her dad. She had the week off from school for Thanksgiving so she headed out there to surf and train. She scored some fun waves and it was great for her to free surf and not have to compete. She was not able to come to Hawaii this winter due to school obligations. But this is her senior year in high school and she will be doing the Billabong World juniors, as well as the ISA World Juniors in January. As well as doing as many WQS contests as possible to qualify for the 2011 WCT.
What Billabong girls are going to be surfing in the contest?
We will have WCT surfers Silvana Lima, Paige Hareb, and Rebecca Woods.
Amee Donohoe is injured and has pulled out of the last two events, so we got a spot straight into the main event which we are giving to 15-year-old Alessa Quizon from Waianae. And then our Billabong Wildcard into the trials will be given to Felicity Palmateer who is from Western Australia.
Who’s been charging the hardest lately?
Silvana Lima has been charging, she was free surfing at Sunset last week and went on some bombs. Carissa Moore has also been surfing exceptionally well.
How has it been these last few years putting on an event in Maui?
The past few years for the Maui Pro event have been amazing. We have really lucked out with the waves. Every year the girls are pushing themselves out there. Honolua is one of the most beautiful waves in the world and it is world class. It is an honor for us to put on this event there every year. It is also nice to get off the North Shore and kind of get away from it all. We all stay at the Ritz Carlton and Kapalua villas so it is a great way for the girls to end their year.
Who is your favorite to win the comp?
I would have to say Silvana Lima cecause she surfs so well and is so under-rated. She was 2nd in the World going into the Sunset event and surfed really well in her earlier heats but just wasn’t able to get out of the quarters. If the waves are pumping I think that she can definitely win here. The year that she was in the trials at the event, she scored a perfect 10 on her first wave in a WCT, so if she can repeat that, it would be great to see and a great way for her to end the year and get ramped up for next year.
Be sure to watch live at http://www.triplecrownofsurfing.com/billabongpro/index.html
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