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Caitlin Simmers of Oceanside, now 15, competed and won in last year’s Super Girl Surf Pro team challenge, a modified format used because of the pandemic. Courtesy photo
Caitlin Simmers of Oceanside, now 15, competed and won in last year’s Super Girl Surf Pro team challenge, a modified format used because of the pandemic. Courtesy photo
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World’s best female surfers return to Oceanside Pier for Super Girl Surf Pro

OCEANSIDE — Some of the world’s top professional female surfers are set to return Sept. 17 to Oceanside Pier for the 14th annual Nissan Super Girl Surf Pro, a three-day surfing, skating, beach soccer and e-sports competition and music festival.

Among the 90 women surfing in the festival’s main competition — a World Surf League Women’s Qualifying Series event — are several top professional surfers, including Olympic gold medalist Carissa Moore and fellow Team USA member Caroline Marks, as well as Sage Erickson, Tatiana Weston-Webb, Tia Blanco, local champion Caitlin Simmers, of Oceanside, and the 2019 Super Girl Surf Pro champion, San Clemente’s Samantha Sibley. 

The competition begins Friday, Sept. 17, with the first two rounds of surfing. The competition continues Saturday, Sept. 18, and ends with the finals on Sunday, Sept. 19.

It’s been two years since the entire Super Girl Surf Pro festival was held at the pier due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Last year we had to pivot with COVID going on,” said CEO Rick Bratman of ASA Entertainment, the company that owns the Super Girl Pro Series.

Zoe Benedetto competes at the 2019 Nissan Super Girl Surf Pro. Photo by Kurt Steinmetz
Zoe Benedetto competes at the 2019 Nissan Super Girl Surf Pro. Photo by Kurt Steinmetz

Though there was no festival in 2020, the series hosted a team challenge event between Team California surfers and Team US, which included professional surfers from Hawaii and Florida.

Last year’s team challenge event was Simmers’ first year competing in a Super Girl Surf Pro event, so this will be the first year she competes in the main annual event.

“I’m pretty excited because I’ve always watched the Super Girl series since I was 8,” Simmers said. “I would always go and watch it.”

Now 15, Simmers grew up in Oceanside surfing for the last nine years, with her favorite spots including the harbor and the pier. She’s been competing for the last five years. Simmers is looking forward to going up against — and hopefully beating — Moore in the competition.

Reigning champion Sibley told The Coast News she’s excited to be back in the water with all the other surfers.

“I just want to have fun,” Sibley said. “It’s going to be nice to get back in the jersey.”

Bratman and many others were impressed by Sibley’s win in 2019.

“She came out of nowhere, then beat four of the top 15 surfers in the world,” Bratman said.

Besides the main competition, the free festival will include 20 live concerts, including performances from Sofia Carson and Plain White T’s, a festival village, a celebrity surf invitational, an extended adaptive surfing event, the annual Super Girl Gamer Pro esports tournament, Super Girl Skate Pro skateboarding contest, women’s beach soccer, and several free classes and panel discussions promoting female empowerment.

Moore, in association with her Moore Aloha Foundation, will host a mentorship event for young surfers during the event.

Carissa Moore, a gold medalist at this summer's Tokyo Olympics, will be returning to the 2021 Super Girl Surf Pro event on Sept. 17 in Oceanside. Courtesy photo
Carissa Moore, a gold medalist at this summer’s Tokyo Olympics, will be returning to the 2021 Super Girl Surf Pro event on Sept. 17 in Oceanside. Courtesy photo

There are also some new things this year, including the event’s first women’s longboard surf competition and a mentorship program with Moore that will gather girls ages 10-16 to spend a day with the Olympic gold medalist.

This will also be the first year the competition added a surf venue north of the pier in addition to its classic position south of the pier.

The festival also added a second stage where it will host free classes with local and regional instructors in yoga, Zumba, Pilates, self-defense, fitness and general health and wellness. The stage will also host three panel discussions on sustainability, diversity and women in gaming.

Bratman said the festival, which is free to the public, has a little something for everyone, whether it’s a family with young children or adults looking to check out the festival’s beer garden. At the center of everything is the goal of championing women.

“It’s such an inspirational environment,” Bratman said. “We want to build something that attracts all different walks of life to come out and see how badass everybody is.”

Visit www.supergirlsurfpro.com for a full event schedule and more information.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Coast News is a media partner with Supergirl Surf Pro. 

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