OCEANSIDE — North County surfer and 2015 and 2016 ISA Women’s Gold medalist Tia Blanco is one to watch in the upcoming Supergirl Pro, which is set to take place at Oceanside Pier from July 28 to July 30.
The Paul Mitchell Neon Supergirl Pro is hailed as the largest all-women surf contest and draws 120 competitors including the world’s best female surfers. The contest marks its sixth year as a World Surf League (WSL) Women’s Qualifying Series event, and has been held for 10 years.
Blanco said she is looking forward to the competition and an opportunity to turn around her slow start this year. She has surfed the Supergirl Pro event since its inception, and considers Oceanside her home turf.
The 20 year old was born in Puerto Rico and raised in San Diego County and South Orange County. In 2006 she moved to Hawaii.
She started competing professionally in 2008, and has always loved the sport. “I started surfing at the age of 3 and starting competition at 13,” Blanco said. “I love surfing because it is a fun way to express myself.”
Blanco moved to Carlsbad in 2010 and has since called North County home.
“It’s refreshing to know that I will be competing in a familiar environment close to my friends and family,” Blanco said. “I haven’t really found my momentum this year. I am hoping with this event I can get a good result and finish the year strong.”
To ready for competition Blanco has been surfing, training at Neutrility, eating clean and practicing yoga.
It’s all about a healthy lifestyle.
Her Facebook page shares that she is vegan and supports several charities including homeless shelters for women and children.
“I try to be as authentic as possible and promote ideas and lifestyles that I wholeheartedly believe in,” Blanco said. “It’s all about helping people and making a difference.”
Other competitors to hit the water this weekend who share the title of the world’s best include three-time WSL Champion Carissa Moore, of Oahu, Hawaii; two-time Championship Tour runner-up Courtney Conlogue, of Santa Ana, California; and last year’s Supergirl Pro winner Coco Ho, of Hawaii.
“Sixteen of the top 20 women surfers in the world are competing so there are many stars of the sport attending,” Rick Bratman, CEO of ASA Entertainment, said.
In addition to providing an opportunity for surfers to gain qualifying points, the contest gives everyone competing the experience of surfing against world champions.
Surfing alongside the best fuels Blanco. “I love watching all the women surfing to their full potential and pushing one another to surf better,” Blanco said.
Conditions over the three-day competition are expected to be good.
“I think we will be fortunate enough to surf in some fun hurricane swell,” Blanco said.
Blanco’s first heat is Round 72, which is set to run from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. July 28.
All Saturday and Sunday heats promise to provide great match-ups.
“Since 44 of the top 50 ranked surfers are competing, virtually every heat on Saturday and Sunday features an incredible match-up,” Bratman said.
“The true can’t-miss heats are the quarterfinals, semifinals and finals on Sunday from 12 p.m. to 3:15 p.m.”
Blanco will also have two signing sessions with fans during the weekend at the Supergirl Pro Festival Village. For exact times see her Instagram account @tiablanco.
Additionally, the Festival Village features 20 live concerts, an all-female DJ competition, a women’s skateboarding competition, the Supergirl Gamer Pro esports tournament, hair styling by Paul Mitchell, a food court, a beverage garden and more than 50 vendor booths.