It's still early in the 2011 ASP surfing season, but Courtney Conlogue has taken little time to prove that she belongs competing among the best female surfers in the world.
Just two events into the season, Conlogue has an equal-ninth finish in her first ever World Tour event and a win at a 6-Star contest in Western Australia. And these are still early days. The 18-year-old has quite a way to go in her rookie season as a professional surfer.
Though young, Conlogue is strong and seasoned, having competed for years.
"The next month is so busy for me," Conlogue said after her win. "I head to Bells Beach straight away then onto New Zealand, Sydney and Brazil and I'm confident right now but really the next event I start from ground zero with Stephanie Gilmore and all the world's best there. I've never surfed Bells before, so I'm heading there straight away to work it out."
In the final at the 6-Star Telstra Drug Aware Pro at Margaret River, Conlogue surfed against another young Californian, Sage Erickson. Though the waves had dropped off from the size that was rolling through all week, Conlogue was able to find a few strong scoring rides and held off her Ojai-born competitor. She received a massive check for $15,000 for her win.
Conlogue (center) was all smiles after her win at Margaret River over Erickson.
Conlogue has spent quite a bit of time in Australia, arriving well before the first event in March, the Roxy Pro, which ran at Snapper Rocks on the Gold Coast. Conlogue had never surfed Snapper Rocks before, but managed an equal-ninth finish, losing in the fourth round to eventual event winner, the Hawaiian prodigy, Carissa Moore.
Throughout the Roxy Pro, the announcers on the webcast were constantly pointing out Conlogue's superior fitness levels, as she ran up the point after waves or out-paddled competitors.
Conglogue returned home to California for a short stint between contests, but now, as she said, will head to Bells Beach, in southern Australia, for the Rip Curl Women's Pro, the second stop on the World Tour.