After landing in the dreaded fourth place in Olympic surfing last month, Caroline Marks
carved out the top spot the 15th annual Nissan Super Girl Surf Pro Sunday in Oceanside.
Behind with 11 minutes left in the final, Marks performed a maneuver and edged Oceanside’s Caitlin Simmers 14.83 points to 14.27 at the world-class competition adjacent to the Oceanside Pier.
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“I did the air reverse for the win, which was really special,” Marks said. “It’s something I’ve been working on, and I’m really stoked to pull it off.”
She said her goal was to push the progression of women’s surfing, “and everyone’s been surfing so good,” she said. “It feels really great to come out on top and finally get the Super Girl cape.”
Marks took second and third here in past years.
Marks, 19, surfed four times Sunday with improving scores throughout the day: 13.34 in the fourth round, 14.20 in the quarterfinals, 14.76 in the semifinal and 14.83 in the final.
Surf was poor in the late morning and afternoon with 2-3 ft. waves. Throughout the later rounds, competitors sat on boards for some time, waiting for a suitable wave.
Another Olympian, Tatiana Weston-Webb, was eliminated in the fourth round when Encinitas surfer Alyssa Spencer earned 15 points. Spencer won her heat in the quarterfinals with 11 points, but was beaten by Marks in the semifinals.
Olympic gold medalist and defending champion Carissa Moore of Honolulu was entered but didn’t take part in the three-day competition. Moore won her fifth world title, beating Australia’s Weston-Webb at the Rip Curl World Surf League Finals on Tuesday at Lower Trestles a few miles up the coast.
Eighty-eight competitors began the first round Friday.
Some of the biggest names in girl’s surfing competed, including Bethany Hamilton, Lakey Peterson, Coco Ho, Sage Erickson, Tia Blanco, Brianna Cope and former local champ Samantha Sibley.
Concerts, esports tournaments, a beer garden and fitness and self-defense sessions were offered in the adjacent Festival Village throughout the weekend.
The Nissan Super Girl Surf Pro not only serves as the first major all-women’s surf event on the heels of the 2021 Olympics, where surfing debuted as an Olympic sport this summer, it also plays a role for surfers looking to solidify their position on the 2022 WSL Women’s World Championship Tour (WCT).
Established in 2007 as a showcase for women in action sports, the Super Girl Pro Series was developed as a celebration of female strength and empowerment.