18-Year-Old Alana Blanchard, Knocking on the Door to the WCT
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 24 July, 2008 : - - At 18 years of age, Alana Blanchard is a surf industry sponsors dream: a fearless competitor with model good looks. As a rookie on the ASP Womens World Qualifying Series (WQS), Alana is currently ranked #5 and making a serious charge at her dream of qualifying for the World Championship Tour.
The young ripper, born and raised in Hanalei, Kauai, had a stellar year in 07, winning the Womens Pipeline Championships, the Rip Curl Girls Festival Jr. Pro event in Spain, the Roxy Pro Trials in Haleiwa, as well as the Billabong Pro Pre-Trials event at Hookipa, Maui. Alana capped off an illustrious amateur career in 2007 making the finals and taking 4th at NSSA Nationals at Lower Trestles. Now shes surfing for precious points and cash.
A third place finish at this years 6-Star Midori Pro in Newcastle, Australia, along with a solid result at the Vans Pier Classic in HB and consistent showings throughout the first half of the WQS schedule have landed Alana at #5 within striking distance of the WCT. The top six women from the WQS will make that leap to center stage in womens pro surfing.
We caught up to Alana for a quick interview after an uncharacteristic performance at the Honda U.S. Open in Huntington Beach. She was seeded in the round of 48, but got knocked out in her first heat. While this may drop her from her current ranking, Alana is staying positive. I still have the two 6-stars in Portugal and Haleiwa, so hopefully Ill do better in those.
This is your first full season on the QS, are you enjoying the travel or is it getting to be a grind?
ALANA: At first it was a little tough, but now that Im getting used to it
its fun. I like it, but I do miss home a lot. Sometimes Im away for a month at a time.
Whats your plan for the remainder of the schedule?
ALANA: From here Ill go do the 6-Star in Portugal. If I do good, then I might not have to go to Brazil. But if I do bad in Portugal, Ill have to go to Brazil in October for the two 4-star events down there that are back to back.
How does it feel to be sitting in the #5 spot mid-way through the WQS schedule?
ALANA: Its pretty exciting
but its also pretty stressful. I need to focus on trying to make finals or semis
make the CT
thats all Im thinking about.
How would your life change if you qualify for the CT?
ALANA: Thats my main goal right now, so Id just be so happy to get there. Then I could just focus on staying on the CT and trying to win a title.
Which of boards have been working best for you this season?
ALANA: I just got some new ones from Steve Boysen and theyve been working really good. I really like the 5-9 squash tails. He made them a little wider and pinched in the rails a bit; theyre working super good even in small waves.
Have you ordered boards for this winter on the North Shore?
ALANA: Not yet, but I think were going to start working on those pretty soon. Ill probably get some 6-6s and a maybe some 7-2s for Sunset.
If you do qualify for the CT, how are you going to celebrate?
like by being home with my friends and family. I dont know, I havent really thought about that yet.
Alanas surfing is supported by Rip Curl, Sanuk, SB Surfboards, LifeFitness, Spy, Vertra sun protection, LifeFitness, Future Fins and Hanalei Surf Shop. Keep tabs on Alana as she chases her WCT dream and follow the progress of fellow SB surfboards riders
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