No. 1, CARISSA MOORE:
You've been on a tear this year, and are still holding down the No. 1 spot, even after you finished 9th in Fiji. How’re you feeling after that result?
I did worse than I did last year in Fiji, but I actually walked away happier this time around because I learned so much about the break. There were a couple days that were bigger, before the event started, and I felt like I stepped up and got some really fun waves. So performance-wise I feel a lot happier with how I did this year. I feel like I left with a lot more positive outlook heading into the last half of the year.
What’ve you been up to since then?
I went to California and watched my sister Cayla compete in the NSSA High School Nationals, which she won again. We just hung out at Trestles and Huntington for a few days and then went to the Hurley headquarters. Other than that, I've just been relaxing with my family at home, surfing and getting back into training.
So halfway through 2015, with five events behind you and five events to go, how are you feeling?
I'm super stoked. I've had a really good start to my year. I learned a lot about how to approach the second half of the season after last year. I think I really took myself out of the title race after Fiji last year, I lost of a lot of confidence there. But this year I just want to keep surfing hard and not hold back. If the world title happens because of that, then that's awesome, but I also don't want to put pressure on myself. Of course another world title would be amazing, but I just want to keeping surfing and having a good time.
How do you feel about Courtney right behind you in the ratings?
When it comes to the world title, everyone is going to be close. All the girls are surfing so well. So no matter what position you're in—first, second, third, fourth—there's always going to be that pressure of another other girl right behind you. Courtney is surfing really well. I think she came back strong from her injury and has a really great outlook. She's definitely keeping me on my toes and I know I have to work hard if I want to win this year. There are so many girls on Tour that can win a world title, so I'm looking forward to seeing how this season plays out.
No. 2, COURTNEY CONLOGUE:
What have you been up to since Fiji? We saw you charging at Nias during the recent swell.
My last heat in Fiji didn't go how I wanted it to, but that happens. After the event, the surf started pumping so I decided to stay and get some amazing barrels with the guys. After that, I went to Nias with Billabong and SurfAid, going to the villages with Dave Rastovich and helping out the local community. When I saw that swell coming I changed my flight to stay longer. It was my first time there and I couldn't believe it happened to be during one of the best swells of the year. I scored some amazing waves.
You're in the title race this year, just a few points away from that No. 1 spot.
Yeah, it's exciting! This is part of the fun. It's the part of the marathon where you need to keep the endurance going, keep trusting in the process, hope that you catch those two waves in those thirty minutes, and pray that you perform as well as you can. I'm just trying to maintain where I've been throughout this season, learn from my mistakes, and then utilize them to help me maximize the opportunity. I think everyone on Tour dreams of getting a world title, it's been my dream since I was a grom.
Which upcoming events are you most looking forward to?
I'd say Honolua Bay because it's one of my favorite waves on the planet. I just love that location. The U.S. Open and Trestles are in my backyard and it’s great being home for a full month. And then there's Europe, shoot, I love going to Europe. The entire last leg is exciting.
No. 3, SALLY FITZGIBBONS
Congrats on your win in Fiji! You charged. How’s the ear healing?
I’ll always look back on that event to draw confidence when I need it and know I can overcome a lot when my back’s against the wall. Such a huge milestone event for my career. But as for my ear, I’ve done a lot more damage than we first thought. Half of my eardrum is completely torn open and it will take months to heal. If it stops repairing, then surgery is a possibility—which means I’d have to take time out of the water and maybe miss some events. For the remainder of the season I’ll have to continually strap it up and be super meticulous about keeping everything watertight, but I’m in a great mindset and I know I can push through this to enjoy the rest of the year.
Have you been able to get in the water since Fiji?
It’s been a gradual process getting back in the water after Fiji, and finding the best method to allow me to surf and prepare for the U.S. Open. Luckily, there are plenty of ways to train on land. Travel has been limited due to the pressure on my ear, so I’ve been working with some new partners and sponsors and also started on my charity foundation working with childhood obesity issues. So plenty to keep me busy.
With Carissa and Courtney leading the ratings, do you still have your sights set on the title this year?
In the first four events, I bowed out earlier than I wanted to. And now, I have this perforated ear to tend to for the remainder of the year. But that’s life on Tour. As I mature through my career I learn to deal with these ups and downs a lot better. Even though two of my competitors have bolted to a good lead, I know it’s a long year and I can slowly regain the points I need. Every year I have to keep my eyes on the top spot and charge for it. It makes what we do super exciting and pushes me to continually elevate my performance level.