Ed Sloane/Rip Curl
Will Alana Blanchard Throw A Crowbar Into The Women's Title Race, Again?
The young mom is still ripping and received the wildcard into the MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal.
Alana Blanchard just got a wildcard into the MEO Rip Curl Pro Portugal, which gets underway later this week. If you haven't looked at the forecast yet, please do, it looks like things may get a bit hectic.
As a wildcard last year, Alana ended Lakey Peterson’s title run at Honolua Bay. This year she’s drawn Carissa Moore and Silvana Lima in the opening round at Peniche, and could potentially play the role of title spoiler yet again.
That said, her competitive fury this season hasn’t been that furious. In the five QS contests she’s surfed in this year the best she’s done is a 25th place at the Nissan Super Girl Pro.
But the 29-year-old from Kauai has one advantage at Supertubos that most other women on the CT don’t, she’s actually competed at Supertubos before. The first time the women competed at the location was in 2009 when Alana was new to the tour. By 2011 the contest was off the ladies’ schedule, meaning most of the current crop of competitors haven’t surfed a heat there. Except, of course, Carissa, who finished runner-up there in 2010.
“We actually ran at the other site over at Baleal in 2009 and that was super fun, we got really good waves,” recalled Alana in a press statement released by Rip Curl. “I remember back then thinking what a hectic wave it was, so gnarly. I think a lot of the guys that year got hurt. I was only 18 at the time though, so things are definitely different now. I surfed it the other day when it was pretty big and I started thinking how sick it was, it’s almost like a Pipeline on the beach.”
Coming off of a back injury she suffered back in February, Alana is hoping that a result in Portugal will be a catalyst for a resurgence in her competitive career. She’s already anticipating doing more QS events next year.
“Honestly when I was doing the Tour I was so young, and I feel so much more mentally stable now. I feel more aware of things that I wasn’t then, and some things bothered me then that don’t now,” Alana said.
Funny thing about getting married and having a kid, it teaches ya not to sweat the small stuff. And like the fully modern power couple that they are, Hubby Jack Freestone and baby Banks will be with her in Portugal.
Not even 30 yet, hopefully Alana’s stint in Portugal serves her well and helps her gain the momentum she’s looking for…but there’s no way she beats Carissa in Round 1…or is there.