Courtney Conlogue continues to make things interesting in the race for the title of world's best women's surfer.
Conlogue, 19, a Santa Ana native who went to Sage Hill School in Newport Coast, is in fourth place in the Assn. of Surfing Professionals World Tour standings through five events, with two to go.
She trails Australian powerhouses Stephanie Gilmore and Sally Fitzgibbons, as well as last year's World Tour champion, Hawaiian Carissa Moore. But Conlogue jumped into the fray when she won the Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic in Australia last month, and more recently placed fifth in the Billabong Rio Pro last week in Brazil.
And though there are just two events left, Conlogue will have home surf advantage in the final event of the season during the first week in August at the U.S. Open of Surfing in Huntington, a contest she won three years ago as a 16-year-old.
Conlogue, though, isn't sneaking up on anybody. Right now she's doing the best among the California girls on the tour, ranked ahead of Santa Barbara's Lakey Peterson and Ventura's Sage Erickson. And she was featured recently in Surfing Magazine in which she shared some out-of-the-water details about her life.
One of the topics involved her computer habits:
"Would Instagram count? When I'm home, that is by far the most entertaining. Checking out everyone's little artistic eye and having a bit of fun on my own to entertain myself. YouTube is so much fun, as well. Watching funny videos and catching up on the latest America's Got Talent if I missed out on it the week before. The funny thing about the Internet is you are only meaning to check your email or Surfline to see what the waves are doing, but the next thing you know you are on Facebook, YouTube or watching the heats on demand from the previous World Tour event and two hours have slipped by."
Welcome to the club, Courtney.
Some of the world's best surfers will be in town in a few months for the U.S. Open of Surfing, but we don't have to wait that long to check out some of surfing's future stars.
The National Scholastic Surfing Assn. West Coast Regional Championships will be held on the south side of the Huntington Beach Pier, starting Thursday and running through Sunday. There will be plenty of the area's best young surfers there, and if they are anything like those who have come before them, big things lie ahead.
Many West Coast Champions have gone on to qualify for the Assn. of Surfing Professionals World Tour, such as Bobby Martinez, Dane Reynolds, Nathaniel Curran, Patrick Gudauskas, Tanner Gudauskas, Brett Simpson, Kolohe Andino, Conlogue, Erickson and Peterson.
This weekend, Trevor Thornton of San Clemente will try to defend his Open Men's title from last year, and Shelby Detmer of Newport Beach will try to go back-to-back titles in the Open Women's division.
San Clemente's Griffin Colapinto, just 12 years old, won the Open Juniors last year and this year has a target on his back — he's the No. 1 seed in the Open Juniors.
The NSSA National Scholastic Championships are next up, taking place at Salt Creek and the H.B. Pier on June 16-18.
Andrew Doheny was not able to defend his VQS Volcom Championships last weekend at 54th Street in Newport — dubbed "VolcoMania" for its pro wrestling theme this year — but another Newport surfer at least made a run at it.
Chase Wilson reached the final heat in the pro-am division and finished in fourth place with a score of 11.54, behind champion Alex Smith (12.84) and Oliver Kurtz (11.73) and ahead of fourth-place finisher Cory Arrambide (10.30).
The winners in other divisions included Yago Dora (Juniors), Griffin Colapinto (Groms), Demi Boelsterli (girls), Cole Houshmand (Squids) and Daniel Shea (Air).
The men's Billabong Rio Pro — the third event in the 10-event ASP Men's World Tour — is underway in Brazil, and H.B.'s Brett Simpson got off to a good start, advancing to Round 3. But there he was edged out by Michel Bourez of Tahiti, 8.70 to 8.53 and was eliminated.
Through the first two ASP World Tour events, Kelly Slater holds the lead in the points standings, while Simpson is the top local surfer, tied for 13th place.
JOE HAAKENSON is an Orange County-based sports writer and editor. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.