Paige Hareb's first event World Surf League event win since 2008 couldn't have come at a better time.
The 27-year-old's return to the Championship Tour (CT) hasn't started as well as she would have hoped. In the first three events of the year, she's found herself eliminated in the second round.
At the first two events on the calendar, she was knocked out by American Lakey Peterson and Australian Stephanie Gilmore, who then went on the win the respective events. Most recently, she was taken out by two-time defending world champion Tyler Wright.
"Losing sucks," Hareb admitted. "But I've been losing to world champions, so I've had a tough draw and a couple of them have been pretty close so that's given me some confidence and there's still along way to go."
That confidence was on show last week when Hareb helped Team World to win the inaugural Founders' Cup event at the WSL Surf Ranch in California. Hareb was on fire throughout the team event and will now get back into the swing of the CT with the winning feeling fresh in her mind.
Hareb will compete at the Oi Rio Pro in Brazil from Friday looking to get her season back on track, and the beach break at Saquarema provides a great opportunity to do just that. Hailing from Taranaki, beach breaks are nothing new to Hareb who would look to use that to her advantage.
The Kiwi will meet Hawaiian Carissa Moore and Brazilian Silvana Lima in the opening round of the competition. Somewhat remarkably, it's the same line-up she faced in her opening heat of the 2014 event in Rio, which was her final year on tour in her first spell at the top.
"It's still a long way to go, lots of competitions for the rest of the year, so hopefully I can pull one out of the bag at some stage."