A brand new event on the World Surf League Championship Tour might just be what Paige Hareb needs to jump start her campaign.
The tour travels to Bali this weekend for the Corona Bali Protected Women's Pro, where Hareb will be looking to see the third round for the first time this season.
Through the opening four events on the calendar, the Championship Tour (CT) has stopped at familiar location. However, with the event in Bali being a new stop on the tour, replacing Fiji's Cloudbreak, there will be less familiarity with the wave among the seasoned competitors, which could work in the Kiwi's favour.
The competitors will descend on Keramas from Sunday, with both the men and women's tours holding events.
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It's been a rough start in her return to the biggest stage in surfing this year. As the lowest qualifying surfer, Hareb began the year with the lowest seed, outside of wildcards and injury replacements. As a result, she's landed some tough match ups in elimination rounds. The Kiwi athlete was knocked out by Lakey Peterson at Snapper rocks and Stephanie Gilmore at Bells Beach. Both surfers went on to win the events.
While Hareb's surfing has been strong throughout the season, she hasn't quite been able to come away with the results to show for it. Most recently, poor positioning in the line up during her elimination heat at the Oi Rio Pro was Hareb's downfall as tour rookie Caroline Marks dispatched her.
Hareb will open her account against two surfers currently ranking in the top 10 – second-ranked Peterson (USA) and No.9 Keely Andrew (Australia).
After the event at Keramas, which has until June 9 to be completed, the World Tour will move to Uluwatu to finish the Margaret River Pro after the Western Australian event was called off earlier in the year due to shark activity.
Hareb is already out of that, so will head straight to Mexico for the next big event on the qualifying series (QS), held in San Jose del Cabo from June 14-17 (NZT).
The QS could prove to be an important part of Hareb's year. Should she end the year in the top six on the QS, it will provide her a lifeline should she fail to secure a top-10 finish at the end of the CT season.