Association of Surfing
Professionals (ASP) www.aspworldtour.com
Roxy Pro presented by Boost Mobile (2-14 March)
Silva Wins Event
Thursday, March 11, 2004
(Gold Coast, QLD, Australia) Brazilian Jacqueline
Silva today defeated Hawaiian Rochelle Ballard
to win the Roxy Pro presented by Boost Mobile.
The result signifies the first international
champion of the event's six-year history and
catapults Silva to the front of the Association
of Surfing Professionals (ASP) World Championship
Tour (WCT) ratings.
Pods of dolphins surfed
alongside the world's best in clean 3ft (1m)
waves at Rainbow Bay. A huge storm earlier in
the week altered the normally perfect sand formation
at the famous "Superbank" and many
competitors struggled for positioning in the
Silva though, a former
Roxy Pro runner-up (2002), was unstoppable.
Consistently picking the best waves throughout
the 30-minute decider and surfing smoothly and
confidently to out-point Ballard. Silva's opening
ride of 8.67 included two powerful forehand
re-entries and was the final's highest. She
later backed it up for an eventual combined
two-wave heat score of 14.94.
"I am so happy!"
beamed Silva post final. "I've been trying
to keep my focus all day and wait for the good
sets. I came third last year and second the
year before, so to win is perfect. I feel like
my preparation has been good, lots of training,
surfing, going to the gym, running on the beach
- I just made sure I did the best surfing I
could. I don't have point breaks like this at
home, only beach breaks. I love this type of
Silva's coach of 15 years,
Bira Schauffert, was on hand to watch every
heat and offer advice. Together they hope Silva
will become Brazil's first surfing world champion.
"He gave me my first
surfboard 15 years ago and we have such a good
relationship," explained Silva. "He's
like my brother. Always giving me moral support
and encouragement before and after my heats.
In Brazil we have really good surfers but few
have sponsors to help them get on tour. I'm
one of the lucky ones though. I'll be trying
hard the rest of the year to win the world title.
I want to be Brazil's first world champion."
Ballard survived two
tough heats this morning. Defeating six time
world champion and defending event champion
Layne Beachley (Manly, Aus) in her quarter-final,
and highly favored local and world #4 Chelsea
Georgeson (Gold Coast, Aus) in the semis. In
the final however, the best waves eluded her.
"I felt really confident
going into the final," said Ballard. "It
was always going to come down to the surfer
who had the best waves and I actually had the
wave, but I kind of out-positioned myself. I
was a little far out and it gave Jacqueline
the edge to get into it. I had priority and
she ended up getting the wave that won her the
contest. I'm happy though. Mentally and physically
I feel good."
The final was Ballard's
first since Tahiti in June of 2003, where she
finished second to Keala Kennelly (Kauai, Haw).
Her last WCT win was in the USA in 1999.
Melanie Redman-Carr (Dunsborough,
West Aus) finished third to Silva, scoring the
day's single best wave score of 9.5 in her quarterfinal.
Despite the loss, the result is Redman's best
placing on the Gold Coast.
"My quarter was
great but the semis seemed like the complete
opposite," said Redman. "I felt more
confident against Jacqueline but she just seemed
to be in the best position every time. I was
either sitting too wide or too deep. I just
couldn't make it work, but I've got to be happy."
Also finishing third
today was world #4 Chelsea Georgeson. In her
semi-final clash against Ballard, Georgeson
was forced to wait an agonizing nine minutes
for a measly 2.33. Despite obvious disappointment,
she has secured a great position for another
strong world title campaign in 2004.
"I had no option
but to wait," reasoned Georgeson. "I
knew she only had two low scores and I needed
a 2.33, so I was trying to be patient, but far
out, I don't what happened? I would really have
liked to make the final. It's annoying to get
so close, but Rochelle's a great competitor.
She's got all the moves. You can never underestimate
Six-time world champ
and defending Roxy Pro winner Layne Beachley
(Manly, Aus) was a shock elimination in this
morning's quarter-final versus Ballard.
At the pre-event press
conference she hinted at "taking it a bit
easier" in 2004, yet was clearly disappointed
with her loss today.
"My wave selection
and lack of game-plan let me down," explained
"I panicked and
was not as prepared for that heat as what I
like to be. Obviously I'm bitterly disappointed,
but as Kirk (Pengilly - Beachley's boyfriend
and INXS guitar player) told me, I can't win
everything. It's the only event in Australia
and I always like to win here. It's also the
first event of the year, but there's nobody
to blame but myself really. If anything I was
more anxious and nervous than usual."
Beachley's next event
will be the men's World Qualifying Series (WQS)
event at Newcastle in two weeks time, where
she will compete as a wildcard against six-time
world champion Kelly Slater. Tonight she will
attend an awards ceremony in Sydney as a nominee
for Australian Athlete of the Year.
Keala Kennelly (Kauai,
Haw) won AUD$5,000 in the Torquay Mineral Water
"Torquay Time Tunnel" for the longest
tube ride of the event. In round one Kennelly
paddled late for a wave, free fell on her backhand
and "backdoored" a cascading section.
She emerged 4.5 seconds later to hoots from
"I was sure I wasn't
going to come out because it closed down in
front of me," explained Kennelly. "I
couldn't even see and I almost fell off my board.
But I made it out and I was so astonished I
fell off on my next maneuver!"
The next event on the
2004 women's ASP WCT tour is The Roxy Pro, Fiji.
Home of two of the world's most exciting and
challenging left-hand reef breaks - "Tavarua"
Pro presented by Boost Mobile Final Results
1st - Jacqueline Silva (Brz) 14.94 - US$10,000
2nd- Rochelle Ballard (Haw) 11.9 - US$6,000
SF1: Rochelle Ballard (Haw) 8.5 def. Chelsea
Georgeson (Aus) 8.4
SF2: Jacqueline Silva (Brz) 16.27 def. Melanie
Redman-Carr (Aus) 8.6
(1st>Semifinals; 2nd=5th receives US$3000)
QF1: Chelsea Georgeson (Aus) 14.0 def. Samantha
Cornish (Aus) 10.5
QF2: Rochelle Ballard (Haw) 10.16 def. Layne
Beachley (Aus) 9.46
QF3: Jacqueline Silva (Brz) 12.67 def. Laurina
McGrath (Aus) 11.1
QF4: Melanie Redman-Carr (Aus) 14.83 def. Maria
Tavares (Brz) 11.43
Ratings after The Roxy Pro presented by Boost
Mobile, WCT #1/9
1. Jacqueline Silva (Brz) 1200-points
2. Rochelle Ballard (Haw) - 972
=3. Chelsea Georgeson (Aus); Melanie Redman-Carr
(Aus) - 756
=5. Layne Beachley (Aus); Samantha Cornish (Aus);
Maria Tavares (Brz); Laurina McGrath (Aus) -
Live vision, webcast,
results, scores, photos and updates are available