Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) www.aspworldtour.com
Roxy Pro presented by Boost Mobile (2-14 March)
Perfect Waves Forecasted
Monday, March 1, 2004
(Gold Coast, QLD Australia) The first event
of the Association of Surfing Professionals
(ASP) 2004 women's World Championship Tour (WCT),
the Roxy Pro presented by Boost Mobile, looks
set to commence in awesome waves when its official
12 day waiting period begins tomorrow.
The event boasts a huge
US$62,500 prize purse and the world's top 17
rated women, plus one wildcard, will battle
it out for a first place check of US$10,000
and a crucial 2004 ratings lead. The event will
be based at the world famous point break, Snapper
Rocks, but is fully mobile.
Six-time ASP world champion
Layne Beachley (Manly, Aus) enters the event
as defending champion and will face tough opposition
from the likes of last year's runner-up and
local Trudy Todd (Coolangatta, QLD), 2003 world
number two Keala Kennelly (Kauai, Haw), highly-touted
world number four Chelsea Georgeson (Gold Coast,
Aus) and former four-time world champion and
arch rival, wildcard Lisa Andersen (Fl, USA).
During the official press
conference held today, waves described as "absolutely
perfect" peeled the length of the Snapper
Rocks point and free-surfers jostled for tube
rides of up to 10 seconds in length. Needless
to say, with the weather forecast for the upcoming
week predicted to hold, the vibe among the female
competitors is "electric".
"It looks like it's
going to be an exciting start to the year,"
explained Beachley, who is gunning for an incredible
seventh consecutive world title and her second
consecutive Roxy Pro win.
"A good result here
at the start of the year is most important because
it can really set the precedent for the rest
of the season. We've had very little surf, if
any, lately so I've just spending time with
my family and resting up for what I'm sure is
going to be an incredible year. I'm going to
be a little bit easier on myself this year though,
take it heat by heat and enjoy it."
Former four-time world
champion Lisa Andersen has been granted the
wildcard into the Roxy Pro presented by Boost
Mobile and is set to face Beachley, along with
1993 world champion Pauline Menczer in round
one. Beachley and Andersen are regarded as archrivals
on the women's tour and last year faced each
other in similar circumstances with Beachley
getting the upper hand.
"I still taste that
loss from last year and definitely want to improve
on that," said Andersen, who has been in
semi-retirement the past few seasons.
"I've been waiting
a whole year to pull on the contest singlet
again. I've been here (in Australia) for two-and-a-half
months, training, seeing all the young girls
surf and it's super motivating. The best place
to be in the world is here right now and the
talent level is amazing. I wouldn't give that
up for anything."
Last year's runner-up
and Gold Coast local Trudy Todd will also face
a tough first round battle against Sophia Mulanovich
(Peru) and Megan Abubo (Haw).
With the right-hand waves
as perfect as they are and all three natural
footers (left foot forward) accomplished tube
riders, the match up should prove to be extremely
tight. Todd, who has just spent the previous
month confined to the set of the Australian
reality TV show "The Hot House", where
a dozen couples build one house which they each
eventually hope to win, says she is hungrier
than ever, especially on home turf.
"When I went into
the show I was promised I could surf in the
Roxy Pro," explained Todd. "But I
was confined in the house being told what to
do every day. So the only way I could get out
was to break the rules, so I escaped. (Todd
decided to paddle one of her surfboards across
the Bribie Island waterways where the house
was being built north of the Gold Coast). It
was a good experience, definitely a great exercise
mentally, but I'm so stoked to get out of the
World number four Chelsea
Georgeson is also regarded as huge threat in
the event, with many peers, including Beachley
considering her asone of the main threats to
this year's world title. After being in the
running right to the final event of the 2003
season, Georgeson knows a good start in 2004
is crucial to a successful campaign.
"I actually moved
here in July of last year and living up here
is a lot more motivating. The surf hasn't been
good until now so I've been using the time to
train and work on my equipment."
The waves are expected
to remain in the three-to-four foot range (1-1.5m)
over the coming days with favorable southerly
winds predicted for the Gold Coast points.
All competitors will
be vying for an added incentive with Torquay
Natural Mineral Water offering an additional
AUD$5,000 prize purse for the "Torquay
Time Tunnel" - for the longest recorded
tube ride during the event. If today's conditions
are anything to go by, it's going to be a tough
job for timekeepers.
Organizers will make
a decision on the event's location early each
morning based on conditions, with preference
given to the prime venue of Snapper Rocks.
Roxy Pro presented by
Boost Mobile - Round One (1st, 2nd >Rnd 3,
3rd > Rnd 2)
H1. Samantha Cornish (Aus), Lynette Mackenzie
(Aus), Prue Jeffries (Aus)
H2. Chelsea Georgeson (Aus), Rochelle Ballard
(Haw), Melanie Bartels (Haw)
H3. Layne Beachley (Aus), Pauline Menczer (Aus),
Lisa Andersen (USA)
H4. Keala Kennelly (Haw), Melanie Redman-Carr
(Aus), Laurina McGrath (Aus)
H5. Heather Clark (SAfr), Jacqueline Silva (Brz),
Maria Tita Tavares (Brz)
H6. Trudy Todd (Aus), Sofia Mulanovich (Peru),
Megan Abubo (Haw)
Live vision, webcast,
results, scores, photos and updates are available