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Roxy Pro presented by Boost Mobile - Perfect Waves Forecasted


Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) www.aspworldtour.com
Roxy Pro presented by Boost Mobile (2-14 March) www.roxypro.com

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 house."

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 on: www.roxy.com

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