The lineup for the 2008 ASP Women’s World Surfing Tour has been finalized. The Tour is made up of the top 10 from the 2007 World Tour, the top 6 finishers on the ASP World Qualifying Series as well as an ASP Wildcard, making for a total of 17 elite competitors.
This season, the much-coveted wildcard has been awarded to Hawaiian Megan Abubo, who placed 11th on the ASP Women’s World Tour in 2007. Since Abubo had already qualified with a top-6 World Qualifying Series seed, this freed up another spot for Julia De La Rosa Toro from Peru.
Aussie Chelsea Hedges, former ASP Women’s World Champion, is expecting her first child so will sit out the 2008 ASP Women’s World Tour season. Taking her place is the 12th highest placing surfer from the 2007 ASP Women’s World Tour, South Africa’s Rosanne Hodge.
“My plan right now is to have 2008 off from the tour, relax and enjoy the experience of being pregnant - it will be nice to have a full year at home!" Hedges said. “I plan to return to the ASP Women’s World Tour in 2009 with 100% support from my sponsor Roxy." Hodge, who narrowly missed officially qualifying for the 2008 ASP Women’s World Tour by one heat, will put her stylish approach to good use in 2008, surfing for the pregnant Hedges.
“I was just really happy and relieved when I found out I would be back this season," Hodge said. “I lost out on officially requalifying by such a small margin in Maui, and I was disappointed in that because in the last event, I finally found my feet and relaxed. I’m so stoked I got a second shot. I’m frothing to travel, surf, compete and get some results. I can’t wait for the first event to start."
Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), reigning ASP Women’s World Champion, will be the marked surfer this season, having claimed her history-making title during her rookie year in ’07. With the influx of new surfers this season and the ever-increasing performance level, the champ forecasts for an exciting year: “I haven't really been thinking too much about this stuff yet, but I do know that every girl on the tour stepped up their performances a great deal last year and I can only see the level going higher again this year," Gilmore said. “Hopefully 2008 will be full of waves that will allow us to do so. The girls to watch will be Silvana Lima, Sofia Mulanovich, Jessi Miley-Dyer and Karina Petroni – a mix of experience and rookies. These girls are going to shine."
The first event on the 2008 ASP Women’s World Tour will be the Roxy Pro Gold Coast at Snapper Rocks from February 23 – March 6, 2008.
2008 ASP Women’s World Tour Lineup: 1. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 2. Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 3. Silvana Lima (BRA) 4. Samantha Cornish (AUS) 5. Layne Beachley (AUS) 6. Amee Donohoe (AUS) 7. Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 8. Rebecca Woods (AUS) 9. Melanie Bartels (HAW) 10. Megan Abubo (HAW) 11. Rosanne Hodge (ZAF) 12. Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 13. Melanie Redman-Carr (AUS) 14. Karina Petroni (USA) 15. Serena Brooke (AUS) 16. Nicola Atherton (AUS) 17. Julia Christian (USA)
ASP Replacements for 2008 1. Claire Bevilacqua (AUS) 2. Laurina McGrath (AUS) 3. Caroline Sarran (FRA)