What: Billabong Pro Maui – Event No. 8 and the final stop on the ASP (Association of Surfing Professionals) Women’s World Tour
Where: Honolua Bay, Maui, Hawaii
When: December 8 – December 21, 2006
Australian Layne Beachley, who has been on the pro surfing tour for 18 years, has won an unprecedented 7th world surfing title at the Billabong Pro in Hawaii.
The 34-year-old Australian was handed the crown after lone remaining contender 2005 world champion Chelsea Georgeson (Australia) was ousted by compatriot Claire Bevilacqua in the 1/4 finals.
Layne Beachley established herself once more as the greatest female surfer of all time. She holds the record for the most consecutive surfing world championships, male or female. She was world No. 1 for six successive years from 1998 to 2003. Only Kelly Slater (USA) has won more world titles having won his eighth ASP crown this year. Slater’s five consecutive titles came from 1994-1998.
Another Australian surfer, rookie Jessi Miley-Dyer (Sydney) won the 2006 Billabong Pro Mau after defeating Layne Beachley in the Semis and Hawaiian Keala Kennelly in the final.
Miley-Dyer attacked the tubing Right-Hander with speed and precision, locking in a 6.25 early in the exchange before shooting to the lead with the final’s highest score, an 8.00. Kennelly tried valiantly to retake the lead, pulling into three huge close out barrel rides, searching for a 7.51 score.
The runner-up result saw Billabong ‘s Keala Kennelly requalify for next years world tour but the 27 year-old Hawaiian has opted to take a leave of absence to star in a new Hollywood TV surf show on HBO.
Peruvian Sofia Mulanovich (2004 World Champion) won the prestigious Van’s Hawaiian Triple Crown of Surfing, awarded to the surfer scoring the highest combined score at the three events held in Hawaii (Sunset Beach, Haleiwa and Honolua Bay). Despite being defeated by Keala Kennelly in the quarterfinals, she scored enough points to take the Triple Crown back to Peru.