With a massive influx of new talent and the introduction of new technology, the Association Of Surfing Professionals (ASP) premium tours – the Foster’s ASP Men’s World Tour and the ASP Women’s World Tour – are looking forward to 2007 as being the most exciting in the sport’s history.
With the completion of the final events of the year in Hawaii, the 2007 cast for both tours has now been confirmed with many of both tours’ old guard being replaced by a swag of exciting up-and-coming youngsters.
The new faces on the Foster’s ASP Men’s World Tour will include Jeremy Flores (FRA), Ricky Basnett (ZAF), Roydon Bryson (ZAF), Dayyan Neve (AUS), Josh Kerr (AUS), Ben Dunn (AUS), Gabe Kling (USA), Leonardo Neves (BRA), Kai Otton (AUS) and Rodrigo Dornelles (BRA).
Making a return to surfing’s elite men’s tour after a hiatus will be former world number two Mick Campbell (AUS), plus Neco Padaratz (BRA) and Bernardo Miranda (BRA). On the women’s front, 2007 will see Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) Caroline Sarran (FRA) and Roseanne Hodge (ZAF) make their tour debuts with Melanie Bartels (HAW) and Amee Donohoe (AUS) enjoying a welcome return to the fold.
“We had a big influx in 2006 to both tours," said ASP President and 1978 world champion Wayne “Rabbit" Bartholomew. “And with another influx in 2007, particularly in the mens, we’ve seen almost 50 per cent of the personnel change. It’s going to be really exciting!
Looking at the lineup of talent for both tours Bartholomew was adamant that the new blood will once again drive up the performance standards, as the incomers will be eager to unleash with a barrage of progressive moves.
“For both the guys and the girls, we’ll see people come in who have a good combination of old school power and new school tricks," said Bartholomew. “They are the real deal. Some of the guys and girls are aerial freaks but have a sound grasp of convention so at top level this is going to add plenty of spice.
Not that it wasn’t exciting before but when we head towards the business end of events we’re going to see the bar raised and the older competitors are going to have to dig deep and push themselves to hold off the challenge."
As a result of the performance standards being raised, judges at top tour events are forever facing increasing pressure to be 100 per cent accurate in the delivery of scores and results. For this reason, for the first time ever in the sport, ASP will be introducing instant replays via personal monitors for each individual judge so they can access previous waves and further scrutinise over wave scores.
“As a tool this will be invaluable for judges," said Bartholomew. “Having seen it trialled in Brazil in 2006, it was extremely beneficial in giving judges a means for being 100 per cent accurate in score delivery. It will aid the guys in judging when two competitors are riding or when something is critical – it will also allow judges to check at any time that their scores are in line with the scale.
“It really is amazing technology," Bartholomew continued. “It’s a great step in the evolution of judging… And with the standard of the tours rising at every event, everything is just so critical. The replays will ensure that the judges will not miss a thing."
The 2007 season for both the Foster’s ASP Men’s World Tour and ASP Women’s World Tour will begin on February 28 on Australia’s Gold Coast at the Quiksilver and Roxy Pro.
2007 ASP Women’s World Tour Lineup
- Layne Beachley (AUS)
- Melanie Redman-Carr (AUS)
- Chelsea Georgeson (AUS)
- Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS)
- Sofia Mulanovich (PER)
- Rebecca Woods (AUS)
- Claire Bevilacqua (AUS)
- Silvana Lima (BRA)
- Megan Abubo (HAW)
- Rochelle Ballard (HAW)
- Samantha Cornish (AUS)
- Jacqueline Silva (BRA)
- Stephanie Gilmore (AUS)
- Melanie Bartels (HAW)
- Amee Donohoe (AUS)
- Caroline Sarran (FRA)
- Roseanne Hodge (ZAF)
The Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) is the governing body of professional surfing. Crowning surfing’s undisputed world champions since 1976, the ASP sanctions the following tours: the Foster’s ASP Men’s World Tour, the ASP Women’s World Tour, the World Qualifying Series (WQS) and the World Longboarding, Junior and Masters Championships. The ASP is dedicated to showcasing the world's best surfing talent in a variety of progressive formats and has revolutionized the way the world watches surfing via their webcasts. The organization is divided into seven different regions: Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe, Hawaii, North America, and South America.