Vans Triple Crown of Surfing now includes Roxy Pro and Billabong Pro Maui for Women's leg
When the women's ASP professional surfing tour touches down in Hawaii this November for the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing Series, it will be for the final stage of the battle of pro surfing's leadership. For much of the past decade, Australian Layne Beachley, 35, has ruled supreme, securing seven world titles (1998-2003, 2006), two Vans Triple Crown Series titles (1997, 1998), and five Roxy Pro titles (1996, '97, '99, 2000, '04).
Her penchant for Hawaii's big waves has provided more than a few brilliant conclusions to the tour. But this year, Beachley's reign has been battered by a crew of rapidly rising young rippers who aren't afraid to take on a seasoned pro or solid surf.
Midway through the ASP World Championship Tour (WCT) schedule at this time, Beachley is sitting at equal sixth on the on the WCT Top 17 rankings. Leading the field is 19-year-old ASP rookie Stephanie Gilmore (Australia - 4,308 ratings points), followed by Brazilian Silvana Lima (4,226 points).
These two women share just three years of WCT experience betewen them. Former world champion Sofia Mulanovich (Peru - 3,811 points) is in third, and Samantha Cornish (Australia - 3,504 points) is fourth. Beachley has 2,882 points.
The Vans Triple Crown of Surfing for women will feature a critical 6-star World Qualifying Series (WQS) event: the Reef Hawaiian Pro, as well as the final two elite World Championship Tour (WCT) events of the year: the Roxy Pro, and the Billabong Pro Maui.
The Reef Hawaiian Pro, from November 12-24, 2007 at Haleiwa's historic Ali'i Beach is a 6-star, $30,000 WQS event, boasting the highest rating of any WQS competition in the world, and as such will have a major impact on determining which new surfing stars will earn a berth on the coveted World Championship Tour in 2008.
The $80,000 Roxy Pro, from November 25 to December 6, 2007 at Sunset Beach, and the $80,000 Billabong Pro Maui, from December 8-20 at Honolua Bay, will be the final deciders of this year's ASP World Title and prestigious Vans Triple Crown of Surfing title.
The Roxy Pro will also feature a trials heat of Hawaii's youngest pro surfing talent, with the top-performing trialist to earn a wildcard into the main event to compete against the world's best. With the world title on the line, wildcards frequently do the most damage in that they typically draw the top seed - most likely the current ratings leader.
Roxy has also teamed with Schick Quattro for Women to offer an additional $3,000 Style Award. In all, the world's top women surfers will be competing for $183,000 in prize money, as well as a Special Edition 2008 Chevy Colorado truck valued at $25,000.