Roxy Jam Biarritz Qualifiers Kick Off

The Roxy Jam Biarritz will be taking place in Côte des Basques, Biarritz, France, from 11-16th July 2007. Good news for this year is that the organisers have settled on a new competition format which will include several ways for riders to qualify.

The Roxy Jam Biarritz has an incredible line-up: it’s the annual meeting of the world’s top women longboarders: Schuyler McFerran (USA), the first ever ASP Women’s World Longboarding Champion; Kassia Meador (USA), queen of the discipline and noseriding specialist; and Claire Karabatsos (France), third in the first edition of the Roxy Jam in 2006.

The Roxy Jam Biarritz is a real festival of women’s surfing, hosting the ASP Women’s World Longboarding Championship and a multitude of musical and artistic events firmly rooted in the unique boardriding culture. The inaugural edition held in July 2006 in Biarritz, the European capital of surfing was a huge success. The 2007 edition coincides with the 50th anniversary of the sport’s first appearance in Europe, on that famous beach on the “Côte des Basques”, which now proudly plays host to the Roxy Jam Biarritz every year.

Since 2006, the winner of the Roxy Jam Biarritz has been crowned the official ASP Women’s World Longboarding Champion. Following the revelation of the young Californian Schuyler McFerran (USA), who emerged victorious in Biarritz last year at the tender age of 19, the planet’s top noseriding specialists will be descending on the “Côte des Basques” from 11th to 16th July 2007, where they will vie to succeed her as World Champion.

Kassia Meador, undisputed star of the discipline, will be out for revenge, but there will be plenty of challengers and the competition promises to be fierce. Biarritz-born Claire Karabatsos, four-times European Longboarding Champion and third ex æquo in the Roxy Jam Biarritz 2006, will be raring to go. There will also be the Hawaiians, Australians and Japanese, not forgetting the neighbours from the Spanish Basque country, led by Estitxu Estremo.

The event was created following two years of discussions and deliberations between the riders, the ASP and Roxy, designed to find the fairest possible format for the competition. Their efforts were successful, and the Roxy Jam is the first and only world championship to be officially endorsed by the ASP, representing all countries fairly. Since the 2006 edition, there have been official WLC (World Longboard Championship) rankings in which the best 24 girls were selected regarding their results at the 2006 Roxy Jam. 18 girls who qualify via the WLT will therefore complete the Roxy Jam 2006 top 24.

Longboarders wanting to get their name on the board this year will have to take part in at least one stage of the qualifying round, which is made up of four competitions: the Roxy Cardiff in California (USA), Phillip Island in Victoria (Australia), Noosa in Queensland (Australia) and the Kana Miss Cup in Anglet (France), with the four top finishers in each event qualifying for the final in Biarritz. The Japanese and South American Regional Champions will join those 16 qualifiers.

Two surfers will receive wildcards and four will compete for their ticket to the Roxy Jam 2007 via the Trials. The world’s 48 best women longboarders will join the main event based on the WCT (World Championship Tour) format. All four trialists will be in the water, and the top two will advance to the main competition. In the first round, the 48 longboarders will be split into 16 heats of three.

Under the seedings system, the two best riders in the discipline will each meet a trialist and another girl in their heats. Heat winners will qualify automatically for round three, whilst the other two girls will go into a play-off. From the play-offs onward, there will only be two girls in the water, battling it out in a series of one-on-one contests all the way through to the final.

Important info: surfers who sign up for the Roxy Jam 07 must take part, or they will be refused entry the following year (except in special circumstances). All girls must therefore sign up for the competitions they wish to enter with their regional ASP branches. They will then be able to qualify for the World Championships in Biarritz next July. After this first professional tour, ASP will keep the right to adjust the competition format.

The Roxy Jam Biarritz is a giant leap into women’s surfing culture, reflected in a number of free public events organised on the fringe of the competition. Roxy will be unveiling its brand new fragrance. The week will also include concerts, art exhibitions, initiatives and workshops on the issues of ecology and social responsibility, whilst the main theme of the event will be a celebration of 50 years of surfing on the Basque Coast, attended by some high-profile local and international personalities. Among others, KAB and the women artists of “Les Femmes S’en Mêlent” will be there at the Roxy Jam.

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