On November 24, 2006, Roxy will bring women’s professional surfing back to the renowned big-wave venue of Sunset Beach, Oahu, Hawaii, with the relocation of the $67,500 Roxy Pro Hawaii.
For the past five years, the event has been staged at Haleiwa’s Ali’i Beach Park, but this year returns to its Sunset Beach roots with the complete holding dates of November 24th until December 6. Competition will take place on the best three days of waves. Along with world class surfing action, the Roxy Pro Hawaii will honor the growth and development of women’s big-wave riding.
The Roxy Pro Hawaii is a women’s ASP World Championship Tour featuring Roxy’s world champion Chelsea Georgeson, as well as ratings leader Melanie Redman-Carr (Australia) and seven-time world champion Layne Beachley (Australia).
Celebrating 30 years of women’s big-wave riding at Sunset Beach
Since 1977, women’s professional surfing events have been held at Sunset Beach a total of 18 times. The first hiatus came from 1982 to 1987 – seven years. Then the Roxy Pro’s relocation to Haleiwa, in 2001, began another five year break. Reasons for the intermittent nature of women’s surfing at Sunset are varied, however each return to the venue has historically ushered in a new breed of women’s big-wave riders.
“Women’s surfing has had an on-again-off-again relationship with Sunset Beach,” said Randy Hild, Senior Vice President of Global Marketing, Roxy. “But each time it returns, it brings with it a new generation of women who add another layer of talent and an even stronger drive to perform well at a very challenging venue. What never changes is the fact that Sunset Beach is a defining proving ground. It is the final hurdle in any pro surfer’s career.”
To those in the big-wave know, Sunset Beach is regarded as the most difficult wave in the world to surf well. It is a huge expanse of water with the primary take-off zone located more than 250 yards out to sea. Swells converge on that zone from a variety of directions that range from west, all the way to north-east. If you don’t know your way around the lineup, surfing Sunset is akin to being lost at sea in a maelstrom.
In the late ’70s, it was Hawaii pair Lynne Boyer and Margo Oberg who forged a path for women surfers at Sunset Beach. When competition returned to the venue in the late ’80s, Australians Jodie Cooper, Pam Burridge, and Pauline Menczer dominated, amassing a total of eight wins between them. In the late ’90s, Layne Beachley (Australia) went on to post four Sunset victories that were the segue to an unprecedented six world titles. A repeat for Beachley this winter would mean a seventh crown.
The Roxy Pro Hawaii is the longest running women’s professional shortboard competition in Hawaii, currently in its 11th year, and will play a critical role in deciding this year’s world championship race. Coming into the event, defending world champion and Roxy team rider Chelsea Georgeson (Australia) is still in contention. She must finish ahead of Beachley at Sunset to keep the world title race alive. Georgeson is currently ranked third behind Beachley and Melanie Redman-Carr (Australia)
The 2006 Roxy Pro Hawaii will feature the top 17 ranked women on the ASP (Association of Surfing Professionals) world tour, as well as one wildcard entrant who will be determined in the Roxy Trials.
The Roxy Pro Hawaii is the third in a series of three Roxy Pro events on the ASP World Championship Tour schedule. The Roxy Pro Australia (March) was won by Redman-Carr, while the Roxy Pro Fiji (April) was taken out by Beachley.