The Roxy Pro Trials presented by LG are set to kick off from 22nd February until 5th March in Coolangatta, Australia. The winners of the trials will win a much coveted spot in the Roxy Pro, the season-opener on the ASP Women’s World Tour at Snapper Rocks on the Gold Coast.
World surfing champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) will be going all out to prevent history repeating itself. In 2005, Gilmore took the surfing world by storm when she claimed the Roxy Pro Trials wildcard and went onto become the youngest surfer ever to win in an elite world tour event as a 17-year-old. This year, Gilmore will enter the 2008 Roxy Pro as top seed and will draw the wildcard surfer when she commences her world title defense in round one.
“I’ve seen the trials list of exceptional talent and it’s great,” said Gilmore. “It’s making me nervous but excited to step up and surf better than whoever the wildcard winner may be. Of course any wildcard will be dangerous and from my own first-hand experience I know exactly how they will be feeling going into the event, so bring them on,” added the competitive champ.
The Roxy Pro Trials are a ripe with new surfing talent, including Hawaiian prodigy Carissa Moore (HAW), Quiksilver ISA World Junior Champion Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Australian U/18’s champion Laura Enever (AUS) and world no.13 Claire Bevilacqua (AUS).
Moore, who finished second to Chelsea Hedges in the Roxy Pro last year, is well aware of how hard it will be to win the coveted wildcard again. “This year it will be really tough to win the trials,” said Moore. “I haven’t been competing too much lately, so I may have a few kinks to work out in my contest surfing. On the other hand Fitzgibbons and Enever have been on a winning streak and surfing really well, and Bevilacqua has a great forehand attack,” added the 15 year-old.
The undeniably talented Fitzgibbons is capable of taking down the big names and on recent form is the one to watch in the hotly contested field. The 17-year-old has blasted out of the blocks in 2008, currently leading both the World Qualifying Series (WQS) and the ASP Australasian Junior Series ratings. The pint-size charger has won three out of four events she contested in January, including the international 6-Star Roxy WQS at Phillip Island, Victoria.
“The chance to take on the world’s best at Snapper Rocks is a dream,” said Fitzgibbons. “Carissa’s result last year is just inspiring. I would love to do the same in this year’s trials and mix it with the best in some amazing waves,” “Whoever wins will have to go up against Steph and that’s hard, anywhere, but at her home break of Snapper Rocks it’s another level again.”
The 12 surfers will battle it out at Snapper Rocks, the main Gold Coast tournament site on Friday, February 22nd. The US$80,000 Roxy Pro will be staged in conjunction with the opening men’s world tour event, the US$320,000 Quiksilver Pro presented by LG. Both tournaments have waiting periods from February 23rd through to March 5th.
Both opening world tour events are mobile, granting access to some of the best surf breaks on the planet. Keep up with all the latest on the ASP website.