Competition has been called off due to a flat ocean at Sydney’s Manly Beach today but with a significant swell forecast, the World’s Top 17 Women are in for an action packed weekend.
“We weren’t supposed to see this southerly change until tomorrow which is sort of a positive thing," Contest Directory Matt Wilson said. “It means we should start to see the arrival of new swell this afternoon instead of tomorrow morning, which sets us up for quite a good weekend."
With an increase in swell and favourable winds expected, organisers of Stop No. 5 of 8 on the ASP Women’s World Tour are confident that the remaining 15 heats will run in the best waves possible.
“At this stage we’re looking at a Sunday finish, unless tomorrow is really epic," Wilson continued. “We are expecting a strong offshore breeze but if we get a slight swing in the easterly direction, it could push some swell in which would mean waves of up two 2 metres rolling into Manly over the next two days."
7X ASP World Champion and event namesake Layne Beachley (AUS) is looking forward to the eventful weekend that lies ahead. The undisputed surfing sensation will be a treat to watch when she takes on wildcard surfer Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) in Round 3.
“This week has flown by, I can’t believe its Friday and we’ve only run two rounds," Beachley said. “Everything has run smoothly so far, I think because we knew what we were in for and with promising swell on the horizon, I am confident we’ll see good waves at the weekend."
The two remaining days of the six day window will see the business end of this year’s NAB Beachley Classic underway with Round 3 and will run through four rounds before the 2007 NAB Beachley Classic Champion is crowned. In addition to the surfing, Saturday includes the Beachley Classic Radical Fitness Day, a fun day for the public to test their strength, flexibility and fitness levels.
Sunday sees the Lifestyle Working Celebrity Surf Challenge, featuring Australia’s best loved celebrities who will participate in numerous beach activities in aid of Beachley’s charity, Aim for the Stars. The Aim for the Stars charity was founded by Beachley in 2003 to assist women in achieving their dreams.
“As women, we tend to think we’re not capable of doing something until we see another woman doing it," Beachley commented. “I am all about empowering girls to go out there and believe in their dreams and continue following them."
An inspiration to women across the globe Beachley, who has achieved more in surfing than any other female surfer, came close to quitting the tour due to financial difficulties in the early 1990’s, when she was rated World No 2.
“Back when I was a kid I used to talk myself up about how I would be the best surfer in the world," Beachley said. “Then I almost walked away from it all when I was living on $8000 a year and struggling to get by. I would have walked away from all of this! That’s why I set up the charity to prevent girls from walking away from their dreams."
The NAB Beachley Classic needs just one full day of surfing to be completed. The next call will be made at 7.30am on Saturday morning. The NAB Beachley Classic runs from 9- 14 October, 2007 and holds a prize money purse of US$ 100 000 as well as 20% bonus ASP ratings points. The event is produced by Layne Beachley in collaboration with National Australia Bank and the Association of Surfing Professionals.