This weekend the world's best female surfers meet in San Bartolo in Lima, for the fifth stop on the 2010 ASP Women's World Tour, the Movistar Peru Classic presented by IDP.
Unfortunately due to a knee injury, the sole European surfer qualified (and former Cooler cover girl) Lee-Ann Curren had to pull out of this event. Hopefully she will be back in the water for the 6th event of the World Tour 2010 in Portugal this October.
In the mean time, we will be thrilled to see if the reigning queen Steph Gilmore will be able to keep her stranglehold on the rankings' lead. "It has to be the most talented field ever and so this great string of results has surprised me as well," Gilmore said. "I think the first few events have left everyone questioning the results of the rookies and younger girls, so the focus and expectation grows on them and then allows me to be comfortable and just do my thing."
While Gilmore has a had a major roll in South America, collecting two wins and a Runner-Up finish in the past three seasons, the iconic Australian admits that the change of venue from the lengthy, sandbar lefts of Lobitos and Mancora to the punchy reefbreaks of San Bartolo will level the playing field. "This is my first time to San Bartolo and I don't really know what to expect but I have been to Lima before and it was a pleasant experience," Gilmore said. "I'm excited to get there for a new challenge. Peruvians are very passionate about sport and surfing especially because of Sofia (Mulanovich). It's pretty cool to rock up to a new event venue and see what happens, so Sofia is always a threat especially on home turf, but the conditions are beachbreak stuff so any of the girls are dangerous."
Gilmore faces Bruna Schmitz (BRA), 20, and one of the Peruvian wildcards in the opening Round of Movistar Peru Classic competition.
Sofia Mulanovich (PER), 26, defending Movistar Peru Winner and current ASP Women's World No. 3, is one of the only surfers with experience at this year's venue and with the full support of the South American country behind her, will be a major threat at this season's event. "The waves in San Bartolo are small but it can get really fun," Mulanovich said. "It is a right if swell is small or medium and left is swell is big. I have surfed San Bartolo all my life and really enjoy surfing there."
Prepare for an exciting weekend!
ROUND 1 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Melanie Bartels (HAW), Rebecca Woods (AUS), Nikita Robb (ZAF)
Heat 2: Silvana Lima (BRA), Paige Hareb (NZL), Sage Erickson (USA)
Heat 3: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Bruna Schmitz (BRA), TBA
Heat 4: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Amee Donohoe (AUS), TBA
Heat 5: Sofia Mulanovich (PER), Rosanne Hodge (ZAF), TBA
Heat 6: Chelsea Hedges (AUS), Coco Ho (HAW), Claire Bevilacqua (AUS)