What: Roxy Pro Gold Coast, ASP Women's WCT event #1 Where: Coolangatta, Qld Australia When: 23 February - 6 March 2008
The world's 17 elite female surfers are preparing for a season-opening showdown later this month. The opening event of the 2008 ASP Women’s World Tour season, the Roxy Pro Gold Coast, will run from February 23rd through until March 6th, 2008.
Chelsea Georgeson (AUS), former ASP Women’s World Champion and defending Roxy Pro Champion, will be absent from competition this season as she prepares for the birth of her first child. Georgeson’s absence ensures that the Roxy Pro will see a new champ this year and the ASP Top 17 will all be vying for a solid result to kick start their 2008 campaign.
Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) won the Roxy Pro Gold Coast as a wildcard in 2005 and finished equal 5th place last year. The natural-footer will be looking to secure a solid finish on her home breaks of the Gold Coast: “I’ve just been relaxing a lot and I suppose I am still taking it all in from last year’s win," Gilmore said. “I’m pretty confident heading into the Roxy Pro as it’s right here at home, and I have just been surfing a lot – surfing a lot at Snapper and a bit at D’Bah. I’ve just got a fresh batch of boards from my shaper, Darren Handley, so I’ve been working pretty hard at getting those sorted out."
Sofia Mulanovich (PER), last season’s runner-up, finished a disappointing 17th at the 2007 Roxy Pro Gold Coast, but is keen to start her 2008 campaign on a stronger note: “I have been surfing a lot, doing yoga and trying to get mentally prepared to start this year," Mulanovich said. “I feel great and I’m looking forward to going to Australia soon. I am super amped to surf the Roxy Pro on the Goldy. I have never had a good result there so there’s always room to improve and that always keeps me really motivated."
Melanie Redman-Carr (AUS) recently gave birth to a beautiful baby girl (Willow) so will be skipping the Roxy Pro Gold Coast this year. “I expect to return to the ASP Women’s World Tour at Easter time," Redman-Carr said. “Last year, sitting at home and watching the girls surfing in Hawaii, I really missed being part of it and I look forward to being involved again this year."
Claire Bevilacqua (AUS), who finished 13th on the ASP Women’s World Tour in 2007 and narrowly missed qualification, will get a chance to prove herself on the Gold Coast, replacing Redman-Carr as first alternate. “I want to go out and beat every single person who didn’t think I belonged on tour this season," Bevilacqua said.
In addition to returning campaigners on this season’s ASP Women’s World Tour, two new faces: ASP World Junior Champion Nicola Atherton (AUS) and Karina Petroni (USA) will be doing battle against the world’s best.
The Roxy Pro Trials will go down at Snapper Rocks on February 22nd, and will feature 12 of the best up-and-coming surfers in the world including reigning ASP World Junior Champion Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Laurina McGrath (AUS), Alise Arnaud (FRA), Laura Enever (AUS), Arini Mason (NZL), and last year’s Roxy Pro Gold Coast runner-up Carissa Moore (HAW). The winner of the Roxy Pro Trials will receive a seed into the Roxy Pro Gold Coast and will draw reigning ASP Women’s World Champ Gilmore in the opening round.
The Roxy Pro Gold Coast will be webcast live on the ASP website.
2008 ASP Women’s World Tour Lineup: 1. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 2. Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 3. Silvana Lima (BRA) 4. Samantha Cornish (AUS) 5. Layne Beachley (AUS) 6. Amee Donohoe (AUS) 7. Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 8. Rebecca Woods (AUS) 9. Melanie Bartels (HAW) 10. Megan Abubo (HAW) 11. Rosanne Hodge (ZAF) 12. Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 13. Melanie Redman-Carr (AUS) 14. Karina Petroni (USA) 15. Serena Brooke (AUS) 16. Nicola Atherton (AUS) 17. Julia De La Rosa Toro (PER)
ASP Replacements for 2008 1. Claire Bevilacqua (AUS) 2. Laurina McGrath (AUS) 3. Caroline Sarran (FRA)