The Billabong Pro Maui, the final stop of the 2008 ASP Women’s World Tour, begins its waiting period today and the event will serve as last opportunity for surfers trying to requalify for the 2009 ASP Dream Tour, as well as the deciding bout in the hunt for the 2008 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing title.
Layne Beachley (AUS), 36, former seven-time ASP Women’s World Champion, holds a narrow lead in the Triple Crown ratings, but is being closely stalked by newly-crowned two-time ASP Women’s World Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 20, and Silvana Lima (BRA), 24.
Nicola Atherton (AUS), 22, 2008 rookie current No. 13 on the ASP Women’s World Tour, scored her career-best result at Sunset last week with a 4th place finish and will look to continue the momentum at the Billabong Pro Maui to ensure her place amongst the world’s best next season. "The ASP Women’s World Title has been clinched so I guess the focus is now on the final requalification spots," Atherton said. “It’s a tough event because it’s the last roll of the dice for people sitting on the bubble. It’s hard not to feel a bit of pressure coming into Maui. I haven’t looked into the current points situation, but I know I need a solid result to keep a spot on tour."
Atherton will face Gilmore and the surf-off winner in Round 1 of the Billabong Pro Maui. The 18th spot in the Billabong Pro Maui will be decided by a six-woman surf-off featuring Maui locals Lani Doherty, Monyca Byrne-Wickey, Melissa Proud, Alana Hendrickson and Oahu import Carissa Moore.
Surfline, official forecasters for the Billabong Pro Maui, are calling for a possible swell to come up Tuesday afternoon, meaning that the event could begin on Wednesday, December 10, 2008. The waiting period for the Billabong Pro Maui runs from December 8 – 20, 2008.
BILLABONG PRO MAUI ROUND 1 MATCH-UPS: Heat 1: Samantha Cornish (AUS), Rebecca Woods (AUS), Rosanne Hodge (ZAF) Heat 2: Layne Beachley (AUS), Jacqueline Silva (BRA), Melanie Redman-Carr (AUS) Heat 3: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Nicola Atherton (AUS), TBA Heat 4: Sofia Mulanovich (PER), Megan Abubo (HAW), Paige Hareb (NZL) Heat 5: Silvana Lima (BRA), Melanie Bartels (HAW), Serena Brooke (AUS) Heat 6: Amee Donohoe (AUS), Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS), Karina Petroni (USA)