The turn of this century will not be remembered as a good time for... well... anything, really. The country is in economic shambles, unemployment at an all time high, tiger woods is a cheetah, bodhi died, even pro surfers are auctioning off their priceless trophies (Bobby Martinez is E-bay-ing his Mundaka Trophy as we speak). One bright spot in all of this is that pretty girls still are nice to look at. The day that scantily clad females cease to bring me joy will most likely coincide with my last moments on earth. Obviously the brilliant minds over at Reef and Billabong know this. In one of the most genius sponsorship deals ever inked, Reef has signed Alana Blanchard to their team. This is great news for anyone who happens to be male. (or female, *wink *wink) No ads have surfaced yet, but let me be the first to say that when they do, they have potential to be the best thing ever created by man, ever. Think about it. Reef is a company made famous by ads such as this:
Alana has bottom turned her way into our hearts with natural talent like this:
i cant believe nobody thought of this earlier. Its like peanut butter and jelly. But with g-strings.
Billabong has also made a giant leap in the right direction. As long as "giggitty giiggitty" is considered the right direction. This new campaign is called "HATE/LOVE" and apparently it focuses on...surf..ers.. or....surfing? surfing right? Look at that ad! Im whatever the opposite of outraged is. This might be the best ad ive ever seen. (pending Alana's forthcoming Reef ad) Im buying whatever it is that they're selling. ketchup popsicles? Absolutely. I'll take all of them.
If you are an avid reader of surf publications, you may have noticed that a little blond girl named Alana has been getting quite a bit of coverage as of late. Girls generally have had a tough time garnering much attention in the male dominated surf media, and the reason for this is simple: guys surf better than girls. There. I said it. Sorry ladies, but there isn't a maneuver out there that can be done better by a woman, even by the best female surfer. Alana Blanchard is doing her best to change this perception. Her signature maneuver, the frontside bottom turn, is arguably the most photographed maneuver in all of woman's surfing. In fact, I'd go as far as saying that no bottom turn, male or female, has graced as many pages as Alana's since Tom Curren in the 80's. Both have impeccible style, posture, positioning, and finesse. Curren was born and bred in the long flowing righthand pointbreaks of Santa Barbara, and it was this upbringing that sculpted his legendary smooth style. Alana was born and raised on the North Shore of Kauai, where powerful righthand reefbreaks and tiny bikinis provided the necessary elements for her to develop the most captivating bottom turn in surfing. After claiming her second professional victory 2 weeks ago at the Reef Hawaiian Pro Haleiwa, it seems that, like Curren, she is translating media attention into competitive success. One thing is for sure though, Alana can drop in on me anytime she wants.
SUNSET BEACH, Oahu/Hawaii (Saturday, November 28, 2009) - Carissa Moore (HAW), 17, won the sixth of seven stops on the ASP Women's World Tour today, the Gidget Pro Sunset Beach, over fellow finalists Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), 19, freshly crowned three-time ASP Women's World Champion Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 21, and Vans Triple Crown ratings' leader Alana Blanchard (HAW), 19, to claim her first ASP Women's World Tour event victory.
Moore, who entered the Gidget Pro via a Trials' victory, stamped her authority on ASP Women's World Tour competition when she surfed with amazing poise and maturity throughout the event's entirety to eventually win on her home Island of Oahu.
"It's such an honor," Moore said. "I'm speechless right now. I never thought that I would make the Final in this event. All of the girls were surfing so well and congratulations to Steph (Gilmore) for winning the World Title."
Moore is no stranger to ASP Women's World Tour competition despite her young age, and had already made the Final's at a Roxy Pro Gold Coast event in 2007 when she earned a Runner-Up finish to Chelsea Hedges (AUS), 26. Having entered previous ASP Women's World Tour events in the past as a wildcard, the young Hawaiian looked comfortable in the heightened level of competition.
"It definitely helps having other World Tour experience under my belt," Moore said. "I also know surfing on the North Shore is always going to be challenging and the girls surf at such a sick level and each heat is a clean slate."
The Hawaiian talent also looked comfortable out in the tricky lineup of Sunset Beach and had been receiving some crucial coaching under the wing of Hawaiian legend Pancho Sullivan (HAW).
"My coaches have been such a big help," Moore said. "Having Pancho (Sullivan) out in the water helping me was great."
Fitzgibbons nabbed her first Final appearance of her rookie year on tour and absolutely dominated her bouts, posting the event's highest scores including the only perfect 10-point ride of Gidget Pro competition in the Semifinals to earn her maiden Final berth and finished runner-up to Moore.
"I was really happy to get that wave," Fitzgibbons said. It was tricky. "There were not that many waves in that heat and I was happy to get the score and move on through to Final."
Gilmore, who clinched her third consecutive ASP Women's World Title just minutes before paddling out for the Final, was in amazing form throughout the event's entirety and claimed a third place finish overall.
"There were some legitimate bombs coming in out there," Gilmore said. "I was on a 7'0" all day and just stayed on the North Peak and I knew Carissa has been training with Pancho, so I figured I'd follow her around a little bit."
Blanchard, who is currently leading the Vans Triple Crown ratings, continued to flare throughout Gidget Pro competition and wrapped up a fourth place finish. Her final appearance was no easy task, as she defeated ASP Women's World No. 2 Silvana Lima (BRA), 25, crushing Lima's hopes of an ASP Women's World Title while significantly helping her chances of requalification for the 2010 ASP Women's World Tour.
"I feel bad that I knocked out Silvana (Lima), but there's also a lot on the line for me," Blanchard said. "If I don't do well at the end of the year I'll get knocked off of the tour for next year. This is my best result of the year, so I'm happy."
GIDGET PRO SUNSET BEACH FINAL RESULTS:
1 - Carissa Moore (HAW) 14.24
2 - Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 13.07
3 - Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 12.17
4 - Alana Blanchard (HAW) 11.17
ASP WOMEN'S WORLD TOUR RATINGS (After Gidget Pro Sunset Beach):
1 - Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 5521 pts
2 - Silvana Lima (BRA) 4548 pts
3 - Coco Ho (HAW) 4117 pts
4 - Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 4071 pts
5 - Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 3792 pts
6 - Chelsea Hedges (AUS) 3595 pts
7 - Melanie Bartels (HAW) 3333 pts
8 - Paige Hareb (NZL) 2886 pts
9 - Rosanne Hodge (ZAF) 2604 pts
10 - Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 2509 pts
11 - Alana Blanchard (HAW) 2490 pts
12 - Rebecca Woods (AUS) 2431 pts
13 - Samantha Cornish (AUS) 2388
14 - Bruna Schmitz (BRA) 2010 pts
15 - Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 1656 pts
16 - Amee Donohoe (AUS) 1638 pts
17 - Megan Abubo (HAW) 1440
Put one on the board for the cute girls.
Alana Blanchard won the Reef Hawaiian Pro yesterday, giving editors around the world good reason to plaster shots of her all over their print and web pages.
By now I'm sure most of you are shocked--SHOCKED! to learn that sexier athletes in sports get far more attention than their butt-ugly counterparts. Yes, sexy athletes earn far more in endorsements than those who actually get better competitive results but are, y'know, harder to look at.
Is this fair?
Will it change?
It ain't easy being ugly. Trust me. But being sexy has its own pitfalls. The issue catches fire every time somebody like Pamela Anderson wants to be considered a "serious actress" or Anna Kournikova wants to be known as a serious "pro athlete." That was a tough line to tow for Kournikova when she couldn't win a tournament. She did, however, help the television ratings of tennis. Is that a bad thing?
Women like Anna are often vilified as if they've done something wrong. But have they? Should we hate people because they're beautiful?
Well, until yesterday, pro surfer Alana Blanchard got a lot of heat for being hot. Many quietly expressed doubt whether or not she was, herself, benefiting from Kournikova syndrome. But to her credit, Blanchard buried the issue on the back of some solid backside surfing. Now she's the Maria Sharapova of surfing. After all, Sharapova, who actually wins tournaments and is herself pretty damn hot, rendered Kournikova pretty mute a couple years ago. We don't hear a whole lot about her anymore.
So it all evens out, you see, because whether it's looks or talent, eventually, there's always somebody hotter coming along.
There's no denying that Alana Blanchard is easy on the eyes, but having surfed with the Kauai bombshell for the better part of a decade, I can personally attest to the fact that she's been dropping jaws with her prowess in the water long before she became a poster girl. Let's not forget that she's won at Pipeline (yeah, that Pipeline) twice and is more than halfway through her maiden voyage on the CT, with a pair of 9th-place finishes to her name. Recently, I caught up with Alana to get her take on her first year on the CT and being more than just a pretty face in the 21st-century world of women's surfing.
Do you feel that sometimes people look at you like just a pretty face, and forget that you're a very talented surfer? If so, does it bother you?
I never really thought about that until Megan Abubo mentioned it on her blog. My first WCT season has started off on the slow side but there are still five contests to go so hopefully I can get some good results and prove that I deserve to be on the world tour.
Where do you see the women's tour in 2010?
We have Sunset again, and with the new event in New Zealand, 2010 is looking very promising. Hopefully we get Haleiwa again next year as well.
Is there someone alive right now that you look to and say to yourself, "This person has their act together, that's the way to do it."
I think Steph Gilmore seems to really have it together. She keeps her composure whether she's winning or is behind in a heat. She is a really good speaker. She is always smiling and is just a really nice person.