GOLD COAST, Queensland/Australia (Tuesday, February 22, 2011) –The ASP Top 17 will spring back into action this weekend for the opening event of the 2011 ASP Women's World Title season, the Roxy Pro Gold Coast presented by Land Rover.
Boasting a waiting period of February 26 through March 9, 2011, the Roxy Pro Gold Coast will feature the world's best female surfers as they start their respective campaigns for the 2011 ASP Women's World Title. Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), 20, 2010 ASP Women's World Runner-Up, is keen to get back into the competition singlet following an off season spent traipsing up and down the Eastern seaboard of Australia.
"I’ve really enjoyed my off season at home," Fitzgibbons said. "It seemed to fly by so fast and now we are already gearing up for the Roxy Pro. I managed to get all my wisdom teeth pulled out in my time off and spent some time at Snapper when the cyclone swells hit. I surfed and trained up and down the South Coast and I taught one of my heroes, tennis star Martina Navratilova, how to surf."
Fitzgibbons will be honored as the ASP Women's World Runner-Up at the ASP World Surfing Awards on the Gold Coast this Thursday.
"I had a really exciting year in 2010 and learned so much," Fitzgibbons said. "I came close to a few wins throughout the year, so I now know the things I have to do to take that extra step and win. I was happy with my consistency last year and finishing at World Number 2 is something to be proud of. I will carry the confidence from that into the upcoming season. I will keep pushing to improve my performance throughout the 2011 World Tour."
Coming off a banner year in 2010, Fitzgibbons will look to firmly cement her reputation as and ASP Women's World Title contender this season.
"My motivations to start the season are as always: that I love competing and surfing with the World’s Best and that I want to be World Champion," Fitzgibbons said. "My goals will be to keep improving my surfing through the year, to win a few events would be amazing and soak up all the excitement that comes with being on the World Tour. I want to enjoy my travels and explore along the way, I’m hoping to find some waves that I haven’t yet surfed. I’m really excited for the upcoming event as I like watching everyone and the new rookies and seeing who’s switched on for a great year."
Fitzgibbons will face rookie Laura Enever (AUS), 19, and replacement surfer Claire Bevilacqua (AUS), 28, in Round 1 of the Roxy Pro.
Silvana Lima (BRA), 26, former ASP Women's World Runner-Up, spent the off season recharging at home in Brazil, but the progressive Brazilian is keen to return to competition to take on the new generation of talent.
"Staying home with family is very good," Lima said. "I trained hard and I have some new equipment and I’m very excited to get the new season.Last year, I didn't start very well. After a few events, Iimproved, but the beginning of the year hurt me with a better result this year will not repeat the same mistake, I will give my best to accomplish my big dream. I’m anxious to see the new generation. It excites me greatly. I want to see radical surfing."
Lima battles Rebecca Woods (AUS), 26, and Pauline Ado (FRA), 20, in the opening round of competition. Sofia Mulanovich (PER), 27, former ASP Women's World Champion, was another South American to capitalize on her native waves during the break, refining her abilities and working on her fitness.
"I have been home all my off season," Mulanovich said. "The waves have been amazing here, there has no been a flat days. I have also been doing a bit of physical training and a lot of meditation and Tai Chi. It feels really good and I feel good for this year. My goal is to improve my surfing and hopefully that gives me good results."
"Snapper is one of the most high-performance waves on tour so it is one of the funnest to surf," Mulanovich said. "Everyone loves snapper and I am sure all the girls are pumped to surf it. For sure, the ASP Women's World Champ is always the one to watch, but all the girls on tour are amazingly talented surfers and I think this year the level of women's surfing will be through the roof."
Mulanovich will take on Paige Hareb (NZL), 20, and Jacqueline Silva (BRA), 31, in the opening heat of the Roxy Pro.
The Roxy Pro Gold Coast will run from February 26 through March 9, 2011 and will be webcast LIVE via quiksilverpro.com.
Running in conjunction with the women's event will be the Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast presented by Land Rover, the opening event in the ASP World Title season.
For more information, log onto aspworldtour.com.
ROXY PRO GOLD COAST ROUND 1:
Heat 1:Sofia Mulanovich (PER), Paige Hareb (NZL), Jacqueline Silva (BRA)
Heat 2: Silvana Lima (BRA), Rebecca Woods (AUS), Pauline Ado (FRA)
Heat 3: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Tyler Wright (AUS), TBA
Heat 4: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Laura Enever (AUS), Claire Bevilacqua (AUS)
Heat 5: Carissa Moore (HAW), Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS), Alana Blanchard (HAW)
Heat 6: Chelsea Hedges (AUS), Coco Ho (HAW), Courtney Conlogue (USA)
QUIKSILVER PRO GOLD COAST ROUND 1:
Heat 1: Adrian Buchan (AUS), Heitor Alves (BRA), Julian Wilson (AUS)
Heat 2: Bede Durbidge (AUS), Matt Wilkinson (AUS), Gabe Kling (USA)
Heat 3: Mick Fanning (AUS), Bobby Martinez (USA), Kai Otton (AUS)
Heat 4: Taj Burrow (AUS), Fredrick Patachia (HAW), Raoni Monteiro (BRA)
Heat 5: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Patrick Gudauskas (USA), TBA
Heat 6: Kelly Slater (USA), Tiago Pires (AUS), TBA
Heat 7: Owen Wright (AUS), Taylor Knox (USA), Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 8: Jeremy Flores (FRA), Brett Simpson (USA), Josh Kerr (AUS)
Heat 9: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Joel Parkinson (AUS), Alejo Muniz (BRA)
Heat 10: Michel Bourez (PYF), C.J. Hobgood (USA), Daniel Ross (AUS)
Heat 11: Chris Davidson (AUS), Kieren Perrow (AUS), Adam Melling (AUS)
Heat 12: Jadson Andre (BRA), Damien Hobgood (USA), Tiago Pires (PRT)