Billabong Pro Maui Pits Reigning Champ Against Amazing Rookie Sensation
Nine Women Surfers Still in Contention for the Prestigious Triple Crown as Big Surf Looms
With the possibility of huge surf the 11th annual Billabong Pro Maui presented by Hawaiian Airlines could see a showdown between the just crowned ASP World Champ and the hot young rookie who just won the Gidget Pro Sunset in a down to the wire Triple Crown race that still has 9 surfers in contention. If wunderkind Carissa Moore advances out of the Billabong Trials, she will be gunning for Stephanie Gilmore who just claimed her third consecutive ASP Women's World Title.
The 7th and final event on the 2009 ASP Women's World Tour, the Billabong Pro Maui carries a prize-purse of US$90,000 and will crown this year's Vans Triple Crown of Surfing champion and award the winner a record bonus of USD25000. Hawaii's Alana Blanchard, 19, is currently leading the Triple Crown ratings with Gilmore and Moore close behind. As an additional prize at the event, Nixon will be giving a "Winner-Takes-All" award: a custom, limited edition Nixon watch valued at over $10,000 to one of the world's top 16 female surfers and two wildcards. Casio will also be awarding the top 5 winners a CASIO G'zOne EXILIM waterproof phone, this 5.1 megapixel camera phone includes a vz navigator and v cast music with rhapsody.
But with so much money and pride on the line, local Hawaiian surfers are determined to break into the ranks of full-fledged professionals as well. Hawaii's rising star Alessa Quizon has been granted a main event wildcard and the 15 year-old is a proven performer at the regional and national level in the USA and is more than capable of an upset at Honolua.
A main event wildcard will be awarded to the winner of the Billabong Pro Maui Trials. Along with 17-year-old sensation Carissa Moore (Haw) the trials include Paige Alms, the top Maui finisher in the '08 Billabong Pro trials, Ariel Martin, the Maui Interscholastic Surf Champion, Monyca Byrne-Wickey, Hawaii Surfing Association's Maui qualifier, Lani Doherty, the National Scholastic Surfing Association Maui qualifier and Billabong's wildcard, hot young Australian charger Felicity Palmateer.
Eight surfers remain in mathematical contention to win the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing at the Billabong Pro Maui: Alana Blanchard (Haw) with 1854 pts, Stephanie Gilmore (Aus) 1728 pts, Carissa Moore (Haw) 1638 pts, Sally Fitzgibbons (Aus) 1332 pts, Chelsea Hedges (Aus) 1104 pts, Coco Ho (Haw) 990 pts, Sofia Mulanovich (Per) 936 pts, Rebecca Woods (Aus) 834 pts.
Staged at one of the world's best right-hand points, FUEL TV will air a half-hour highlights show of the Billabong Pro Maui on January 21st. You can also watch 'heats on demand' on billabongpro.com
The Billabong Pro Maui would like to thank our sponsors Hawaiian Airlines (Presenting Sponsor), Casio G'zOne, Nixon, Verizon Wireless, Kapalua, Dollar Rent-A-Car, Hawaii Tourism, Surfing Magazine and Vitamin Water.