Chelsea Hedges Tops On Day 1 Movistar Peru Classic

Chelsea Hedges, current ASP Women's World No. 4, was Sunday's standout in Round 1 of the Movistar Peru Classic. Photo courtesy ASP/Morris

Chelsea Hedges, current ASP Women's World No. 4, was Sunday's standout in Round 1 of the Movistar Peru Classic. Photo courtesy ASP/Morris

SAN BARTOLO, Lima/Peru (Sunday, June 6, 2010) – The ASP Top 17 blitzed San Bartolo's punchy three-to-four foot (1 metre) lefthanders today as Round 1 of the Movistar Peru Classic presented by IPD was completed.

Event No. 5 on the 2010 ASP Women's World Tour, the Movistar Peru Classic enjoyed its first day of competition, with the world's best female surfers annihilating the South American lefthander of San Bartolo.

Chelsea Hedges (AUS), 26, former ASP Women's World Champion (2005) and current ASP Women's World No. 4, capped off the day's festivities with the highest heat total of the day, a 16.43 out of a possible 20, for a rampaging forehand assault.

"I was considering the righthander before the heat started but I'm happy I surfed the left," Hedges said. "Any chance to get to surf my forehand, I like to take advantage. The waves seemed to pulse for that heat there and Coco (Ho) is such a good surfer that it really pushed my surfing."

With three Equal 3rds and an Equal 9th in her scorecard this season, the powerful goofy-footer is one of the few surfers who can make an assault on current ASP Women's World No. 1 Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 22.

"I definitely feel like my surfing has been solid this season," Hedges said. "I made a strategic mistake in the last event that cost me the dearly. Trying to rebound from that and just push my surfing with each heat."

Gilmore advanced into Round 3 behind former ASP Women's World Tour campaigner Julia de la Rosa Toro (PER).

Silvana Lima (BRA), 25, 2009 ASP Women's World Runner-Up and current ASP Women's World No. 7, brought the South American flair this morning, posting a solid 13.90 out of a possible 20 to best Paige Hareb (NZL), 20, and Sage Erickson (USA), 19, in Round 1 of competition.

"The waves aren't too bad," Lima said. "There are some fun waves coming through and it's much better than everyone thought it was going to be. As the tide gets higher and the swell drops a little bit, I think it will only get better."

While the young Brazilian has been a perennial threat at all venues since her elite inception, Lima has yet to make catch a fire in 2010, something she hopes to remedy in South America.

"I have had a consistent year but haven't made a Final yet," Lima said. "I feel like I am surfing well and I have good boards. Just have to stay focused and keep surfing."

Sofia Mulanovich (PER), 26, enjoyed the backing of hundreds of spectators on the beach today as the former ASP Women's World Champion (2004) blasted her way to a Round 1 victory.

"It's always an honor to surf at home in Peru," Mulanovich said. "The support from my family and friends is always appreciated. The waves today were pretty fun. It's not the best, but it's clean and contestable. Hopefully the waves improve over the next few days."

Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), 19, current ASP Women's World No. 2, continued to perform strongly in Round 1 today, posting an impressive win over Amee Donohoe (AUS), 29, and Anali Gomez (PER).

"It always feels good to get through Round 1," Fitzgibbons said. "I felt pretty good in the heat, but the waves were challenging. I've been in Peru for one or two weeks now and it's been good preparation. I was working at the Red Bull camp and getting used to the waves and the water."

Coming off two Runner-Up finishes in New Zealand and Sydney, the progressive natural-footer is keen to mount the winner's dais and sees Peru as the ideal opportunity.

"Sitting in No. 2 on the rankings and in the ASP Women's World Title hunt is a great place for me," Fitzgibbons said. "It takes the pressure off and makes me hungry to better myself at the same time. I've had a few Runner-Ups and to walk away with a win in Peru would be amazing."

Melanie Bartels (HAW), 28, current ASP Women's World No. 4, opened the day's affairs with an impressive display of backhand prowess amidst the morning's challenging conditions.

"It's really challenging out there," Bartels said. "There's a lot of water moving and it's hit or miss with the waves. These aren't the waves I'm used to – the water is cold and the lefts are lumpy – so I'm stoked to get through Round 1. I can relax a bit and focus on getting a good result in Peru."

Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow morning at 8am to assess conditions for a possible 9am start.

When competition resumes, up first will be Bruna Schmitz (BRA), 20, Sage Erickson (AUS), 19, and Anali Gomez (PER) in the opening heat of Round 2.

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Heat 1: Melanie Bartels (HAW) 11.50, Rebecca Woods (AUS) 10.50, Nikita Robb (ZAF) 9.50
Heat 2: Silvana Lima (BRA) 13.90, Paige Hareb (NZL) 10.97, Sage Erickson (USA) 9.60
Heat 3: Julia de la Rosa (PER) 9.00, Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 8.80, Bruna Schmitz (BRA) 8.73
Heat 4: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 12.00, Amee Donohoe (AUS) 9.93, Anali Gomez (PER) 8.50
Heat 5: Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 13.50, Rosanne Hodge (ZAF) 10.04, Valeria Sole (PER) 9.56
Heat 6: Chelsea Hedges (AUS) 16.43, Coco Ho (HAW) 13.10, Claire Bevilacqua (AUS) 12.77


Heat 1: Bruna Schmitz (BRA), Sage Erickson (USA), Anali Gomez (PER)
Heat 2: Claire Bevilacqua (AUS), Nikita Robb (ZAF), Valeria Sole (PER)