Georgeson Storms To Clinch The Billabong Pro Tahiti

Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP).
Foster’s Men’s World Tour.
Women’s ASP World Championship Tour.
Teahupoo, Tahiti, May 5th – 17th, 2005.

Billabong Pro Tahiti Men’s May 5-17th
Billabong Pro Tahiti Girl’s May 5-15th

Catch it LIVE on www.aspworldtour.com and www.billabongpro.com

ONE of Australia’s most cherished surfing talents Chelsea Georgeson has movedone step closer to her assumed heritage as surfing royalty by soundly defeatingWest Australian veteran Melanie Carr in lost at sea conditions in the final of theBillabong Pro Tahiti at Teahupoo today.

Braving continual lashings from heavy rain and wind squalls, and roving 4-5 ‘ +wave peaks crashing in over one of the world ‘s most dangerous reefs, Georgesonagain showed the guts and graceful savvy that have become her trademarks. It washer first WCT victory since winning the Billabong Pro Maui in Hawaii lastDecember. For Redman-Carr, it was a welcome return to top-end form, her firstfinal since winning in Fiji in 2002.

Whilst nature’s storm-tossed elements forced the shutdown of power, andtherefore announcements of the progressive situation and judges’ scores fromthe contest tower 900m offshore, Georgeson held both her strategy and surfingtechnique together to leave her elder peer requiring 7.34 points by the end of the35 minute final.

After defeating renowned Hawaiian Rochelle Ballard, as well as Peru’sdefending World Champion Sofia Mulanovich earlier in the day, Georgeson ‘sevent victory saw her jump up from equal fifth and into the runner-up position inthe current ASP Women’s WCT ratings, narrowly ahead of Megan Abubo (HAW).Redman-Carr moved into fifth position behind fellow Aussie and surfing legendLayne Beachley who is now in fourth spot.

“I’ve been getting okay results with a few quarterfinals and semis’ butlosing it and not making finals, so I’m really happy to both make a final, andthen win one, especially here at Teahupoo, which is such a challenge,” said abeaming Georgeson straight out of the water after her win, which was keenlycheered on by some dozen members of the Forster ‘s Men’s World Tour Top 45sitting in the channel.

One of the differences between the approaches of Georgeson and Redman-Carr in thefinal this afternoon was that the young charger kept an eye on the inconsistentwest peaks that came through the lineup from time to time. She was following theadvice of local surfer Raimana Van Bastoloae, who was the star surfer in thebarrel under that runaway jet ski that went over the falls and featured innewspapers around the globe last week. Georgeson got both of her high scores fromover there, wide of the normal Teahupoo takeoff zone.

“Raimana saw me before I went out, and told me that the waves from the westbarrel more, and that if you can get into them, they are definitely the ones tocatch, and so that was my mission,” said Georgeson.

“On was on my shortboard earlier, but it picked up throughout the day and so Ijumped on my 6’1″, and it just held in so much better into those pitchingwalls. I wasn’t so deep in some of the barrels I managed to get, but a coupleof the take-offs were kind of sketchy, so I was glad just to make them.”

“I’m just so happy to move up to second in the ratings – now all I needis to get to first!” smiled Georgeson, who is now 648 points behind herPeruvian mate Mulanovich after four WCT events, with five remaining this season todetermine the 2006 World Title.

“Sofia had won two events on the trot before this event, and she still finishedthird here, and so she’s still going to be hard to catch and beat. I’llneed to just keep on making finals! I just have to try and keep calm, go surfing,and not get too excited,” said Georgeson.

Redman-Carr got to the final after a semi-final victory over another Australian inASP 2004 Rookie of The Year Rebecca Woods. Woods defeated Australia’s TrudyTodd itheir quarter-final.

“I was just super-nervous in my semi-final,” said Woods. “I need torelax, and get to know this wave. There was a couple of times when I was out ofposition, and a little confused and hesitant, but it was my best result to date,and so I can only improve from here. I might even stay a few more days and getsome more experience.”

Reigning world champion Sofia Mulanovich also claimed nerves as a majordistraction in her semi-final matchup with Chelsea Georgeson.

“We were both nervous and kind of blowing it. We’re good friends and havesurfed with and against each other a lot, and somehow we both manage to mess upand fall off when we do,” said the forever pleasantly natured Peruvian, whowas not even aware she’d retain the ASP ratings lead, regardless of theeventual result in the Billabong Pro Teahupoo.

“We’re a long way from the end of the season, and though I’ve improved alot since my horror start to the season, I don’t even look at the ratings. I’m just here to surf and do my best and get good results.”

Mulanovich had progressed to that point after somewhat of an upset victory, whenthree-time Billabong Pro Tahiti champion Keala Kennelly from Kauai failed toemerge from a long sustained barrel late in their quarter-final exchange.

Redman-Carr beat South African Heather Clark in their quarter-final, after thegoofy veteran produced some great individual moves, but failed to put it alltogether on enough waves. In the opening quarterfinal of the day, ChelseaGeorgeson had made patience a winning virtue when she out-lasted a more restlessRochelle Ballard.

The final day of action in the women’s division of the Billabong Pro Tahitibegan at 11am, after a very slow rising swell started materializing on theincoming tide, whilst organizers and the eight girls remaining in the drawanxiously willed the waves upwards after first an 8:30am, and then 10am holdingcall.

Conditions differed right throughout the day and never settled into a patternwhatsoever, sometimes cleaning up after passing rain squalls, but ripped up andridged at others. Once again the girls, and everyone associated with runningagainst the odds today, made a sustained sterling effort in getting the job done.

“All the girls stick together, especially in this place,” said MelanieRedman-Carr who achieved her aim of making the final, but was obviously a littledisappointed with her result.

“Here in Tahiti, everybody backs everybody else! Everyone wants to see you havea go, and get a good one, be careful on the reef, and see nobody hurt – eventhough we all want to see a bit of action.”

Yet again, for the second consecutive event in challenging and sizeableconditions, the girls of the ASP have shown that they are lifting the proverbialperformance and charging mantles. They are off to Perrinporth in the UnitedKingdom for their next WCT event which begins in just over a week’s time.

The next call for the Billabong Pro Tahiti, which will hopefully see the long-awaitedintroduction of the Foster’s Men’s World Tour surfers, will be at 6:30amtomorrow (Tuesday May 10th).

The Billabong Pro Tahiti delivered by Air Tahiti Nui is proudly supported by VonZipper, Bose, Kustom and The Tahitian Surfing Federation.

Billabong Pro Live Webcast: via www.billabongpro.com and www.aspworldtour.com each day of the event utilizing live coverage in English, French and Portuguese, with the event websites being translated into these three languages plus, Japanese and Spanish. Various camera angles, highlights and replays, weather and scoring information, direct viewer interaction, celebrity guests, interviews and more are a part of the daily webcast program.

(From Paul Sargeant)
ENDS

QUARTER-FINAL RESULTS
(1st Semi-final; 2nd=equal 5th, 552 pts/usd$3000)

Q1: Chelsea Georgeson (AUS) 15.17 def. Rochelle Ballard (HAW) 11.60
Q2: Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 14.00 def. Keala Kennelly (HAW) 13.16
Q3: Melanie Redman-Carr (AUS) 14.83 def. Heather Clark (RSA) 14.37
Q4: Rebecca Woods (AUS) 9.47 def. Trudy Todd (AUS) 8.17

SEMI-FINAL RESULTS
(1stfinal; 2nd=equal 3rd, 756pts/usd$4000)

S1: Chelsea Georgeson (AUS) 12.67 def. Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 11.16
S2: Melanie Redman-Carr (AUS) 15.17 def. Rebecca Woods (AUS) 11.00

FINAL RESULT
(1st=winner 1200pts/usd$10,000; 2nd=runner-up 972 pts/usd$6000)

Chelsea Georgeson (AUS) 14.00 def. Melanie Redman-Carr (AUS) 10.50ch (PER) 14.00 def. Keala Kennelly (HAW) 13.16
Q3: Melanie Redman-Carr (AUS) 14.83 def. Heather Clark (RSA) 14.37
Q4: Rebecca Woods (AUS) 9.47 def. Trudy Todd (AUS) 8.17

SEMI-FINAL RESULTS
(1stfinal; 2nd=equal 3rd, 756pts/usd$4000)

S1: Chelsea Georgeson (AUS) 12.67 def. Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 11.16
S2: Melanie Redman-Carr (AUS) 15.17 def. Rebecca Woods (AUS) 11.00

FINAL RESULT
(1st=winner 1200pts/usd$10,000; 2nd=runner-up 972 pts/usd$6000)

Chelsea Georgeson (AUS) 14.00 def. Melanie Redman-Carr (AUS) 10.50