COOLANGATTA, Queensland/Australia (Tuesday, February 23, 2010) – The world's best female surfers have converged onto the wave-laden Mecca of Coolangatta for the opening event of the 2010 ASP Women's World Tour season, the Roxy Pro Gold Coast from February 27 through March 10, 2010.
Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 22, reigning three-time ASP Women's World Champion and defending Roxy Pro Champion, is the surfer to watch heading into the opening event of the year. A two-time event champion at Snapper Rocks, claiming the first as a wildcard in 2005 and her second last season sparking her third ASP Women's World Title run, Gilmore's years of experience at the venue and unmatched rapport with the breaks makes her the most dangerous surfer in the event.
"Growing up on the Gold Coast, there is no shortage of quality waves to surf and people to look up to," Gilmore said. "Definitely, a familiarity with the waves here is a big advantage when it comes to competition. That said, I haven't been surfing much in the off-season, so I can't say that I'm too familiar with the banks at the moment. However, that time off really keeps me hungry to get back out there and push myself."
Holding ASP records as the youngest ASP Women's World Champion ever (at 18 in 2007) as well as the only surfer to ever attain three ASP Women's World Titles from three attempts, Gilmore has single-handedly ushered in a new dynasty of professional women's surfing, yet remains humble when approaching the upcoming season.
"I think I have experienced the range of what surfers can feel in this position," Gilmore said. "I've been the rookie going for the title, I've been the surfer with the target on my back and now I don't really worry about it. It feels refreshing to have experienced that because once you survive it, you don't have to be scared of it anymore."
With an influx of talent onto the ASP Women's World Tour over the past five years, high-performance barriers are being broken on a nearly daily basis, something the young Australian sees as a point of focus in the coming season.
"I definitely feel like I can become more progressive and innovative," Gilmore said. "I also feel like the ASP Judging Criteria reflects and rewards progressive surfing more and more and that contests are becoming a forum for the best surfing on the planet. Certainly the new girls on tour, Coco (Ho) and Sally (Fitzgibbons) and Carissa (Moore) all put a lot of innovation into their surfing. Silvana (Lima) has always been progressive, and all the girls are really stepping up this year. It's an exciting time for the ASP Women's World Tour."
Gilmore will face ASP Women's World Tour sophomore Bruna Schmitz (BRA), 19, and the winner of the Roxy Pro Trials in the opening round of competition.
The Roxy Pro Gold Coast will feature the world's best female surfers from February 27 through March 10, 2010 and will be webcast LIVE via roxypro.com.au.
The Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast presented by Land Rover, featuring the ASP Top 45, will run in conjunction with the Roxy Pro Gold Coast, and in addition to being webcast LIVE, the men will be broadcast LIVE on FUEL TV in Australia.
For more information, log onto aspworldtour.com.
ROXY PRO GOLD COAST ROUND 1 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Paige Hareb (NZL), Carissa Moore (HAW)
Heat 2: Coco Ho (HAW), Rebecca Woods (AUS), Claire Bevilacqua (AUS)
Heat 3: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Bruna Schmitz (BRA), TBA
Heat 4: Silvana Lima (BRA), Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS), Nikita Robb (ZAF)
Heat 5: Sofia Mulanovich (PER), Rosanne Hodge (ZAF), Lee Ann Curren (FRA)
Heat 6: Melanie Bartels (HAW), Chelsea Hedges (AUS), Amee Donohoe (AUS)
QUIKSILVER PRO GOLD COAST ROUND 1 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Dane Reynolds (USA), Roy Powers (HAW), Brett Simpson (USA)
Heat 2: Damien Hobgood (USA), Jeremy Flores (FRA), Matt Wilkinson (AUS)
Heat 3: Bobby Martinez (USA), Tiago Pires (PRT), Tanner Gudauskas (USA)
Heat 4: C.J. Hobgood (USA), Adrian Buchan (AUS), Travis Logie (ZAF)
Heat 5: Kelly Slater (USA), Ben Dunn (AUS), Marco Polo (BRA)
Heat 6: Adriano de Souza (BRA), Michel Bourez (PYF), Blake Thornton (AUS)
Heat 7: Taj Burrow (AUS), Chris Davidson (AUS), Neco Padaratz (BRA)
Heat 8: Mick Fanning (AUS), Kai Otton (AUS), TBA
Heat 9: Joel Parkinson (AUS), Kekoa Bacalso (HAW), TBA
Heat 10: Bede Durbidge (AUS), Mick Campbell (AUS), TBA
Heat 11: Jordy Smith (ZAF), Drew Courtney (AUS), Dusty Payne (HAW)
Heat 12: Taylor Knox (USA), Luke Stedman (AUS), Nathan Yeomans (USA)
Heat 13: Tom Whitaker (AUS), Andy Irons (HAW), Jay Thompson (AUS)
Heat 14: Kieren Perrow (AUS), Daniel Ross (AUS), Luke Munro (AUS)
Heat 15: Fredrick Patacchia (HAW), Patrick Gudauskas (USA), Owen Wright (AUS)
Heat 16: Dean Morrison (AUS), Jadson Andre (BRA), Adam Melling (AUS)