Quick Talk With ASP Women's World Tour Rookie Lee-Ann Curren Before Roxy Pro Gold Coast Start
GOLD COAST, Australia (Thursday, February 25, 2010) – Lee-Ann Curren (Biarritz, FRA), 20, qualified for the ASP Women's World Tour last December after a couple of years touring on the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS). Curren, a former ASP European Pro Junior champion and ASP European Women's Champion, will fly the French flag amongst women's elite surfing in 2010, becoming the third French and European female surfer ever to enter the coveted ASP Top 17.
At 20 years old, Curren will be starting her rookie year at the Roxy Pro Gold Coast starting this weekend in Australia, a premiere for the Biarritz resident who has been waiting for this since turning professional two years ago. Having competed in a few ASP Women's World Tour events thanks to wildcards, Curren will use her classic nonetheless aggressive style when she paddles out for Round 1 of the season opener against former ASP Women's World Champion Sofia Mulanovich (PER) and experienced athlete Rosanne Hodge (ZAF).
While preparing for her much expected start against the big names of the sport, Curren sent us a few words by email. Sitting in her apartment right in front of the world class beachbreaks of Coolangatta, this is what Lee-Ann has to say…
ASP Europe: How are you? What's the feeling like going to your first ASP Women's World Tour event as a member f the elite?
Lee-Ann Curren: It took me more than three days to get to the Gold Coast, I missed a connection and had to wait for a new flight, etc… So I was pretty tired when I got here but fortunately there was some swell and good waves and I was able to recover from jet lag fast enough. Going into that first event is great, surfing with the world's best female surfers and knowing I'll be competing against them is really special and a great motivation.
ASPE: You know a few of the girls on tour already and have been competing in a few events thanks to wildcards in the past. Does it make it easier?
LAC: I am happy I got those wildcards the past couple of years because it would have been a lot more pressure if i twas my first ever ASP Women's World Tour event. It doesn't mean it will be easy though because a lot of the girls on tour just rip. Anyone can lose first round at any event so I'll give it my best, I will try and improve and we'll see how it goes.
ASPE: These days professional surfers travel with at least one coach, sometimes a couple of persons to help out. What's your plan for your rookie season? Who will be travelling with?
LAC: I think the entourage of a professional athlete has always been crucial. I feel I am lucky because I have great people around me, my family and my friends in Biarritz (Team ALC) who have always been supporting me. I also work with a coach who will be travelling with me this year, and my boyfriend Andre (Silva) who competes on the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS). It's great to share that experience together and to be able to surf and train together.
ASPE: You will be travelling to new surf locations… Is there a place where you will feel more comfortable ?
LAC: Well… It seems like everytime I feel I can do well at an event, I lose first round, and vice versa. So let's say I'll do well in… Peru ? Haha…
ASPE: How do you deal with the media and I guess, the growing attention from them?
LAC: When I got back to France before coming to Australia [coming from Brazil…], I had a lot of media requests because of my qualification for the ASP Women's World Tour but my main sponsor Roxy had made up a really good agenda, and everything was wrapped-up in a couple of days. So I feel pretty good with it actually!
ASPE: Looking at the business side of things, how is it going with your sponsors? Do you feel things are going well?
LAC: I have just resigned for three years with my main sponsor Roxy, so it takes us until the end of 2012. I will still be surfing boards made by Al Merrick, Vans sponsors me for shoes and FCS for technical equipment. From that, I've signed a deal with Orange, and Toyota will supply me with a Prius for the next six months. So everything's pretty good!
ASPE: Now talking about your competitive approach… You are known to be calm and relaxed, is it true? Any pressure?
LAC: I do feel pressure of course like any other athlete before my heats, especially for the the first event of the year. Sometimes I can't sleep or eat anything. But that's for crucial moments. Usually when it's time to paddle out and surf, I manage to take the pressure off and focus on my surfing. But generally, I am relaxed.
For more on Lee-Ann Curren, go to www.aspworldtour.com and check out her profile