Rochelle Ballard’s First Annual O’Neill Island Girl Junior Pro Supported By Reef

Hawai’i Girls Get Their Day In The Sun

EVENT: O’NEILL ISLAND GIRL JUNIOR PRO

DATE: SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2005

PLACE:PRINCE KUHIO (PK’s), POIPU, KAUA’I

POIPU, KAUA’I, Aug. 30, 2005 — Hawai’i surfer girls will have the opportunity to compete in Hawai’i’s first-ever, all-female Junior Pro event on Sept. 18 at Prince Kuhio’s on the south shore of Kaua’i. With a $5,000 purse, the groundbreaking event provides a stepping-stone for young women to advance from amateur to professional surfing. The contest is inspired by pro surfer Rochelle Ballard and is sponsored by O’Neill with the support of Reef.

“This is an opportunity to showcase the talent of the next generation of future world champions from Hawai’i, says Ballard, who was runner-up to the 2004 world title and currently fourth on the World Championship Tour. The O’Neill Island Girl Junior Pro will be run in an Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) format. The contest is limited to 64 competitors between the ages of 8 and 21.

“Hawai’i has raised some of the best amateurs in the world. Having an all-girls junior pro gives them the opportunity to shine and show off their skills with the hope of bringing them to the professional level, said O’Neill Junior’s Marketing Manager, Karin Moran.

The event will be held in conjunction with the Rochelle Ballard Fifth Annual O’Neill Surf Camp, which will draw many of Hawai’i’s most promising young surfers including Coco Ho, Leilani Gryde, and O’Neill team rider Alana Mock. The three-day training camp focuses on technique, ocean safety, competitive strategy, and health awareness. “Every year we introduce new things to advance their skills, Rochelle says, adding that this year there will be an introduction to heavy water rescues.

Role models like Keala Kennelly, Kaipo Jaquias, Max Madeiros, Kalani Vierra and fellow O’Neill team rider Melanie Bartels. will become mentors to the 8- to 21-year-olds for the three-day training camp. In addition to surf training, the camp enables the girls to cultivate new friendships and talk about the challenges they face and how to overcome them.

“This is the fifth year of hosting the camp, says Rochelle, who sees the huge impact these girls will make on the sport and the surf industry. “O’Neill and Reef have supported my vision from the beginning.

“O’Neill is proud to support Hawaiian surfing, adds Moran. “Getting the girls used to the ASP format is an opportunity for them to prepare for their future.

For Rochelle, the camp and the contest bring her full circle back to her roots on Kaua’i. “I love surfing with the girls, says Rochelle, who turns into a kid, herself, when she gets in the water with them. “I was inspired by Rell (Sunn) to give back to the community and to the youth. Rell taught us it’s important to know where you came from, to preserve your heritage, and to encourage the keiki.

Registration for the contest and the camp is available through Nukumoi Surf Co. at (808) 651-6024. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to the International Women’s Surfing (IWS) and Boarding for Breast Cancer. For more information, visit www.oneill.com.

O’Neill is the world’s original surf brand. The family-owned and operated company distributes its products to 85 countries, including more than 2,000 specialty wetsuit and clothing retailers in the U.S. Consumer information is available at www.oneill.com.