Malibu, California, USA
RIP CURL PRO MALIBU (1 October – 9 October)
EVENT #7 ON THE WOMEN’S ASSOCIATION OF SURFING PROFESSIONALS (ASP) WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP TOUR
Trudy Todd Wins The Rip Curl Malibu Pro After Top Seeds Bow Out Early
Australian Trudy Todd, a 13-year tour veteran who hasn’t relished an event victory for over five years, overcame Samantha Cornish (AUS) to win the Rip Curl Malibu Pro in epic four to six foot (one to two meter) surf today. Todd, who jumped from equal 13th to 7th on the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) world ratings with the win, announced earlier in the season that this will be her last year competing on the World Championship Tour (WCT).
“I said to the girls, ‘you know, I really want to go out winning a contest and being on top instead of getting kicked off the tour and looking like a kook,’ so I guess I did that, joked Todd.
“My last win was in Maui in 1999 – back when I was in my prime, she continued. “I broke my back in 2000 and have had cancer twice in the last six years, so I’m retiring because my health is good and I really want to get married, have kids and have a life other than the tour.
Though many expected to see another showdown between close friends and ratings leaders Sofia Mulanovich (PER) and Chelsea Georgeson (AUS), fans lining the shore of Surfrider Beach were treated to a slightly different best friend battle.
“Sam and I are best friends and travel buddies. She’s a ripper and I’ve known her since she was a young girl so I was like, ‘Let’s just go out there and surf. We’ve got great waves, I’m retiring, and I’ve finally got a final with you, explained Todd.
The girls did just that, but it would ultimately be Todd who came out on top.
“Obviously I’m disappointed I didn’t win, but second is a really good result, conceded Cornish. “I had such an awesome day surfing perfect Malibu waves that I’m overwhelmed. I’m just stoked that one of my good friends won. I haven’t seen Trudy win one since I started on the ‘CT and she’s going to retire at the end of the year so I’m stoked to see her win. I’m disappointed but I’m glad to see it was one of my good mates.
Cornish squashed defending Malibu Pro champion Megan Abubo’s chances of a repeat win in the semis, just one heat after flattening number one rated surfer Mulanovich’s hopes of furthering her ratings lead in the quarterfinals. Mulanovich’s loss to Cornish came as quite a surprise after the Peruvian’s survived her heat against wildcard Stephanie Gilmore (AUS). Many thought that if she were to be beaten early, Gilmore would have been the girl to do it.
Also shockingly eliminated in the quarterfinals were Georgeson and six times world champion Layne Beachley (AUS). Both surfers were hoping to narrow world title rating points gaps here in Malibu.
“It’s not the best way to finish the contest, but I guess if I want to win a world title, it is good that Layne and Sofia both bowed out at the same time, said Georgeson. “I’m just bummed that I blew it because I had a really good opportunity to get ahead of both of those girls, but there are two contests left and hopefully I can pull something together then and get a good result. I’m stoked though, we have to wait until Hawaii now.
Beachley expressed similar sentiments. Despite posting today’s best heat score of a 17.5 (out of a possible 20 points), she was unable to beat an in-form Melanie Redman-Carr (AUS).
“It opened the door for me to catch them, and my frustration lies with the fact that I’ve been surfing the best, getting the best scores and I just didn’t get another wave, said Beachley. “It was a really slow heat. I’m bitterly disappointed because if I got through that heat and into the final, I would’ve been a serious contender for the world title.
Today’s somewhat surprising results leave the 2005 world title race up in the air, with Mulanovich, Georgeson, Abubo and Beachley still mathematically capable of ending the year as number onee. For Beachley to capture a seventh world title and for Abubo to win her first, the girls would need to win the final two events of the year with Mulanovich and Georgeson eliminated before the quarterfinals in both events. Even if Mulanovich wins the next event held in Haleiwa Beach, Hawaii from November 12-24, as long as Georgeson makes the semifinal, the race will run through to the final event of the year at Honolua Bay, Maui, from December 8-19.
In true Hollywood fashion, a Celebrity Surf Bout was also held today. Much to the delight of the beach full of fans, over a dozen television, film and music personalities took to Malibu Point to raise awareness for the Heal the Bay foundation, an environmental awareness organization. Red Hot Chili Peppers bassist Flea, NYPD Blue’s Ricky Schroeder and Andrew Keegan of Ten Things I Hate About You were among those in attendance.
ASP Ratings after Stop #7 on the Women’s World Championship Tour
1. Sofia Mulanovich 5820 point
2. Chelsea Georgeson 5592 points
3. Megan Abubo 4320 points
4. Layne Beachley 4308 points
5. Rochelle Ballard 3924 points
6. Melanie Redman-Carr 3912 points
7. Trudy Todd 3756 points
8. Samantha Cornish 3708 points
9. Keala Kennelly 3696 points
10. Rebecca Woods 3312 points
11. Jacqueline Silva 3096 points
12. Serena Brooke 2952 points
13. Claire Bevilacqua 2929 points
14. Laurina McGrath 2736 points
15. Heather Clark 2352 points
16. Maria Tita Tavares 1812 points
17. Melanie Bartels 1800 points
18. Pauline Menczer 540 points
Full ratings and final draw sheet available at aspworldtour.com
Trudy Todd (AUS) 15.00 def. Samantha Cornish (AUS) 13.50
Heat 1: Samantha Cornish (AUS) 15.75 def. Megan Abubo 9.00
Heat 2: Trudy Todd (AUS) 14.25 def. Melanie Redman-Carr (AUS) 12.60