Women’s Billabong Pro Tahiti To Crown Champion Today

FRIDAY 12 MAY, 2006?
TEAHUPOO, TAHITI??

BILLABONG PRO TAHITI?
4-16 MAY 2006??

EVENT #3 ON THE 2006 FOSTER’S ASSOCIATION OF SURFING PROFESSIONALS (ASP) MEN’S WORLD TOUR and ASP WOMEN’S WORLD TOUR??

LIVE on www.billabongpro.com or www.aspworldtour.com????

Only seven heats remain of the Billabong Pro Tahiti women’s event and contest organizers expect to wrap up competition in excellent four to six foot (1.5 — 2 metres) waves at Teahupoo today. ??Still in contention for the crown are former ASP Women’s World Champions Layne Beachley (AUS), Sofia Mulanovich (PER) and Chelsea Georgeson (AUS)— all of whom have won here before.??No one has won at Teahupoo more than Keala Kennelly (HAW) however.

The Hawaiian claimed victories here in 2000, 2002 and 2003.??Kennelly, who is very vocal about her affinity for the wave, will be eager to post her fourth victory at ‘Chopes,’ especially in the wake of the announcement that the women’s division of the Billabong Pro Tahiti will be absent from the 2007 calendar.??

Because Teahupoo is such a dangerous and critical wave, sending surfers out in ideal conditions is imperative. Running the women’s event in tandem with the men’s makes it difficult to find six days of conditions that meet that criteria in a 12-day waiting period.??Billabong has added an additional ASP Women’s World Tour event in Brazil in the interim, and will explore alternative opportunities to bring the women back to Teahupoo in the future.??Current ASP ratings leader Melanie Redman-Carr (AUS), who made last year’s final against defending champion Georgeson, also remains in the running.

Redman-Carr has won the first two events on this year’s tour — the first on the Gold Coast of Australia and the second in Fiji.??Rounding out the quarterfinalists are second year surfers Rebecca Woods (AUS) and Claire Bevilaqcua (AUS).??Only three and half hours are needed to run the remaining quarterfinal, semifinal, and final heats and competition will begin at 8:30 am local time.??

QUARTERFINAL HEATS??
Heat 1: Sofia Mulanovich (PER) vs. Heather Clark (ZAF)??
Heat 2: Rebecca Woods (AUS) vs. Melanie Redman-Carr (AUS)??
Heat 3: Layne Beachley (AUS) vs. Keala Kennelly (HAW)??
Heat 4: Claire Bevilacqua (AUS) vs. Chelsea Georgeson (AUS)