2005 World Champion Chelsea Hedges Pregnant; Off 2008 WCT

As reported on www.theage.com.au

MOTHERHOOD is punctuating the career of another top Australian surfer. Former world champion Chelsea Hedges will quit the world championship tour to give birth this year.

The 2005 world champion will not tour in 2008 as she and board-shaper husband, Jason, are expecting their first child in June.

Hedges is the second top-rated Australian surfer to quit in the past 12 months, with West Australian Melanie Redman-Carr stepping off the tour last October when she revealed she was expecting.

Hedges, 24, is currently enjoying her last surf trip, holidaying on the Caroline Islands with friends including recently crowned world champion Stephanie Gilmore.

“I’m going to go and surf on a surf mat and have so much fun. I’m over the moon about the baby,” Hedges told friends before departing.

While Hedges will take the entire year off, Redman-Carr has left the door ajar for a possible return in 2008.

The former world No. 2 has been seeded 13th for the 2008 season, which suggests she has notified tour officials about her intent to compete this year.