TARANAKI, New Plymouth/New Zealand (Monday, April 26, 2011) – The ASP Women's World Title season will move from strength to strength this week with the commencement of the TSB Bank Women's Surf Festival in Taranaki, New Zealand from April 27 through May 1, 2011.
In the midst of a red-hot ASP Women's World Title season, the TSB Bank Women's Surf Festival will feature the world's best female surfers as they square off for points, prize money and the all-important ASP Women's World Title.
Carissa Moore (HAW), 18, current ASP Women's World No. 1 and defending event winner, made a genuine connection with New Zealand last season, donating all of her prize money to the local Waitara Boardriders Club.
"The people are so welcoming and the beaches and surrounding areas are beautiful," Moore said. "I got my first win of the season last year here and really made a connection with the other kids at the Waitara Boardriders Club. It was a really special event for me last year and I hope I can have another great one.
While boasting a healthy command in the race for the 2011 ASP Women's World Title, Moore is admittedly cautious when discussing her aspirations for the season.
"I mostly focus on the heat ahead of me and my surfing," Moore said. "It's a long year ahead so I'm trying not to get too far ahead of myself. I just want to do my best surfing and see where that takes me."
Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 23, reigning four-time ASP Women's World Champion and current ASP Women's World No. 4, has had an uncharacteristic slow start to 2011, but the iconic natural-footer is keen to return to New Zealand and keep improving her form this season.
"Bells was an improvement for me over the Gold Coast but I still have a ways to go," Gilmore said. "My surfing is feeling stronger than it was at the start of the year, but the girls on tour this year are surfing really well. Every heat is a challenge and it's an exciting time for women's surfing. I didn't have the best result in New Zealand last season so I'm excited to get back there and redeem myself a bit."
Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), 20, winner of last week's Rip Curl Women's Pro Bells Beach and current ASP Women's World No. 2, is now well and truly a major player in the hint for the 2011 ASP Women's World Title.
"I guess I'm still riding the high from Saturday," Fitzgibbons said. "I'm excited to get to Taranaki though. I had a good event there last year and I feel like my surfing is where it needs to be. Hopefully we get some good waves again this year."
The TSB Bank Women's Surf Festival will be webcast LIVE via nzsurffestival.co.nz/.
For more information, log onto aspworldtour.com.