Malibu, California, USA
RIP CURL PRO MALIBU (1 October ? 9 October)
EVENT #7 ON THE WOMEN’S ASSOCIATION OF SURFING PROFESSIONALS (ASP) WORLDCHAMPIONSHIP TOUR
Rip Curl Footwear Trials To Kick Off Rip Curl Malibu Pro Friday, Sept 30
The Rip Curl Footwear trials, the first installment of action held inconjunction with the Women’s ASP World Championship Tour’s (WCT) arrival inMalibu, Calif., will be held at Leo Carillo Beach tomorrow, Sept. 30.
Twelve trialists, one of whom will earn wildcard entry into the Rip CurlMalibu Pro main event, will surf a Round Robin format on Friday, swelldependent.
The main event is tentatively slated to occur Friday, Oct. 7 and Saturday,Oct. 8 at Malibu’s Surfrider Beach when a forecasted southern hemisphereswell should offer the best conditions available during the Oct. 1-9contest window. The Rip Curl Celebrity Surf Bout will also take place onSaturday, Oct. 8, adding to the climax of the USA?s only stand alonewomen’s professional event.
Among the trialists hoping to advance will be 15-year-old Bethany Hamilton,the young Hawaiian surfer who survived a vicious shark attack two yearsago. Despite the loss of her arm, Hamilton still holds her own in thecompetitive arena and will arrive in Malibu fresh from a recent victory atOahu’s O’Neill Island Girl Junior Pro.
“I am always excited about surfing in big competitions. It’s not easy toget into competitions like this, so I am really happy to be here,” saidHamilton who made her WCT Trials debut when she vied for a spot in the sameevent last year.
“I never know what I’m going to be doing in the water or how I’m going togo, but I just want to have fun. I’m looking forward to it.”
Also looking forward to another shot at a wildcard is Stephanie Gilmore,the 17-year-old Australian powerhouse who has surfed the trials in five ofsix events held this year, winning the wildcard in three of them. Gilmore,who will be surfing Malibu for the first time, took her wildcard win allthe way to the top to become the youngest female surfer to win a WCT eventat her homebreak on the Gold Coast of Australia in March. She will nodoubt be eager to repeat that feat but will first have to outscore surferslike her friend Karina Petroni (USA) who won the trials last year.
“I’m good friends with Karina and after she won the trials she told me allabout the event. She said it was small, but really fun and a great event,”said Gilmore.
“I couldn’t be here last year, but when she got into the main event it waspretty sick and I was pretty stoked for her. We grew up surfing Snappertogether and some breaks really similar to Malibu, so it would be fun toget some good waves for the event.”
“All of the girls said it was so much fun here last year – mixing it upwith the Hollywood crew and celebrities,” Gilmore continued. “It’s animportant event for women’s surfing and it’s pretty cool that it’s a funevent too. I’m really excited about being here and have been lookingforward to it.”
Also on the trials roster are former World Championship Tour surfers MariePierre Abgrall (FRA) and Julia Christian (USA). Christian, a localCalifornian who surfed the 2003 ASP Women’s Tour, secured her spot back inthe big leagues with a major win at the US Open of Surf in Huntington inJuly.
The remaining trialists in the Rip Curl Footwear Trials include Ashley Bobb(USA), Alana Blanchard (HAW), Amy Nicholl (USA), Demi Boelsterli (USA),Malia Manuel (HAW) and Sofia Sarlo (BRA).
The Malibu Pro press conference and official kick-off party will also takeplace Friday. Both will be held at the Malibu Inn.