La Côte des Basques, Biarritz – France (Saturday, July 12, 2009) – The Roxy ASP Women’s World Longboard Championships got underway today in Biarritz with Round 1 being completed in dramatic fashion as reigning ASP Women’s World Longboard Champion Joy Monahan (HAW) was eliminated in Heat 8 by Summer Romero (USA). From major upsets to high performances, Day 1 of competition witnessed world class longboard action, the world’s best thirty-two surfers displaying a mix of classic nose-rides and well-executed maneuvers to win their Round 2 ticket.
Last year’s Roxy ASP Women’s World Longboard Championships runner-up Chelsea Williams (Gold Coast, AUS), 23, made her intentions clear halfway through the day, the Australian surfer finishing on top of the closest exchange of the day against Cori Schumacher (USA) with an impressive 16.50 point heat tally (out of a possible 20). Williams, who was cheered by the crowd while executing a five-second perfect hang-five maneuver on a set wave, left the water with serious confidence before she meets fellow Australian surfer Isabelle Braly (AUS) in Round 2.
“It was a really hard heat,” Williams said. “Not many waves came through and Cori (Schumacher) is such a good surfer so I was lucky to get that one wave and post higher scores than hers. That one heat was the only one I worried about before the kick off and I don’t even know who is on the other side of the draw so I am definitely feeling confident and more relaxed from now on.”
Williams’ excellent performance included an 8.75 point ride (out of a possible 10), the day’s highest single wave score, the 23-year-old competitor finding a long righthander to secure an impressive nose-ride and take the lead over Schumacher.
“I caught the wave from just a bit closer in and it walled up really good. I got a long nose-ride to start with, than a second one and it was a pretty good scorer.”
The upset of the day came with defending Roxy Jam champion Joy Monahan (Oahu, HAW) exiting competition after losing to Summer Romero (California, USA), 27, in a surprising heat finish. Monahan, reigning ASP Women’s World Longboard champion, was not able to counter Romero’s solid surfing finishing with an average 11.50 point heat score. Romero’s win over Monahan today was a big relief and confidence boost for her upcoming Round 2 match-up against other upseter of the day Coline Menard (REU).
“To be honest I didn’t think I was going to advance through today and didn’t have any high hopes,” Romero said. “Maybe that was a good thing for me actually. Joy (Monahan) is one of my favorite surfers but to beat her in Round 1 feels pretty good. It is kind of unreal [to beat the world champion] and I am going to enjoy it.”
Romero, a renowned longboarder who has had a successful career including a win in the prestigious Rabbit Kekai Invitational in 2004, will try and build momentum from her performance to keep going in the event.
“Joy (Monahan) is a good friend of mine and she is really mellow as I am so it was good heat to be in. I am going to keep my mentality of having fun,” Romero said. “It is always amazing to be here and I am going to go as far as Biarritz lets me!”
Day 1 of competition witnessed several close exchanges between event top seeds wearing the pink Roxy singlet and outsiders, the majority of the favorites making their way through to Round 2 which will feature eight One-to-one match-ups. Jennifer Smith (California, USA), 22, former ASP Women’s World Longboard Champion (2007), was one the favorites to confirm her supremacy and secure her Round 2 berth confidently. Smith’s 14.75 point heat score was enough to show her upcoming opponents she is in good form for her 2009 world title quest, the Californian stylish surfer scoring an 8.00 point ride en route to her heat win.
“First I kept taking off on some small waves that were not going to give me any scores and I don’t know what I was doing,” Smith said. “It took me a while to warm-up out there but finally I got a good solid wave and it felt good.”
Smith, who will now face fellow American Kelly Nicely (USA) in Round 2, made clear she was a favorite today and possibly en route to reclaiming her ASP title after a year break.
“I am taking it heat by heat definitely,” Smith said. “At this point, anyone I am matched-up against I will have to surf my best. I am going to paddle out there, give it my best and see what happens.”
A new swell is supposed to deliver consistent three foot (one meter) waves when the remaining sixteen Roxy ASP Women’s World title contenders meet with event officials to assess conditions tomorrow Monday, July 13, at 11 AM.
ROXY ASP WWLC ROUND 1 RESULTS
Heat 1: Justine Dupont (FRA) 9.75 pts Def. Johanne Defay (REU) 4.75 pts
Heat 2: Yoko Furuchi (JPN) 14.50 pts Def. Claire Karabatsos (FRA) 8.65 pts
Heat 3: Kelia Moniz (HAW) 13.25 pts Def. Claire Dereux (FRA) 6.40 pts
Heat 4: Leah Dawson (USA) 12.00 pts Def. Michelle Hill (ZAF) 7.05 pts
Heat 5: Rachel Barry (USA) 8.85 pts Def. Philippa Hill (ZAF) 4.00 pts
Heat 6: Geodee Clark (HAW) 12.50 pts Def. Jennifer Flannigan (USA) 9.65 pts
Heat 7: Coline Menard (FRA) 10.90 pts Def. Crystal Dzigas (HAW) 9.25 pts
Heat 8: Summer Romero (USA) 12.75 pts Def. Joy Monahan (HAW) 11.50 pts
Heat 9: Chelsea Williams (AUS) 16.50 pts Def. Cori Schumacher (USA) 15.10 pts
Heat 10: Isabelle Braly (AUS) 8.25 pts Def. Karina Abras (BRA) 7.60 pts
Heat 11: Kassia Meador (USA) 12.50 pts Def. Renate Moerman (NDL) 4.10 pts
Heat 12: Miku Uemura (HAW) 13.25 pts Def. Georgia Young (AUS) 8.40 pts
Heat 13: Jennifer Smith (USA) 14.75 pts Def. Rosie Lock (AUS) 7.75 pts
Heat 14: Kelly Nicely (USA) 10.75 pts Def. Cristiana Pires (BRA) 7.85 pts
Heat 15: Julie Cox (USA) 9.25 pts Def. Pandora Decoster (FRA) 7.00 pts
Heat 16: Yuko Shimajiri (JPN) 7.00 pts Def. Candice O’Donnell (GBR) 4.80 pts
UPCOMING ASP WWLC ROUND 2 MATCH-UPS
Heat 1: Justine Dupont (FRA) Vs Yoko Furuchi (JPN)
Heat 2: Kelia Moniz (HAW) Vs Leah Dawson (USA)
Heat 3: Rachel Barry (USA) Vs Geodee Clark (HAW)
Heat 4: Coline Menard (REU) Vs Summer Romero (USA)
Heat 5: Chelsea Williams (AUS) Vs Isabelle Braly (AUS)
Heat 6: Kassia Meador (HAW) Vs Miku Uemura (HAW)
Heat 7: Jennifer Smith (USA) Vs Kelly Nicely (USA)
Heat 8: Julie Cox (USA) Vs Yuko Shimajiri (JPN)
Photos, videos and news of the The Roxy ASP Women’s World Longboard Championships (WWLC) available at www.aspworldtour.com and www.roxyjam.com