The Women’s World Tour has added a new event to their 2013 schedule. In early October, the tour will head to Portugal for the EDP Cascais Girls Pro. In recent years, the Women’s Tour has shed some of their most famous events, most notably Honolua and Sunset, much to the frustration of women on the World Tour. However, the addition of a new event to this season’s schedule has many of the female surfers breathing a sigh of relief.
“We’re excited to confirm the addition of Portugal to this year’s women’s WCT schedule,” said Jessi Miley-Dyer, ASP Women’s World Tour Manager. “The ASP Top 17 were informed about the possibility of this addition at the start of the season and have been well prepared for it. Portugal is a great country and Cascais have been big supporters of women’s surfing as a qualifying event in the past. We’re happy to bring the world’s best female surfers there this season.”
In the past, the EDP Cascais Girls Pro was run as a 6-star event. As a WT event, the comp is scheduled to run a week before the men’s Rip Curl Pro at Peniche, which is located nearby.
“It’s really exciting to hear that we’ll be extending the season this year,” said Malia Manuel. “I’ve been to Cascais, Portugal before and the town is just beautiful. There are some good waves there and I think the event will have a lot of potential.”
The addition of the new event to the season ties into a larger plan initiated by ZoSea Media to reinvigorate women’s professional surfing. Last year, ZoSea purchased the ASP and stated that they had plans to reinvigorate the women’s tour.
“I don’t know if in the past we have given them [women] the best waves to surf on or that we’ve delivered the best experience for their fans,” said ASP CEO Paul Speaker to Transworld Business. “There are way more brands that target women than men, and I don’t know if we’ve done a good enough job of getting this sport in front of them for them to realize how powerful this sport is. I also believe that the athletes themselves are at a historic high level of competition and are unbelievable role models. I have daughters, 10 to 14 years old, and I’m excited to deliver to them an experience, whether it’s at an event in the water or on the television or computer screen, that will blow them away…These women are extraordinary and we take it very seriously to make sure they get the exposure they deserve.”