Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) www.aspworldtour.com2003 World Championship Tour (WCT)
Munro Wins Quiksilver Pro Trials
(Snapper Rocks, QLD, Australia) Defending Quiksilver Pro Trials champion Luke Munro (Gold Coast, Aus) today proved superior for the second consecutive year, earning a wildcard spot into the US$250,000 World Championship Tour (WCT) main event. Earlier an official press launch held on-site welcomed all competitors and kicked off the 2003 Quiksilver & Roxy Pro in style.
Munro, 20, fended off 11 other hopefuls to advance through the Quiksilver Pro Trials. Despite being the last surfer to qualify for the four-man final after a count back on his accumulative round-robin scores, the defending champ found form during the 30-minute decider. Having posted an 8.75 near the start, he kept closest rival Will Lewis at bay, as well as fellow Australians Todd Prestage and Ry Craike, respectively. He now faces reigning world champion Andy Irons (Haw) and Lee Winkler (Aus) in one of the most anticipated first round heats.
“It doesn’t really feel two in a row, but more like I’m back to where I want to be,” said Munro, on defending his title. “I wish there could have been two wildcards as Will is pretty much the best out at Snapper. I can’t say how good he surfs out here, but to beat him is great.
“It’s a year down the track and my surfing has changed,” he continued. “Hopefully it will reflect in my heats. Last year I took it way too seriously and ended up not surfing how I would have liked, but this year I’ll hopefully stay relaxed and enjoy myself. I’m stoked going up against Andy. I can’t wait.”
Five-time world champion Layne Beachley (Aus) was on hand to express her desire of getting ‘back to work’ in the Roxy Pro. The driven competitor entered the record books last year by becoming the first women to amass more than four world titles, though has her sights set even higher in 2003.
“It’s the best place to start the world tour, here in Australia at Snapper,” began Beachley. “It’s fabulous Roxy have picked up the first event of the year and I’m looking forward to getting back to work. I’ve told everyone that I want to win six world titles, but I’m not putting the pressure or expectations on myself that I have over the past five years. There’s going to be a lot of challenges this year, so it’s going to be a tough season.”
Four-time world champion Lisa Andersen (USA) is the dark horse of the Roxy Pro, having been granted the wildcard spot. She faces Beachley and 2002 WQS champion Pauline Menczer (Aus) first up, but is happy just to be included.
“I didn’t know I was getting a wildcard until just a few weeks ago,” admitted Andersen. “Out of any of the contests I’d probably rather be in this one as the waves are so fun. I’m stoked to be part of the event and am amping to surf.”
The Quiksilver & Roxy Pro will be based at Snapper Rocks from tomorrow, March 4th through to the 16th, and being mobile means they will utilize the best surf between North Stradbroke Is, Qld and Ballina in Northern NSW during the allotted waiting period. A decision will be made each morning by 7am (local time) as to the day’s schedule, with details posted soon after.