LOBITOS, Piura/Peru (Thursday, November 5, 2009) – Round 1 of the Movistar Peru Classic presented by Rip Curl was completed today in clean two-foot (1 metre) waves at Lobitos.
Event No. 5 of 7 on the 2009 ASP Women’s World Tour, today’s Movistar Peru Classic was dominated by perennial ASP Women’s World Title contenders and top seeds in an impressive announcement of their intentions in Peru.
Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 21, reigning two-time ASP Women’s World Champion and two-time defending event winner in Peru, controlled her Round 1 debut from the outset, netting the highest heat total of the day, a 14.44 out of a possible 20, with some powerful turns on her backhand. Despite enduring the trans-Atlantic journey from Portugal and the subsequent lay days, Gilmore was excited to don the competition singlet once again and will be a favorite as the event progresses.
“I think when there are a few days off, everyone gets pretty antsy to get started but there are some little waves and fun ones,” Gilmore said. “I really enjoy this wave out here at Lobitos and surfing my backhand. I like it so I am excited to be straight through to Round 3 and I am excited to see who gets through as well.”
Sofia Mulanovich (PER), 26, former ASP Women’s World Champion (2004) and current ASP Women’s World No. 4, was another standout today, utilizing her years of experience at the break to advance directly through to Round 3.
“It is great to be competing at home,” Mulanovich said. “Hopefully the waves get more consistent but I think it is going to be a good show for everyone. It is great to have the whole family here and the fans, they are fun.”
Silvana Lima (BRA), 25, current ASP Women’s World No. 2, survived a closely-fought Round 1 affair, edging past Samantha Cornish (AUS), 29, and wildcard Anali Gomez (PER), 21.
“It was coming so slow but it is really fun,” Lima said. “You can make a lot of maneuvers. I think it is going to be better in the next days. The swell is coming and that will make it better for everyone. I think everyone is excited for the waves that are coming.”
While the top seeds took out five of the six Round 1 heats today, the big upset came in the opening affair of the round as current ASP Women’s World No. 5, Melanie Bartels (HAW), 27, was relegated to the elimination Round 2 by an in-form Rebecca Woods (AUS), 25, and 2009 ASP Dream Tour rookie Alana Blanchard (HAW), 19.
“I was pretty down for a couple of days after Portugal,” Woods said. “Hassling heats are always difficult and that is what it turned into out there. The waves are perfect when they come.”
Highlights from today’s Movistar Peru Classic will be available via www.aspworldtour.com
Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow at 7am for a possible 7:30am start.
When competition resumes, up first will be Melanie Bartels (HAW), 27, Megan Abubo (HAW), 31, and Nadja DeCol (PER), 19, in Round 1 of the elimination Round 2.
The Movistar Peru Classic presented by Rip Curl will host the ASP Top 17 from November 3 – 8, 2009.
For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com
MOVISTAR PERU CLASSIC ROUND 1 RESULTS:
Heat 1: Rebecca Woods (AUS) 10.57, Alana Blanchard (HAW) 9.84, Melanie Bartels (HAW) 3.90
Heat 2: Coco Ho (HAW) 12.83, Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 8.90, Paige Hareb (NZL) 7.24
Heat 3: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 14.44, Rosanne Hodge (ZAF) 11.20, Nadia DeCol (PER) 5.50
Heat 4: Silvana Lima (BRA) 11.10, Samantha Cornish (AUS) 10.80, Anali Gomez (PER) 9.77
Heat 5: Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 13.06, Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 10.07, Megan Abubo (HAW) 8.97
Heat 6: Chelsea Hedges (AUS) 10.27, Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 7.27, Bruna Schmitz (BRA) 7.17
MOVISTAR PERU CLASSIC ROUND 2 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Melanie Bartels (HAW), Megan Abubo (HAW), Nadja DeCol (PER)
Heat 2: Paige Hareb (NZL), Bruna Schmitz (BRA), Anali Gomez (PER)