ASP Top 17 Shine Through Challenging Conditions on Day 1 Billabong Girls Pro Rio

Billabong Girls Pro Rio
Stop No. 4 of 8 on the 2008 ASP Women’s World Tour
Barra de Tijuca, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
September 10 – 18, 2008

Megan Abubo (HAW), 30, was the form surfer during Round 1 of the Billabong Girls Pro Rio today. Photo courtesy ASP Morris/Covered Images

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (Wednesday, September 10, 2008) – Round 1 of the Billabong Girls Pro Rio was completed today in challenging two-to-three foot (1 metre) surf at Barra da Tijuca in Rio de Janeiro, and despite the onshore and inconsistent conditions, the ASP Top 17 lit up the playful beachbreaks to post some solid scores.

Event No. 4 of 8 on the 2008 ASP Women’s World Tour, the Billabong Girls Pro Rio called competition off for the day following the completion of Round 1 in hopes that better waves with manifest later in the week.

Megan Abubo (HAW), 30, took top honors today, crushing the Barra da Tijuca peaks on her forehand to net the day’s high heat total of a 14.65 out of a possible 20.

“That was pretty much my first surf out here in Brazil,” Abubo said. “I got stitches in my hand the last day in France and I tried to surf this morning and it was shocking. I had been watching a little nugget right coming through and I paddled straight out to it. I’m so stoked that I got a couple of good ones straight off and I’m pumped that I’m through to Round 3.”

Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 20, reigning ASP Women’s World Champion and current No. 1 on the ASP Women’s World Tour, powered through the challenging conditions today, besting wildcard Maria Tita Tavares (BRA), 32, and Melanie Bartels (HAW), 26.

“We often get great setups, but it’s not always dream waves or conditions and that’s what happens when you have to kind of clock in at the office for these ones,” Gilmore said. “However, I’d rather be doing this any day and I’m stoked to put another heat behind me and I’m looking forward to the next round.”

Other Round 1 standouts included Jacqueline Silva (BRA), 29, Amee Donohoe (AUS), 27, Sofia Mulanovich (PER), 25, and Silvana Lima (BRA), 23.

Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow morning at 8:30am for a possible 9am Round 2 start.

Opening up the elimination Round 2 will be Samantha Cornish (AUS), 27, up against Julia De La Rosa Toro (PER), 26, and Serena Brooke (AUS), 32.

The Billabong Girls Pro Rio will be webcast LIVE via billabongpro.com/rio08/.

For more information, log onto aspworldtour.com.

Billabong Girls Pro Rio Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: Amee Donohoe (AUS) 10.50, Rebecca Woods (AUS) 10.50, Julia De La Rosa Toro (PER) 7.75
Heat 2: Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 11.75, Melanie Redman-Carr (AUS) 6.25, Samantha Cornish (AUS) 6.10
Heat 3: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 13.00, Maria Tita Tavares (BRA) 7.75, Melanie Bartels (HAW) 7.35
Heat 4: Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 9.10,Rosanne Hodge (ZAF) 7.65, Serena Brooke (AUS) 6.90
Heat 5: Megan Abubo (HAW) 14.65, Layne Beachley (AUS) 10.15, Karina Petroni (USA) 7.45
Heat 6: Silvana Lima (BRA) 11.60, Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 10.95, Nicola Atherton (AUS) 9.40

Billabong Girls Pro Rio Round 2 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Samantha Cornish (AUS), Julia De La Rosa Toro (PER), Serena Brooke (AUS)
Heat 2: Melanie Bartels (HAW), Nicola Atherton (AUS), Karina Petroni (USA)