Big Surf Headed To Billabong Pro Maui

Chelsea Hedges at Honolua Bay. Photo: ASP/Getty Images

Chelsea Hedges at Honolua Bay. Photo: ASP/Getty Images

Bombing Swell Heads Towards Honolua Bay for Billabong Pro Maui

HONOLUA BAY, Maui/Hawaii (Monday, December 7, 2009) – With a massive swell expected to tackle the Hawaiian Islands, the Billabong Pro Maui presented by Hawaiian Airlines will kick off the event’s 13 day waiting period tomorrow and the globe’s finest 17 competitive female surfers will post up at Maui’s famed righthand pointbreak of Honolua Bay to do battle for the Vans Triple Crown title as well as the valuable ratings points towards requalification for the 2010 ASP Women’s World Tour.

Alana Blanchard (HAW), 19, has been on a hot streak throughout the Vans Triple Crown series, taking out the Vans Hawaiian Pro at Haleiwa before taking fourth place at the Gidget Pro Sunset Beach. The impressive back-to-back results posted by the ASP Women’s World Tour rookie currently see her atop the Vans Triple Crown series and Blanchard will need to stay consistent at the upcoming Billabong Pro Maui to take out the prestigious series.

“I don’t really feel any pressure even though it would be amazing to win,” Blanchard said. “I don’t have any expectations, I’m just going to go out there and have fun.”

Blanchard has more riding on the Billabong Pro Maui than just the Vans Triple Crown title, and is also in need of another impressive result to requalify for the 2010 ASP Women’s World Tour.”

“It’s important for me to do well at this event, but I try not to think about it,” Blanchard said. “If worse comes to worse I’ll just do the ‘QS again. This was my first year on tour and I’ve learned a lot from it.”

Coco Ho (HAW), 18, current ASP Women’s World No. 3, has had a sensational season while competing in her rookie year amongst the international field that make up the ASP Women’s World Tour. The talented regular-footer has been the only rookie thus far to claim an event victory in 2009 and is hoping she can end her season with another solid result on Maui.

“I’m super stoked with my year so far,” Ho said. “Coming on tour with four other amazing rookies is definitely what fired me up. I will need to really step it up in this last event because Sally is right on my tail for Rookie of the Year.”

Ho, who hails from an impressive bloodline of champion Hawaiian surfers, is still relatively new to Honolua’s reeling right-handers, but is looking forward to capitalizing on the solid forecasted swell which is expected to produce solid waves for the upcoming Billabong Pro Maui.

“I’m actually really new to Honolua,” Ho said. “Before this last swell, I’ve had not surfed it bigger than three feet. So, with all of the predicted swell, things should be really exciting! It’s an amazing wave with lots of opportunity and to get out there with two other girls is going to be a dream.”

The Billabong Pro Maui presented by Hawaiian Airlines holds a waiting period from December 8 through 20, 2009. Event information can be found via www.triplecrownofsurfing.com or www.billabongpro.com/maui09/

For additional ASP information log on to www.aspworldtour.com

BILLABONG PRO MAUI ROUND 1 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Paige Hareb (NZL), Bruna Schmitz (BRA)
Heat 2: Coco Ho (HAW), Samantha Cornish (AUS), Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS)
Heat 3: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Jacqueline Silva (BRA), TBA
Heat 4: Silvana Lima (BRA), Rebecca Woods (AUS), TBA
Heat 5: Sofia Mulanovich (PER), Rosanne Hodge (ZAF), Megan Abubo (HAW)
Heat 6: Chelsea Hedges (AUS), Melanie Bartels (HAW), Alana Blanchard (HAW)