ASP Women’s World Title Race Heats Up

Brazilian Silvana Lima looks to defend her Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic title. Photo courtesy ASP/Scholtz

Brazilian Silvana Lima looks to defend her Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic title. Photo courtesy ASP/Scholtz

DEE WHY, Sydney/Australia (Monday, April 19, 2010) – The Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic will welcome the world’s best female surfers this Wednesday, April 21, to the world-renowned Northern Beaches of Sydney, Australia, for the next stop on this season’s thrilling ASP Dream Tour.

Event No. 4 on the 2010 ASP Women’s World Tour, the Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic will play a vital role in the requalification campaigns of the ASP Top 17 as well as provide crucial results to the newly-shaken up 2010 ASP Women’s World Title race.

Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 22, reigning three-time ASP Women’s World Champion, opened up 2010 with a stranglehold on this season’s title race with two wins on the Gold Coast and at Bells Beach, but a shock Round 3 elimination in New Zealand has opened the possibilities to a bevy of challengers.

“Obviously New Zealand was not the result I wanted but I’ve put it behind me and am focusing on Sydney,” Gilmore said. “Carissa (Moore) was ripping from the beginning of the event and that win will definitely be good for her confidence. Sally (Fitzgibbons) was in good form too and it will only be a matter of time before she takes a win too. It’s exciting. The level of surfing has definitely stepped up this season and every heat is a challenge.”

Gilmore, who took out the Beachley Classic twice in 2006 (as a wildcard) and 2007, will look to refocus her energies on home soil in Australia this week as she attempts to put her Equal 9th place finish in New Zealand behind her.

“I love the event in Sydney,” Gilmore said. “It has a good atmosphere. The waves are usually hit or miss so you need to be prepared for anything. We’ve had small and gutless and big and messy so it can often be a test of nerves with the ocean, but it’s always exciting.”

Gilmore will battle Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS), 23, and the event wildcard in the opening round of competition.

Silvana Lima (BRA), 25, defending Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic winner and current ASP Women’s World No. 8, has had a consistent start to 2010 with three consecutive Equal 5th place finishes, but will look to jumpstart this season’s campaign with a repeat performance in Sydney.

“I have been surfing good but have no made it past the Quarterfinals this year,” Lima said. “To be sitting 8th is not where I want to be if I want to challenge for a world title. I feel good though. My boards feel good and I hope I have the same result in Sydney as last year.”

Lima will face Rebecca Woods (AUS), 25, and Lee Ann Curren (FRA), 20, in Round 1 of competition.

The ASP Top 17 will be joined by the winner of the Oakley Wildcard Trials, which will run the morning of the 21st.

The Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic will run from April 21 through 26, 2010 and will be webcast LIVE via beachleyclassic.com.

For more information, log onto aspworldtour.com.


COMMONWEALTH BANK BEACHLEY CLASSIC ROUND 1 MATCH-UPS:

Heat 1: Chelsea Hedges (AUS), Carissa Moore (HAW), Amee Donohoe (AUS)
Heat 2: Silvana Lima (BRA), Rebecca Woods (AUS), Lee Ann Curren (FRA)
Heat 3: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS), TBA
Heat 4: Sofia Mulanovich (PER), Rosanne Hodge (ZAF), Nikita Robb (ZAF)
Heat 5: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Paige Hareb (NZL), Claire Bevilacqua (AUS)
Heat 6: Melanie Bartels (HAW), Coco Ho (HAW), Bruna Schmitz (BRA)

PRESS CONFERENCE:

When: Tuesday, April 20, 2010 – 11am
Where: Opera Bat, Circular Quay, Sydney Harbour
Who: Stephanie Gilmore, Silvana Lima, Tyler Wright, Layne Beachley