COOLANGATTA, Australia (Wenesday, Jan. 30, 2008) – The 2008 ASP World Tour roster has been eliciting excitement among the surfers and ASP enthusiasts alike since the new Top 45 were confirmed last December. In three short weeks, the world will take a front row seat to what many are expecting to be a mind-blowing season.
The ASP Women’s World Tour is made up of the top 10 finishers from the previous season, the top 6 finishers on the ASP WQS as well as the ASP Wildcard, making for a total of 17 elite competitors. In the event of double qualification, a competitor qualifying through both the ASP Women’s World Tour and ASP WQS, the next surfer on the ASP WQS ratings is given the nod.
The ASP Wildcard is decided by a tech committee comprised of physicians, surfers and tour managers who review applications for a seed on the 2008 ASP Women’s World Tour. While it has historically been given to surfers who are unable to compete the previous season due to injury, it is not a prerequisite.
In the case of this season, the ASP tech committee deemed that the wildcard would be given to the next highest placing surfer on the ASP Women’s World Tour, Megan Abubo (HAW). Since Abubo had qualified already via her ASP WQS seed as well, this freed up another sport from the qualifying series for Julia De La Rosa Toro (PER).
Chelsea Hedges (AUS), former ASP Women’s World Champion, is pregnant and will sit out the 2008 ASP Women’s World Tour season. Taking her place is the next highest placing surfer from the 2007 ASP Women’s World Tour, South Africa’s Rosanne Hodge.
“My plan right now is to have 2008 off from the tour, relax and enjoy the experience of being pregnant (it will be nice to have a full year at home!),” Hedges said. “I plan to return to the ASP Women’s World Tour in 2009 with 100% support from my sponsor Roxy.”
Hodge, who narrowly missed officially qualifying for the 2008 ASP Women’s World Tour by one heat, will put her stylish approach to good use in 2008, surfing for the pregnant Hedges.
“I was just really happy and relieved when I found out I would be back this season,” Hodge said. “I lost out on officially requalifying by such a small margin in Maui, and I was disappointed in that because in the last event, I finally found my feet and relaxed. I’m so stoked I got a second shot. I’m frothing to travel, surf, compete and get some results. I can’t wait for the first event to start.”
Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), reigning ASP Women’s World Champion, will be the marked surfer this season, having claimed her history-making title during her rookie year in ’07. With the influx of new surfers this season and the ever-increasing performance level, the champ forecasts for an exciting year.
“I haven’t really been thinking too much about this stuff yet, but I do know that every girl on the tour stepped up their performances a great deal last year and I can only see the level going higher again this year,” Gilmore said. “Hopefully 2008 will be full of waves that will allow us to do so. The girls to watch will be Silvana Lima, Sofia Mulanovich, Jessi Miley-Dyer and Karina Petroni – kind of a mix of experience and rookies in these girls is going to make them shine.”
The first event on the 2008 ASP Women’s World Tour will be the Roxy Pro Gold Coast at Snapper Rocks from February 23 – March 6, 2008.
2008 ASP Women’s World Tour Lineup:
1. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS)
2. Sofia Mulanovich (PER)
3. Silvana Lima (BRA)
4. Samantha Cornish (AUS)
5. Layne Beachley (AUS)
6. Amee Donohoe (AUS)
7. Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS)
8. Rebecca Woods (AUS)
9. Melanie Bartels (HAW)
10. Megan Abubo (HAW)
11. Rosanne Hodge (ZAF)
12. Jacqueline Silva (BRA)
13. Melanie Redman-Carr (AUS)
14. Karina Petroni (USA)
15. Serena Brooke (AUS)
16. Nicola Atherton (AUS)
17. Julia Christian (USA)
ASP Replacements for 2008
1. Claire Bevilacqua (AUS)
2. Laurina McGrath (AUS)
3. Caroline Sarran (FRA)