Surfing history was created on the final day of the Drug Aware Pro Margaret River presented by O’Neill, as two new champions were crowned at Surfers Point.
The finalists in the 2008 Drug Aware Pro presented by O'Neill smile after the finals - L to R: Rosanne Hodge (2nd Women's), Tom Whitker (1st Men's), Chris Ward (2nd Men's) and Paige Hareb (1st Women's) photo drugaware.com
In the Women’s competition, 17-year-old Paige Hareb defeated Rosanne Hodge (South Africa) in a truly international Final.
Hareb, who was extremely impressive throughout the entire competition, dazzled the crowd with an exciting brand of progressive surfing – becoming the first New Zealander in history to win a major event on the ASP Tour.
“I’m so stoked,” she said. “I can’t believe I’ve won.”
Paige Hareb (NZL) claimed New Zealand's first ever victory in a World Qualifying Series event
In a very close affair, Hareb, with a cumulative total of 14.5 (out of a possible 20), was able to come from behind to take the title over Hodge, who scored a 13.57 (out of a possible 20).
“I just tried to get off to a quick start and get the best waves I could to build my heat,” she said.
In addition to the US$4,000 first place prize, Hareb was awarded with 2,000 valuable WQS ratings points, boosting her fight for qualification on the 2009 ASP Women’s Tour.
The Drug Aware Pro Margaret River presented by O’Neill saw the world's top 250 touring professionals from Australia, New Zealand, Tahiti, Hawaii, USA, France, Spain, Portugal, South Africa, Brazil, Peru, USA, Puerto Rico, Japan, Canary Islands and Mexico fighting for a combined prize purse of $US165,000 and vital ratings points.
Major sponsors of the 2008 Drug Aware Pro Margaret River included Healthway / Drug Aware, EventsCorp and O'Neill. Support sponsors include SupaShake by Brownes, Nova 93.7, Department of Sport & Recreation, Surftech Australia, Odyssey 2020, The Sunday Times, Margarets Beach Resort, Leeuwin Estate, Corona, Pump Water, MR Law, Tracks Magazine, Shire of Augusta Margaret River, Tracks, Surfersvillage.com, Surfing WA and ASP Australasia.