ITACARÉ, Brazil (Monday, August 21, 2006) – The Billabong Girls Pro Brazil, the fourth of eight events on the 2006 ASP Women’s World Tour, entered its official eight-day waiting period at Praia da Tiririca, Itacaré today.
A five-star World Qualifying Series (WQS) competition, held at the same venue, wrapped up proceedings yesterday. Former ASP Women’s World Tour surfer Maria Tita Tavares (BRA) won it.
Seventeen of the 18 athletes in the main event surfed in the WQS competition as well; reigning world champion Chelsea Georgeson (AUS) did not.
With a surge in swell expected tomorrow (Tuesday, August 22, 2006), and only two days needed to run the event in its entirety, contest directors have opted to put competition on hold today to give competitors a well-earned break. Lack of waves does not seem to be an issue at Praia da Tiririca.
“Even when there is no swell there are still waves here,” Rochelle Ballard, current world No. 5 said as she trekked the cobblestone road down to the beach yesterday.
“The waves close out a lot though,” Ballard said. “You have to find the open faced ones if you want to have some room to do maneuvers.”
With a several days of surfing Praia da Tiririca (the wave is new to the ASP Women’s World Tour this year) under their belt, the world’s best women surfers have familiarized themselves with the wave and are anxious to engage in the ensuing action.
While anyone could win the Billabong Girls Pro, Brazilian surfers Jacqueline Silva, Silvana Lima and wildcard Maria Tita Tavares, as well as former world champ Sofia Mulanovich of Peru will certainly bring their South American wave prowess to the ‘Praia’ (beach in Portugese). The rest of the field better bring their ‘A’ game.
Another call on competition status will be made tomorrow morning.
UPCOMING ROUND ONE HEATS:
HEAT 1: Megan Abubo (HAW), Keala Kennelly (HAW), Jessi Miley Dyer (AUS)
HEAT 2: Sofia Mulanovich (PER), Samantha Cornish (AUS), Julia Christian (USA)
HEAT 3: Melanie Redman-Carr (AUS), Heather Clark (ZAF), Maria Tita Tavares (BRA)
HEAT 4: Chelsea Georgeson (AUS), Trudy Todd (AUS), Serena Brooke (AUS)
HEAT 5: Layne Beachley (AUS), Claire Bevilacqua (AUS), Jacqueline Silva (BRA)
HEAT 6: Rochelle Ballard (HAW), Rebecca Woods (AUS), Silvana Lima (BRA)