COOLANGATTA, Australia (Tuesday, August 29, 2006)– Reconvening in France after a mad dash across the Atlantic, the world’s best women surfers will commence competition at the Rip Curl Pro Mademoiselle on Thursday, August 31, 2006.
Held in Hossegor, France, this fifth installment of 2006 ASP Women’s World Tour action directly follows the fourth – an event held in Brazil just days ago. There are eight events total on this year’s tour.
Leading the pack at the halfway point is six-time world champion Layne Beachley (AUS). Her recent win in Brazil, combined with runner-up berths in Australia and Fiji and a third place finish in Tahiti, saw Beachley overtake Melanie Redmann-Carr (AUS) for the ratings lead last week.
Redman-Carr finished last in Brazil, but was the victor in each of the three events prior.
Beachley, sitting in the No. 1 spot for the first time since winning her sixth consecutive world title, is exuding confidence that she may win her seventh in 2006. Only Foster’s ASP Men’s World Tour surfer Kelly Slater (USA) has ever achieved such a feat.
"This is the first time I’ve had the ratings lead since Sofia (Mulanovich) took over for me in 2004, so it’s been a long time coming I guess,” Beachley said after her win in Brazil. “I feel like I can keep the momentum going.”
Beachley has won ASP Women’s World Tour events in France four times before. She posted wins in Hossegor in 1995, 1998, 2000 and 2002.
“I’ve always performed well in France – I’ve had a lot of wins there and I love Hossegor,” Beachley said. “You do better in places that you feel comfortable and at home at and Hossegor is definitely one of those places.”
On the subject of feeling at home, the next event on the calendar after the Rip Curl Pro Mademoiselle is being organized by Beachley and will be held at her home break of Manly in Australia.
“I’m looking forward to continuing this momentum I’ve gathered,” Beachley said. “Bring on the snowball!"
Defending world and Rip Curl Pro Mademoiselle champion Chelsea Georgeson (AUS) could be Beachley’s biggest competition in France. With multiple wins at the venue herself (2003 and 2005), and sitting third in the ratings, Georgeson knows she needs a solid result in France to keep her world title hopes alive.
“I would have really liked to make the final and win the contest Brazil,” Georgeson, who was eliminated in the semifinals said. “It would have helped make up a few points but I there’s still four contests to go. I’m hoping I can make something happen in France."
The Rip Curl Pro Mademoiselle will run from August 31 to September 5, 2006. The event is situated in southwest France and can go mobile from Hossegor to Seignosse to ensure the women access to the best waves possible.
ASP WOMEN’S WORLD TOUR RATINGS PRIOR TO RIP CURL PRO MADEMOISELLE
1. Layne Beachley (AUS) 3900 points
2. Melanie Redman-Carr (AUS) 3780 points
3. Chelsea Georgeson (AUS) 2844 points
4. Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 2052 points
5. Silvana Lima (BRA) 2040 points
6. Rebecca Woods (AUS) 2028 points
6. Heather Clark (ZAF) 2028 points
8. Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 2016 points
8. Claire Bevilacqua (AUS) 2016 points
10. Rochelle Ballard (HAW) 1836 points
10. Samantha Cornish (AUS) 1836 points
12. Keala Kennelly (HAW) 1824 points
13. Megan Abubo (HAW) 1632 points
13. Julia Christian (USA) 1632 points
15. Trudy Todd (AUS) 1452 points
16. Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 1080 points
16. Serena Brooke (AUS) 1080 points