MANLY, Sydney (Wednesday, Oct. 10, 2007) – After an explosive day of Round 1 action during the ASP Women's World Tour NAB Beachley Classic yesterday, small, onshore conditions at Sydney's Manly Beach this morning, forced organisers to call the first lay day of the six day window period.
"The conditions this morning where what we expected to see yesterday," Contest Director Matt Wilson said. "Luckily we were able to run six heats due to a surprise push in swell on Tuesday, so in my mind we're actually six heats ahead of schedule. Unfortunately, conditions did not improve with the outgoing tide this morning, so there was no need to run."
The forecast looks promising for the next two days and surfers, organisers and judges alike are looking forward to getting back to business at Manly Beach, on Thursday and Friday.
The NAB Beachley Classic stands alone as the richest of the eight stops on the ASP Women's World Tour and is also unique in that two, of its five- person judging panel, are women.
Former professional Australian surfer Holly Monkman (Coolangatta), 28, and Chilean Marcela Garido (Florianopolis, Brazil), 26, have joined the international judging panel under Head Judge Richard Porta, at this year's NAB Beachley Classic.
Both women have made their debut on an ASP Women's World Tour judging panel at this event and have left a good impression on Porta, as well as well as the World's Top 17 Women.
"They both worked really well through both the Trials as well as Round 1 yesterday," Porta said. "It's not imperative to have female judges on the panel but it gives the girls' some faith that it's not all a man's world out there. Both these women are good judges. They are not there because they are female, they can judge and that's the bottom line."
As per ASP International guidelines, the NAB Beachley Classic judging panel is made up of four judges, with one rotating judge that slots in every fourth heat. The panel is overseen by the head judge, in this case Porta, who checks the scores, controls the timing and makes sure no-one misses a thing.
Monkman's extensive experience as a former professional surfer, professional ASP Women's World Tour commentator and qualified surfing coach with numerous hours logged judging smaller junior events, state rounds and Australian Title events, as well as the 6-Star Prime ASP World Qualifying Series in Margaret River earlier in the year, makes her well qualified for this position.
"I've been working in the surfing industry for a long time now and one thing it's taught me is how to change hats," Monkman said. "I really do enjoy being in the judging tower and dissecting and comparing rides. I find it comes naturally to me and I have been watching the girls surf for so many years now that I can tell when they're surfing their best and when they're not quite on form."
Garido, made her way onto this year's NAB Beachley Classic panel through her experience judging the National Series in Brazil, as well as her work for Surfing Australia. After good reports all round, the recreational surfer and qualified international judge was included on this year's panel.
"I studied Sports Management in Brazil and as a surfer, I always wanted to know more about the rules of the sport," Garido said, of her inspiration to become a surfing judge. "I did my judging course and started working on events as a judging officer in Brazil until this opportunity came up to work in Australia. The level of Women's surfing is inspiring and it's such a privilege to work alongside some of the world's best judges at this event."
Four rounds of the NAB Beachley Classic remain, which will see Porta's panel bring ASP International judging criteria into play in deciphering the eventual winner, of what has been sighted as the most important stop on this years ASP Women's World Tour, given the 20% bonus points on offer.
"The judging criteria for the women's events are exactly the same as for the men's," Porta explained. "It's all about speed, power and flow, and completing manoeuvres in the most critical part of the wave. We judge the way we'd like to surf so, if you surf with risk and commitment you'll get the scores. We surf because it gives us a rush and that's how we judge."
The NAB Beachley Classic runs from 9- 14 October, 2007 and holds a prize money purse of US$ 100 000 as well as 20% bonus ASP ratings points.
The event is produced by Layne Beachley in collaboration with National Australia Bank and the Association of Surfing Professionals.
The next call will be made at 07.30am tomorrow morning.
NAB Beachley Classic Round 2 Match-ups:
Heat 1: Melanie Redman-Carr (AUS); Megan Abubo (HAW); Caroline Sarran (FRA) Heat 2: Rebecca Woods (AUS); Amee Donohoe (AUS); Claire Bevilacqua (AUS)
NAB Beachley Classic Round 1 Results
Heat 1: Samantha Cornish (AUS) 12.50; Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 11.45 Rebecca Woods (AUS) 10.75; Heat 2: Roseanne Hodge (ZAF) 13.30; Silvana Lima (BRA) 12.25; Amee Donohoe (AUS) 11.70 Heat 3: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS) 15.65; Layne Beachley (AUS) 11.00; Claire Bevilacqua (AUS) 10.15 Heat 4: Sofia Mulanovich (PER)15.00;Leilani Gryde (Haw)8.45; Megan Abubo (HAW)6.75; Heat 5: Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS)10.85; Chelsea Hedges (AUS)9.40; Caroline Sarran (FRA)7.50 Heat 6: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 15.10;Melanie Bartels (HAW)13.10; Melanie Redman-Carr (AUS)6.10