SUNSET BEACH, Hawaii (Sunday, Nov. 25, 2007) – Declining swell has seen competition for the Roxy Pro Hawaii called off today, the first of a 12-day waiting period shared by the penultimate event on the ASP Women's World Tour and the 6-Star Prime O'neill World Cup of Surfing – the final event on the 2007 men's ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS),.
When women's competition does commence at Sunset Beach, the first matter of business will be an eight-woman trials event held to decide the final surfer in the second of three events in the 2007 Vans Triple Crown of Surfing Series – the Roxy Pro Hawaii.
Though reigning Roxy Pro Hawaii champion Melanie Bartels (HAW) is an ASP Women's World Tour rated surfer this year, the local surfer won her first ASP Women's World Tour event at Sunset Beach as a wildcard in 2006.
Bartels, who had previously surfed on the elite tour in 2004 and 2005 but failed to requalify in 2006, had to surf her way into the main event through the Roxy Pro Hawaii trials before claiming her first World Tour win.
"Winning Sunset last year meant the world to me," Bartels said. "Being from Hawaii and having worked my way from the bottom to the top in that event made me feel really proud and I can't wait to do the same in these next two events."
Bartels is currently rated equal 11th on the ASP Women's World Tour, but has assured herself a spot on the 2008 tour courtesy of her 2007 WQS rating.
"I feel pretty relaxed at the moment and also super anxious and fired up to surf Sunset," Bartels said. "I love the fact that the last two events on the tour are held in Hawaii. I'm totally ready for Sunset and Honolua."
Bartels is one of four, and potentially five, Hawaiians who could be donning contest vests at the testing venue of Sunset Beach. Five of the eight trialists hoping to earn main event berths, and ultimately follow in Bartels' footsteps, hail from Hawaii.
The Roxy Pro trialists are Carissa Moore (HAW), Alisha Gonsalves (HAW), Bethany Hamilton (HAW), Coco Ho (HAW), Alana Blanchard (HAW), Francisca Pereira dos Santos (PRT), Lee Ann Curren (FRA) and Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS).
Another call on competition status will be made tomorrow morning, Monday, Nov. 26th.
Round 1 Roxy Pro Hawaii Heat Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Chelsea Hedges (AUS), Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS), Roseanne Hodge (ZAF)
Heat 2: Sofia Mulanovich (PER), Rebecca Woods (AUS), Caroline Sarran (FRA)
Heat 3: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Claire Bevilacqua (AUS), Wildcard (TBD)
Heat 4: Silvana Lima (BRA), Jacqueline Silva (BRA), Leilani Gryde (HAW)
Heat 5: Layne Beachley (AUS), Megan Abubo (HAW), Rochelle Ballard (HAW)
Heat 6: Samantha Cornish (AUS), Amee Donohoe (AUS), Melanie Bartels (HAW)