Stephanie Gilmore 

Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 20, reigning ASP Women’s World Champion, has claimed the 2008 Rip Curl Pro Mademoiselle title, defeating fellow finalist Layne Beachley (AUS), 36, in clean two-to-three foot (1 metre) waves at Les Bourdaines in Seignosse, and regaining the ratings lead in the hunt for the 2008 ASP Women’s World Title.

Event No. 3 of 8 on the 2008 ASP Women’s World Tour, the Rip Curl Pro Mademoiselle was treated to two full days of action, culminating in the stunning Final between the two Australian icons.

Gilmore exercised discretion in the Final, slotting herself in picturesque French barrels and executing critical turns to net a solid 16.66 out of a possible 20 while her compatriot Beachley searched for waves that didn’t offer sufficient scoring potential.

“I was fortunate to get those few waves out at the beginning that allowed me to get a few maneuvers in,” Gilmore said. “It was really tough out there – really fast and racy and not easy to get scores.  Unfortunately for Layne, she wasn’t able to find a wave she could really open up on.”

Despite a disappointing 9th place finish in the season opener at home on the Gold Coast, Gilmore has since rebounded, claiming her second event win in a row and rocketing into the ratings lead in the race for the 2008 ASP Women’s World Tour.

“I’m absolutely fired up,” Gilmore said. “I had a bit of a wobbly start to the year, but I’ve had two really good events in a row and to be back on top is an amazing feeling. It’s my second year on tour and I’m looking to defend my title. I’m excited to be where I’m at heading into the next few events.”

Beachley, former seven-time ASP Women’s World Champion, was disappointed that she was unable to pull out the win, but her runner-up finish moves the phenomenal natural-footer from 5th to 3rd on the ASP Women’s World Tour rankings, putting her well within striking distance of the 2008 ASP Women’s World Title.

Read more...

Lee Ann Curren

Lee Ann Curren (Biarritz, FRA), 19, claimed the Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Grade-2 Rip Curl Pro Junior Mademoiselle today at Les Bourdaines in Seignosse. Curren, who defeated Justine Dupont (FRA), Pauline Ado (FRA) and Marie Dejean (FRA) in a 100% French final, took the best out of the good hollow four foot (1.2 meter) waves in the seventh event of the season.

Lee Ann Curren, reigning ASP European Women’s champion, who advanced through four heats in two days to reach the final encounter, won with a low 11.50 point score tally (out of a possible 20) after getting through three rounds in a row in the solid conditions. Posting a good 6.75 point ride (out of a possible 10) en route to victory, Curren led the final all the way to the end.

"I am super stoked," Curren said. "It took me some time to find a good wave but finding the good option was the key to win. There was a lot of current so I chose to ride a bigger board to paddle out faster. It was fun to try barrels and different moves."

With this victory, Curren wins the precious wildcard to compete against the ASP Top 17 in the Rip Curl Pro  Mademoiselle, Stop No. 3 of 8 on the ASP Women’s World Tour, and  jumps to 2nd on the regional ratings.

"I placed 2nd and 3rd in the last events and I really wanted to win this one," Curren said. "I am stoked to win the wildcard to compete in the Women’s World tour event. This is a fantastic opportunity!"

Runner-up Justine Dupont (Lacanau, FRA), 17, put an excellent effort in her final battle but was unable to find the scores needed to claim the title. Dupont posted a low 6.10 point heat tally (out of possible 20).

"I really enjoyed the conditions today," Dupont said. "Some waves were very big and gave me an adrenaline rush. I chose the outside section and I think it was the best option to score better but I paddled most of the 30-minute final."

Read more...

Alizee Arnaud 

The Billabong Pro Junior, an Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Grade-2 Men and Women’s Pro Junior event, came to an end today at the beautiful beach of Ribeira d’Ilhas (PRT) and got the 2008 ASP European Junior Championship closer to its end as one two events remain in the women’s division and one only in the men’s before the champion is crowned.

Alizee Arnaud (FRA), 18, dominated the event until the final where she bested Justine Dupont (FRA), reigning ASP European Women’s Champion Lee-Anne Curren (FRA) and Canelle Bulard (REU) in the tricky two foot (0.5 meter) waves on offer at Ericeira. Arnaud, who won two events this summer already, came up with some great comitment and on-the-rail surfing to take her second consecutive win after the one in France a week ago.

"So stoked to win again," Arnaud said. "The waves were really too small but still contestable and it made the final very hard as all four of us wanted to get the better rides. I secured first place right at the beginning but it was very close all heat and it was not an easy one."

Arnaud, who had won her first ASP Pro Junior title at Ericeira three years ago, will once again have her name on the trophy and confirms her rise among Europe’s leading regional competitors.

"I am focused on the Top 2 finish to make it to the ASP World Junior Championships (WJC) in Narabeen," Arnaud said. "The ASP Europea title would be great off course but it is not really my main goal so I will stay focused on my surfing and training and see what happens."

The Billabong Pro Junior brought some of the most dramatic upsets of the year in the men’s division and Charles Martin (GLP) was the one to come out ahead of the four-day event where an amazing level was displayed by both international and regional surfers.´

Read more...