Layne Beachley : photo ASP Cestari/Covered Images
7X ASP Women's World Champion Layne Beachley Announces Retirement
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 13 October, 2008 : - - Manly Beach -- Layne Beachley (AUS), 36, former seven-time ASP Womens World Champion and current No. 3 on the 2008 ASP Womens World Tour ratings, has officially announced her retirement from full-time competition, effective at the end of the year.
I feel like now is a really good time, even though I am in my career best form, because I am an all-or-nothing kind of girl and to achieve the goals I set for myself in surfing, I have to give it my all and Im not, Beachley said. I have to be honest with myself Im not commiting 100% time and energy and effort and focus into winning world titles.
It doesnt mean that I cant win world titles, but my priorities are beginning to shift and my focus and my passion in business and charity work and my ambassador roles is beginning to have more appeal to me than competing for a living. I feel like Ive achieved everything that Ive wanted to and that it is good to go out while Im still in top form.
Beachleys announcement comes as a surprise to the surfing community, given that the iconic natural-footer is surfing better than ever and currently challenging for the ASP Womens World Title once again, sitting in No. 3 spot on the ratings at present.
I feel like Im surfing the best I have in my whole career, Beachley said. Nothing has really changed on tour except for my attitude. Its my lack of commitment to winning. I base my choices off my experiences and my experience has told me that you have to be 100% focused and also love youre doing.
Even though I love what I do, Im beginning to love what Im doing out of the water more. My passion for competitive surfing has been diluted, and to achieve success and to win world titles, you cant afford for it to be diluted too much. So now Ive had to make a decision and Im convinced Im doing the right thing.
The Sydney-sider is the most accomplished female surfer in the history of the sport, winning a record seven ASP Womens World Titles (1998-2004, 2006), scalping 29 elite tour victories, and collecting countless accolades as one of surfings most recognizable figures.
Theres been millions of highlights, Beachley said. I think every time that I stopped in my tracks and had to pinch myself and ask is this real? have been the highlights of my life. Finding myself in the most random places on Earth, donning a bikini with a board under my arm and just staring out into the ocean in disbelief that I get to do that for a living.
One of the greatest achievements was winning my first event back in 1993 and winning my first ASP Womens World Title back in 1998. Those were both enormous acheivements for me.
While stepping away from full-time professional surfing, Beachley hasnt ruled out donning the jersey again should she receive an invite, and will continue to be a force both in and out of the surfing world with her clothing line, her numerous charities and other high-profile projects.
I have my own brand, Beachley Athletics, which I really want to put a lot more time and energy and effort into, Beachley said. I dont think its achieving the success it deserves because I cant commit enough resources to it. I have my charity, Aim for the Stars. Ive just begun promoting my book, Beneath the Waves.
I will still stage the Beachley Classic. I love womens surfing. Im really passionate about it. Just because Im walking away from the Tour doesnt mean Im walking away from womens surfing. Ill still be there as a supporter and a believer and also pursuing a career in the media.
Beachley is competing this week at her signature event, the Beachley Classic, held in Manly, Australia.
I feel like Ive created a legacy and thats something to be incredibly proud of, Beachley said. Ive instilled hunger and passion into the future generations of female competitive surfing coming up through the ranks. I know Steph (Gilmore) looks at me and wants what I got.
It was Lisa Andersen before me that gave me the motivation to become seven-times ASP Womens World Champion. That kind of drive and dedication that it takes to be a champion is the legacy I think I am leaving behind and its something Im very proud of.
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