Drug Aware Pro Margaret River
presented by ONeill
ASP 6 Star Prime WQS Mens Event
ASP 6 Star Prime WQS Womens Event
Surfers Point, Margaret River
7 - 13 April 2008
Hawaiian sensation Bethany Hamilton to debut at Margaret River
Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 3 March, 2008 : - - Its official. Margaret Rivers famous Main Break will again play host to some of the worlds biggest names in surfing, when the Drug Aware Pro Margaret River presented by ONeill makes its popular return to Western Australias South West coast, April 7 to 13, 2008.
Set to debut at Margaret River is world-renowned Hawaiian surfer, 18-year-old Bethany Hamilton, who lost her left arm in a savage shark attack in 2003. Hamilton will join some 250 top professional male and female surfers from across the globe in competition for international rating points and combined prize money of more than AUD$205,500 (US$165,000).
Together, the Mens 6-Star Prime-Rated event and Womens 5-Star event represent one of the biggest World Qualifying Series (WQS) surf contests in the world and one of the top tournaments on the ASP (Association of Surfing Professionals) 2008 calendar.
Event organisers expect to attract a high-calibre field of entrants from the ASP World Tour and World Qualifying Series, representing the surfing superpowers of Hawaii, mainland USA, Brazil, South Africa, France, Spain, Portugal and Australia. Seeding will be announced following the entry closing date of March 10.
Among entrants to date are former World Champions Sunny Garcia and Mark Occhilupo. West Australian competitors include local legend Jake Paterson (Yallingup) and his brother Paul Paterson, experienced ASP Womens World Tour campaigner Claire Bevilacqua (City Beach, Perth), along with Ry Craike (Kalbarri) and Yadin Nicol (Margaret River).
Hamilton, who is currently ranked equal third on the WQS, said she was looking forward to putting in a strong appearance in Margaret River. Ive had a good start to the year so far and Ill just try to keep going to qualify for the Tour next year. Thats my goal. Margaret River will be an important comp for me and I really hope to do well there, she said.
It looks like such a beautiful place and has great surf its a part of Australia that Ive always wanted to see. All my family is coming with me, so it will be a family vacation as well.
Reigning contest champion, former World Number 6 Kieren Perrow (Byron Bay, New South Wales), who claimed his first-ever ASP victory in the Mens event last year, is in preparation mode to defend his title. Perrow credits his historic Margaret River win for cementing his return to the ASP World Tour rankings, after a three-year hiatus following the birth of his son in 2004.
Im really excited about the prospect of heading back to Margarets and defending my title, Perrow said. Its a fantastic wave and I love that part of Australia. Ive always performed well there and feel confident that I can come away with back-to-back titles.
The event is definitely in the top pick of WQS contests, and for me, is even more significant given that I wouldnt have requalified for the Tour without the win. Ill be travelling with my family this time around (wife Danielle and son Tosh) and plan to spend some extra time in Margaret River, which will make it even more special.
A round of Qualifying Trials on Sunday, April 6, will give 48 surfers (50% local, 50% national and international) the opportunity to vie for one of eight positions in the competition and the chance to surf against some of the worlds top professionals.
High-profile television coverage will see the Drug Aware Pro Margaret River beamed to more than a billion people in an estimated 48 countries worldwide. A live webcast (which, in 2007, was viewed by 400,000 unique visitors to the event website), will feature interactive commentary with internet followers across the globe.
According to Western Australias Minister for Tourism Sheila McHale, supporting the Drug Aware Pro Margaret River was a fantastic way to showcase Western Australias unique marine experiences. A 30-minute highlights program of the Drug Aware Pro Margaret River, Australias top-tier WQS event, will be broadcast around Australia and internationally in Western Australias major tourism markets, enticing visitors to the South West.
Competitors, media, officials and supporters will once again have an opportunity to enjoy the regions famous wines and produce among the beautiful scenery the South West region is renowned for, Ms McHale said.
Jenn Morris, who heads Healthways Board, said the Drug Aware Pro Margaret River was a significant sponsorship for Healthway because it was an opportunity to promote the Drug Aware message to young people and to work with the event organisers to showcase surfing in a healthy environment.
The competition is of a very high standard with the next generation of the worlds surfing stars competing on the famous waves of Margaret River, Ms Morris said. This will ensure a big turnout of spectators, as well as a huge following on the internet, making it an ideal event to spread the Drug Aware message to surf fans and young people around the State.
Healthway has been a sponsor of this event for many years and it is great that in recent times we have been able to support a re-energised womens competition and provide more opportunities for the up and coming young female pro surfers, said Ms Morris, an internationally respected athlete, who twice won Olympic gold in the sport of hockey.
Also, given the event is held on a part of our coast often described as pristine, it is great that the organisers are committed to promoting a healthy way of living which includes avoiding harm from drugs and alcohol.
As well as intense action in the surf, Saturday, April 12 features a massive Party on the Point, with bands Operation Beehive, Crysis and The Dirty Secrets performing live on stage, plus adrenaline-pumped aerial stunts by pro-skaters on a giant vert ramp overlooking the ocean at Surfers Point.
Major sponsors include Healthway / Drug Aware, EventsCorp and ONeill. Support sponsors include SupaShake by Brownes, Nova 93.7, Department of Sport & Recreation, Surftech Australia, Odyssey 2020, The Sunday Times, Margarets Beach Resort, Leeuwin Estate, Corona, Pump Water, MR Law, Tracks Magazine, Shire of Augusta Margaret River, Tracks, Surfing WA and ASP Australasia.
Entry will be free all week and just $5 per person on the Finals weekend (April 12 and 13). Children 12 and under will be admitted free. Free bus transfers will be provided to and from Surfers Point.
WQS Contests - Surfersvillage