Turtle Bay Resort Women´s Pro
ASP 6 star WQS Womens event
Vans Triple Crown of Surfing (Leg Two)
Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP)
2002 World Qualifying Series (WQS)
Turtle Bay Resort, Oahu, Hawaii.
24 November - 7 December 2002
Californian Julia Christian wins Turtle Bay Resort Woman´s Pro
Thursday, December 5 (Turtle Bay Resort, Oahu, Hawaii) -
Californian Julia Christian (Carlsbad) today turned a four-year dream into reality by winning the Turtle Bay Resort Women¹s Pro on the North Shore of Oahu, earning a coveted berth on the 2003 ASP World Championship Tour (WCT). As a highly rated 4-star World Qualifying Series (WQS) event and the final WQS event of the year, the $20,000 Turtle Bay Resort Women¹s Pro was a critical competition for several women looking to qualify for the elite WCT tour. At 20 years of age, and after four years of trying, Christian achieved her goal today and also pocketed the $3,500 winner¹s check. As the current rankings stand, Christian will be the only mainland American female on the 2003 WCT tour.
Second place today went to Kauai¹s Keala Kennelly - $2,200, with Sofia Mulanovich (Peru) in third - $1,800, and Australian Prue Jeffries fourth - $1,300. The Turtle Bay Resort Women¹s Pro is the second leg of the women¹s Vans Triple Crown of Surfing.
Today¹s heats were held in far-improved conditions to yesterday¹s opening rounds. The women arrived this-morning to clean six feet waves that offered plenty of scoring potential and drew a large crowd of visitors out to the pool-side viewing area at the Turtle Bay Resort. The finalists had to surf through four rounds under hot skies by the day¹s end but did not disappoint onlookers with their final performance.
Christian caught the least waves of all four finalists just three rides in total, but made them count. Her first two scores of 6.67 and 5.93 out of 10 points were the best scores of the heat with the exception of Kennelly¹s top 7.5 point ride. The final score-line showed 12.6 for Christian, 11.73 for Kennelly and an 8.9 point tie for Mulanovich and Jeffries that was broken to put Mulanovich third.
Upon hearing of her successful qualification for the 2003 WCT tour, Christian couldn¹t hold back the tears and was welcomed on board by her WCT friends who were on hand for her golden moment.
"I lost early in the Roxy Pro at Haleiwa and I thought it was all over for me," said Christian of her qualification chances. "I¹m in disbelief. I¹m so excited. I¹ll be going to Maui to surf in the trials of the Billabong Pro next week. That will be my first taste of WCT competition and I¹m looking forward to seeing what I¹m in for next year. I¹m feeling pretty good about it right now so we¹ll see how it goes."
Kennelly looked great throughout the rounds today and scored the best ride of the heat but narrowly missed out on the win due to the lack of a strong second ride score.
"I don¹t normally surf this wave very well," said Kennelly with a laugh. "I had one great score in the beginning of the heat but I got caught inside and couldn¹t get back out for a while. I think we got really lucky today it was glassy and clean. I¹ve surfed many contests here and the conditions were never this good. But it was still a matter of being in the right place at the right time for the good scores."
Following today¹s event, the Vans Triple Crown Noseguard Rookie of the Year award was presented to West Australia¹s Claire Bevilacqua, 19 years old out of Perth. Australian Pauline Menczer, a 16 year veteran of the tour was crowned the 2002 ASP World Qualifying Series Champion based on her WQS results throughout the season. After two events, Australian Neridah Falconer retains her lead on the Vans Triple Crown of Surfing Series ratings with Kennelly now close behind in second.
The top names in women¹s surfing got a taste of just how hot the new guard of professional women surfers are today, many of the world¹s best stumbling in their first heats. World champion Layne Beachley, Hawaii¹s Rochelle Ballard and Menczer were among those to be sent home early. Hawaii¹s Megan Abubo reached the quarter finals but is still borderline on requalifying for next year¹s WCT tour. Megan¹s fate rests largely on her traveling buddy Rochelle Ballard. If Ballard performs well on Maui next week and qualifies through her WCT standings, she will open up one more spot on the WQS that Abubo is in line for.
The women¹s Triple Crown Series now moves outer-island to Maui for the Billabong Pro Maui the final women¹s WCT event of the year, December 8-20. The third and final stop of the men¹s Triple Crown is the Xbox Gerry Lopez Pipeline Masters at Pipeline, December 8-20.
The Vans Triple Crown Series features the world´s top athletes competing in three championship events in each of the following sports: Skateboarding, Wakeboarding, Surfing, Snowboarding, BMX and Freestyle Motocross. The Series is made possible through proud sponsors Vans, Xbox, Mountain Dew, Ford
Trucks, Right Guard Xtreme Sport, Fox Sports Net, Surfing Magazine and NBC Sports.
Official results of the Turtle Bay Resort Women´s Pro
1. Julia Christian (USA) 12.6
2. Keala Kennelly (Hi) 11.73
3. Sofia Mulanovich (Peru) 8.9
4. Prue Jeffries (Aus) 8.9
H1: Prue Jeffries (Aus) 14.06; Julia Christian (USA) 12.5; Claire Bevilacqua (Aus) 11.27; Rebecca Woods (Aus) 9.6
H2: Sofia Mulanovich (Peru) 14.67; Keala Kennelly (Hi) 11.17; Neridah Falconer (Aus) 8.9; Chelsea Georgeson (Aus) 8.47
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