Tyler Wright (AUS), 19, current ASP Women’s WCT No. 1, has had an extraordinary outing in 2013, collecting wins on the Gold Coast and in Brazil to cement herself as the frontrunner heading into the business portion of the season.
“This year, the intensity of each event makes the tour very entertaining,” Wright said. “It’s so intense! It’s pushing women surfing so far. I’ve brought 10 boards here but haven’t tested any of them yet. We’ll see what the surf delivers.”
Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 25 reigning five-time ASP Women’s World Champion and two-time defending Roxy Pro Biarritz winner, is currently sitting an uncharacteristic 5th on this season’s ASP WCT rankings, but admits there is still opportunity to make a dent in this year’s race for the women’s world surfing crown.
“Numbers wise, the world title is not out of the question but I think it’d take a miracle to stop the three girls at the top as everyone is surfing really strong this year,” Gilmore said. “2013 hasn’t been my best year but it’s been great! We’ve never had such a strong field at the top of the ratings and everyone is so competitive and healthy for the tour. Winning the event for the third time would be fantastic. I love this event! Returning this year as a Roxy surfer is a very special moment for me. It’s one of my favorite events on the tour, a beautiful city, a great event. Fingers crossed for the waves. Yes I’d love to win again!”
Carissa Moore (HAW), 20, 2011 ASP Women’s World Champion and current ASP WCT No. 2, has had an excellent season as well, posting wins at Margaret River and Bells Beach, putting her well within striking distance of collecting a second surfing crown before the season is out.
“I haven’t won here (in Biarritz) for a while (last contest she won was a pro junior) but since I won my world title in Biarritz, this place is very special to me,” Moore said. “I’m a contender for the title this year but the race is going to be really tight.”
Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), 22, current ASP WCT No. 3, has continued her power and consistency this season, placing Quarterfinals or better in each of the five events to put her in the hunt for a long sought-after ASP Women’s World Title.
“Biarritz has a great surf culture, it’s a nice place for a world tour event,” Fitzgibbons said. “I need two victories to win the world title. All I can do now is put in my best performance and try to win here. I’ve been learning a lot from the past year’s experiences and especially last year. It made me stronger and I definitely would love to win this event. Stephanie (Gilmore) inspires me to work harder and progress.”
Due to the unfortunate swell forecast for this year’s Roxy Pro Biarritz, there is a possibility that the event may run and be completed as early as tomorrow, utilizing double banks to make the most of what is on offer.
“Running surf events can be a challenge when Mother Nature doesn’t come to the party,” Jessi Miley-Dyer, ASP Women’s World Tour Manager, said. “The Roxy Pro Biarritz has enjoyed great waves in past years, but this week’s forecast will present a challenge for us. We have discussed the option of utilizing double banks and it is a possibility that the event may commence and finish tomorrow depending on swell. We’ll be discussing the options with all the athletes before making a decision. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.”
Event organizers will convene tomorrow at 9am to assess conditions and discuss the call for the day.
The Roxy Pro Biarritz will be webcast LIVE via roxylive.com
For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com
ROXY PRO BIARRITZ ROUND 1 MATCH-UPS:
Heat 1: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Bianca Buitendag (ZAF), Silvana Lima (BRA)
Heat 2: Courtney Conlogue (USA), Laura Enever (AUS), Rebecca Woods (AUS)
Heat 3: Tyler Wright (AUS), Alana Blanchard (HAW), Lee Ann Curren (FRA)
Heat 4: Carissa Moore (HAW), Paige Hareb (NZL), Sofia Mulanovich (PER)
Heat 5: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Malia Manuel (HAW), Sage Erickson (USA)
Heat 6: Lakey Peterson (USA), Coco Ho (HAW), Pauline Ado (FRA)