Surfer Layne Beachley Dominates Roxy Pro France
Reigning four-time world champion
Layne Beachley (Aus) today dominated the Roxy Pro France. Round one and then
two of the women's World Championship Tournament (WCT) took place, while the
men's Quiksilver Pro was postponed this morning. The high tide ruled out any
possibility of running all 16 heats.
Surf was in the 3ft (1m) range at Estagnots, though frequency of set waves
was inconsistent at times. Lack of wind and a cloudless sky made for
extremely hot conditions, with waves improving throughout the afternoon.
Beachley, who amassed the best single and combined two-wave total of the
first round with a 9.5 and tally of 18-points, was in commanding form
against Rochelle Ballard (Haw) and Amee Donohoe (Aus). The 30-year-old later
explained her main shaper and mentor Ken Bradshaw had re-shaped the tail of
her board for obvious benefits.
"I couldn't have asked for a better heat," admitted Beachley. "The tail of
this board used to be a swallow tail, but Ken spent the past two days
rounding it off and turning it into a rounded pin and grouted out some of
the concave off the bottom to make it go a little faster. It wasn't working
for me, but seemed to then (laughs). It was just a matter of finding the
right waves and doing five turns to the beach, and fortunately I got the
right ones and felt really confident."
Current ratings leader Melanie Redman-Carr (Aus) won her match over former
two-time world #2 Serena Brooke (Aus) and Roxy Pro France Trials winner
Sofia Mulanovich (Peru). Plenty of hassling transpired in the heat, with
Brooke and Mulanovich eventually receiving a double interference penalty,
whereby only scoring their best single ride, following a peak situation that
saw them collide into each other after both wanted to go alternative
directions across the other's path.
"I was involved in plenty of hassling at the start of the heat 'cause
there's perfect peaks and you can go right or left," explained Redman-Carr.
"Ultimately you don't want the other person to go the other way and get a
better score than yours, so it comes down to some tactics in a three person
heat. No one enjoys it, as it's intense and stressful."
Current ratings #8 Keala Kennelly (Haw) won the opening heat against last
WCT winner Megan Abubo (Haw) and four-time world champion Lisa Andersen
(USA). The Hawaiian, who won her favorite event in Tahiti earlier this year,
made the most of inconsistent conditions to pick off the most waves,
including an 8.0 to ultimately win the best single wave count back between
herself and Abubo.
"In the beginning I was thinking there were going to be some more sets,"
explained Kennelly. "After about 10-minutes I realized I better just catch
anything and was chasing waves back and forth, and just got lucky to get
that 8.0 at the end."
Neridah Falconer (Aus) amassed the second best single and combined two-wave
total of the round with a 9.25 and tally of 17.25-points. The Australian
dominated the high scoring heat against Heather Clark (SAfr) and Jacqueline
Silva (Brz), despite some controversy surrounding the start of their match.
Initially they opted not to paddle out due to very inconsistent conditions,
but after a restart, the 30-minute bout unfolded with some great rides.
"We wanted to wait a half hour and it did upset the organizers," explained
Falconer. "But it got a little more consistent and the girls were happy to
actually compete in a heat, instead of having to fight for waves. The
conditions became nice, so I'm happy we were able to surf some good waves.
It's been awhile since the women have had quality surf in a heat."
Continuing the Aussie domination of round one was WCT newcomers Chelsea
Georgeson and Samantha Cornish. Georgeson defeated current #3 Lynette
Mackenzie and 1993 world champ Pauline Menczer (both Aus), while Cornish
overcame a tube riding Maria 'Tita' Tavares (Brz) and Kate Skarratt (Aus).
2001 World Qualifying Series (WQS) winner Jacqueline Silva (Brz) went on to
post the highest combined total of the day during her 'losers' round two
clash this afternoon. The Brazilian posted a 9.5 and then a 9.25 for a
collective tally of 18.75-points, following her strong backhand attack on
the left-handers. Meanwhile wildcard Mulanovich secured her advancement into
round three with a second placing, eliminating Menczer in third.
"I fell so good as the waves have started to come," said Silva. "I had some
really fun ones. In my first heat I was a little bit nervous 'cause the
girls stopped the contest, so I didn't do my best in the heat. I relaxed for
that second one and surfed well.
"Any heat is hard," she continued, of her tough opponents. "Sofia is young
and surfs really well now, and Pauline is so experienced. I was just lucky
to find some good lefts."
Four-time world champion Lisa Andersen (USA) proved the days' biggest upset,
losing both the first round and then her second elimination heat. Kate
Skarratt (Aus) emerged in front, with fellow Australian Amee Donohoe (Aus)
also progressing through the day's final match.
Quiksilver, in association with Ocean Surf Report, has set up a Hotline that
will inform the public about which contest site has been chosen for the day.
This will be effective as of 8am every morning, on: +33-(0)-892-681-360,
then press #1.
Official results of the Roxy Pro France round one (1st, 2nd > Rnd 3; 3rd >
H1: Keala Kennelly (Haw) 12.0; Megan Abubo (Haw) 12.0; Lisa Andersen (USA)
H2: Neridah Falconer (Aus) 17.25; Heather Clark (SAfr) 15.75; Jacqueline
Silva (Brz) 14.5
H3: Melanie Redman-Carr (Aus) 14.8; Sofia Mulanovich (Peru) 8.0; Serena
Brooke (Aus) 7.25
H4: Layne Beachley (Aus) 18.0; Rochelle Ballard (Haw) 14.75; Amee Donohoe
H5: Chelsea Georgeson (Aus) 15.65; Lynette MacKenzie (Aus) 11.35; Pauline
Menczer (Aus) 11.0
H6: Samantha Cornish (Aus) 16.7; Maria Tavares (Brz) 16.2; Kate Skarratt
Upcoming round two heats in the Roxy Pro France (1st, 2nd > Rnd 3; 3rd=17th
& receives US$2,000)
H1: Jacqueline Silva (Brz) 18.75; Sofia Mulanovich (Peru) 16.55; Pauline
Menczer (Aus) 15.0
H2: Kate Skarratt (Aus) 12.5; Amee Donohoe (Aus) 11.75; Lisa Andersen (USA)