The Roxy Pro – February 28th – March 11th
One of the most exciting surf events commences this weekend, marking the start of the 2015 women’s professional surf tour. With a new head honcho running the show under the new name The World Surf League or WSL (formerly ASP), there really hasn’t been a more exciting time in women’s surfing. The Roxy Pro is held at Snapper Rocks on Australia’s Gold Coast. Snapper is a long peeling right-hander and arguably one of Australia’s best known surf breaks (read about Australia’s top 5 east coast waves here). Marking a change of the guard, the girls contest was run on some of the best waves last year, allowing them to showcase the incredible high standard of surfing that is now expected on the women’s tour (previous years typically saw the girls surfing grovel waves as the best conditions were saved for the men). With the title race so close at the end of 2014 (Tyler Wright almost pushed Stephanie Gilmore for a surf-off to take the world title), the girls are hungry to get off to a strong start. It’s going to be a good competition with former world champions Stephanie Gilmore and Carissa Moore fighting off the ambitious and driven Australians, Tyler Wright and Sally Fitzgibbons.
The girls are back:
Wild card to The Roxy Pro (known as the trials):
Giving the girls outside of the top 17 a chance to compete in this event, Roxy also runs wildcard entry by placing a select few up against the top seeded surfers like world number one Stephanie Gilmore. Amongst the contenders for a wildcard at this year’s Roxy Pro, is four time world Champion and all round inspiration, Lisa Andersen (USA) who will makes a return to competition for this event, Roxy surfer and also WSL commentator Rosy Hodge (RSA), Monyca Eleogram, Lee-Ann Curren and a promising Aussie talent, 21 years old Bronte Macaulay who’s hoping to qualify for the World Surfing elite this season.
More about Roxy’s golden girls:
Stephanie Gilmore (AUS)
Born: January 29th, 1988 in Murwillumbah (Australia)
Achievements / Results:
- 6 times World Champion: 2007 (at 19 years old), 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012 and 2014 24 victories on the WCT (elite) her first being in 2005, as a Wildcard.
- Laureus World Sports Award in 2010
- ESPN ESPY Best Female Action Sports Athlete in 2011 and then again in 2013
- Member of the World Surf League since 2007
Stephanie Gilmore is the world’s best female surfer. Boasting 6 World Champion titles at only 27 years old, she holds an impressive list of achievements in current professional surfing. However, it’d be demeaning to base Steph on her results, exceptional as they may be. Her influence in the progression of the sport, on style, level and technique is considerable. Steph has a magical aura and star qualities that go beyond surfing. Ten years after her first WCT victory, at Snapper Rocks, Stephanie Gilmore will be hoping for her 6th Roxy Pro Gold Coast victory.
Bianca Buitendag (RSA)
Born: November 9th, 1993 in Johannesburg (South Africa)
Achievements / Results:
- 2nd Roxy Pro Gold Coast (Aus) in 2014
- 3rd Target Maui Pro (Haw) in 2014
- Winner WQS Movistar Pro (Per) in 2012
- Winner WQS Sata Airlines Azores Pro (Por) in 2012
- Winner ASP World Junior Championships (Aus) in 2011 (2010 season)
- Member of the World Surf League since 2013
In only two years Bianca Buitendag has become a sure bet on the World elite. The South African quickly found her place amongst the top 18 when she was crowned Rookie of the Year 2013. She kicked off 2014 with a second place at the Roxy Pro Gold Coast and ended her season with a podium place in Hawaii. Currently 7th in the World at 21 years old, Bianca is, even for the best surfers, a real menace in the water – contrary to her discreet and gentle nature out of the water!
The 2015 WCT tour stops:
This year the girls will have an action packed schedule full of the world’s best waves (that they get to surf with just one or two other people!). Offering a variety of reef breaks, beach breaks and barreling freight trains like Fiji, you really have to excel in all types of conditions to bring home the world title.
- Feb 28 – Mar 3 Gold Coast, Qld- Australia: Roxy Pro Gold Coast
- Apr 1-12 Bells Beach,Victoria- Australia: Rip Curl Women’s Pro Bells Beach
- Apr 15-26 Margaret River- West Australia: Drug Aware Margaret River
- May 11-22 Rio de Janeiro,RJ- Brazil: Rio Women’s Pro
- May 31-Jun 5 Tavarua/Namotu- Fiji: Fiji Women’s Pro
- Sep 9-20 Trestles, California- USA: Trestles Women’s Pro
- Sep 22-28 Cascais- Portugal: Cascais Women’s Pro
- Oct 6-17 Landes-South West France: Roxy Pro France
- Nov 22-Dec 6 Honolua Bay, Maui- Hawaii: Maui Women’s Pro
The 2015 top 17 women surfers on the WSL tour (in order of ranking at start of tour):
Great to see veteran shredder and aerial surfer Silvana Lima back on tour, along with Sage Erickson.
- Stephanie Gilmore
- Tyler Wright
- Carissa Moore
- Sally Fitzgibbons
- Malia Manuel
- Lakey Peterson
- Bianca Buitendag
- Johanne Dufay
- Courtney Conlogue
- Laura Enever
- Dimity Stoyle
- Silvana Lima
- Coco Ho
- Sage Erickson
- Nikki Van Dijk
- Tatiana Weston-Webb
- Alessa Quizon
To catch all the stops of the women’s tour, you can stream the all action at http://www.worldsurfleague.com Bring on this corker of a year!