Adam Melling (AUS) in one of last year's many barrels ! Photocredit: ©Aquashot/ASPEurope
CAPBRETON, France (Monday, June 18, 2012) - The ASP 6-Star SATA Airlines Azores Pro will return in September 2012. For the first time the event will split the Men's and the Women's divisions to run on two different waiting periods throughout the month. The women stand-alone event this year will complete a three-stops September leg in Europe following the other two Women's 6-Star events in Pantin (Spain) and Estoril (Portugal). September will be a busy month for the World's best women surfers with three consecutive weeks of surfing across the old continent, culminating in the Azores showdown and the possible crowning of the European Women's Champion.
The Men's 6-Star event running from 4-9 September will open festivities on Sao Miguel early in the month and will welcome a larger field of surfers with the larger format available this year. This will see more surfers travel to the Azores and battle it out in 2012.
"The event rating this year is 6-Star which opens the format to a maximun of 144 surfers" said Rob Gunning, ASP Europe's Tour Manager. "This increase means more opportunities for not only European surfers but also visiting International surfers to gain valuable rankings points in the second half of the season before the all important Hawaiian leg of events at year's end."
A favourite amongst the International field of surfers trying to qualify for the coveted ASP World Championship Tours, the beautiful island of Sao Miguel will twice become the center of attention from September 4-9 for the Men's event and September 27-30 for the Women's event. Mobile on the Island, the SATA Airlines Azores Pro will have the possibility to run on different banks along the beautiful beach of Praia do Santa Barbara depending on the conditions on offer throughout the competition.
"ASP Europe is proud to continue it's support of the women's tour and offer all competitors the best possible opportunities to compete and reach their goals of being on the ASP World Tour", stated Rob Gunning. "The SATA Azores Island Pro will be an extremely important event to finish off the 2012 ASP Women's Star Tour. Spots will be up for grabs for qualification to the ASP Women's World Tour in 2013 and with the exotic back drop of the island of Sao Miguel and its excellent waves in September the stage is set for a great event."
For the first time apart from the Men's event, the 6-Star Women's SATA Airlines Azores Pro will be a great opportunity for the Women to take full advantage of the waiting period and select the best conditions to let the girls showcase their best abilities in the best of waves. Rodrigo Heredia, organizer of the event, explains his choice of running both events separately.
"The idea is to give more time to both events, the men have six days unique to them and women also have a waiting period exclusively for them" Rodrigo said. "This decision allows the surfers to be able to surf the best conditions making it all for the athletes, the event and the public. We'll get double chances of showing the world what incredible potential for waves we have here in Azores !"
Pauline Ado (FRA) currently one of two European ambassadors on the ASP Women's World Championship Tour is a regular participant in Azores and will once again travel to this Atlantic paradise to take on the World's best out to re-qualify for the World Tour. Pauline knows the importance of stand-alone women's events and will enjoy every moment of her Azores campaign next September.
"It's the third time we get to surf there and the black sanded beaches of Sao Miguel have an excellent potential for powerful and hollow waves like we saw last year for the Men's event" Pauline said. "It's a superb island and we usually all get to escape a little and visit the volcanic areas and warm water sources within the island. This year it'll probably end the Qualifying series so this will be a very important event for both surfers trying to qualify for the World Tour and European surfers after the Regional Title !"
The 2012 SATA Airlines Azores Pro Men's event will run from September 4-9, and the Women's event from September 27-30 as a mobile event on Sao Miguel, Azores Islands. To find out more, please visit www.aspeurope.com
Source: ASP Europe