COOLANGATTA, Australia (Tuesday, June 2, 2009) – While the 2009 ASP Women’s World Tour is currently recharging in a mid-season break, the best female surfers in the world have been keeping busy.
For over 30 years, the dream of traveling the world and surfing exotic locations has been a reality for the world’s best female surfers as they follow the ASP Women’s World Tour, the most prestigious professional circuit in competitive surfing.
Heralding from all ends of the Earth - Australia, New Zealand, Peru, Brazil, Hawaii and South Africa – the ASP Top 17 is made up of a diverse and dynamic group of girls all looking to etch “ASP Women’s World Champion" next to their name.
Long recognized as a male dominated sport, today’s female surfers are giving their male counterparts a run for their money.
“The young crop this year has created a new era for women's surfing," Kelly Slater, reigning nine-time ASP World Champion, said. "They’re younger, faster, more radical surfers, with good looks and great style to match. The girls on the 2009 tour now would challenge most of the guys surfing today - and that's saying something. I’d like to see more of them in the spotlight, I don't think there’s enough emphasis placed upon the enormous and diverse talent of each individual in surfing. This year’s Top 17 are particularly marketable, so it’s time we saw this happen.”
The ASP Top 17 travels year-round, competing in some of the most exotic and desirable venues on the planet. At the end of the season, the surfer who has accumulated the most points throughout the year seizes the prestigious honor of being crowned the ASP Women's World Champion, a title that brings with it much prestige and adulation, opening doors and opportunities around the world.
Names like Tom Carroll, Tom Curren, Wendy Botha and Lisa Andersen dominated the sport in the 1990s, contributing to the rise of the surf lifestyle industry.
Today, two Australians, Layne Beachley (a record seven-times ASP Women's World Champion) and reigning ASP Women's World Champion Stephanie Gilmore, are synonymous with the progression of female surfing. While Beachley cemented herself as an icon within the sport, it is Gilmore leading the next generation of talent, exuding athleticism, vibrancy and femininity.
With two ASP Women's World Titles and multiple endorsement deals at her helm, Gilmore knows firsthand how fortunate she is to form part of the ASP Top 17.
“The ASP Women’s World tour presents the most exciting, challenging and talented female surfers on the planet, taking the surfing lifestyle on a journey around the world, all with the quest to be crowned ASP Women’s World Champion,” Gilmore said.
Sharing the sentiments and dreams of the best in the world is South American icon and 2004 ASP Women’s World Champion Sofia Mulanovich.
"Being on tour is the most wonderful thing ever," Mulanovich said. "You get to surf good waves, meet amazing people, experience different cultures and at the same time you do what you love, it is living the dream."
The ASP Top 17 are dispersed across the globe in preparation for the next chapter in the ASP Women’s World Tour, when the Beachley Classic kicks off in Sydney Australia on September 30, followed by the Rip Curl Pro Search, Somewhere in the North Atlantic on October 26.