MELANIE REDMAN-CARR WINS THE ROXY PRO
Nine-year ASP Women's World Tour veteran Melanie Redman-Carr (AUS) has defeated six-time world champion Layne Beachley (AUS) to win the first event of the year, the Roxy Pro.
"I didn't smash Layne as much as I would have liked to, but I ended up winning," Redmann-Carr said of their final held in three to four foot waves at Duranbah Beach on the Gold Coast of Australia this afternoon.
This marks Redman-Carr's first victory since the Roxy Pro in Fiji in 2002. The Western Australian, who finished runner-up to Beachley in 2001, came into this contest seeded third. She leaves the event rated number one in the world, ahead of reigning world champ Chelsea Georgeson (AUS) and the rest of the "new generation" of up-and-coming talent.
Both Redman-Carr and Beachley joked that it was all about the "old ducks" today.
"All the rookies, they are so insane! They surf so well that they just knocked each other out; it's just the way the draw went.' Redmann-Carr said. "The contest today could have been one from ten years ago. I surfed with Trudy, Layne and Rochelle, but it was cool, they were all ripping."
Redman-Carr earned an early lead, which she maintained throughout the final, but Beachley was a very attainable 7.34 points (out of 10) away from changing the situation when she caught a wave in the final minutes of the heat. She was rewarded with a 6.67, but ran out of time to catch a wave that would better her score.
"I wish there were another five minutes in the heat. I’m always upset when I get second. I am disappointed. It took me 25 minutes to find out where I wanted to surf," said Beachley.
Beachley, who took a several month hiatus from surfing citing a neck injury, performed remarkably well throughout the contest despite the time she spent out of the water.
"I hurt my neck on the first wave and that rattled me a little bit, so I kind of lost my confidence but it’s a great start and I’m quite surprised I’ve actually done as well as I have. After having a long break I’m actually feeling really unfit. I’m really tired and that’s only because I’ve spent two weeks in the water in the last five months. I guess it’s a good indication of what’s to come once I start spending more time in the water."
Beachley has said more than once that with all of the attention on the rookies, wildcards and younger surfers, she's sitting in a desirable "Dark Horse" situation.
"There’s plenty of young rookies and plenty of young amazing talent coming through, but experience always shines through at the end of the day. I’m glad the veterans haven’t lost it yet. Mel’s a great competitor, she beat me out here back in 2000 when we had the Roxy Pro here as a WQS; she beat me in the last minute, deja vu damn it!"
Beachley beat Samantha Cornish (AUS) in the semifinals but Cornish will not walk away empty handed. The 25-year-old won $5000 for the Evian Longest Tube Ride after slotting herself inside the longest tube of the event, a three and a half second barrel which also earned her the highest wave score of the entire contest.
"It's a little disappointing because I've been surfing well and I had a good chance at winning this event, but it's a great start, probably the best start I've ever had to the year," Cornish said. "After this, I'm going to go home and put my head down and do some more training and really work on getting strong for Tahiti and Fiji coming up. It's all about being consistent the whole year; it's great to get a third straight up."
Rochelle Ballard (HAW), who like Beachley, is recovering from an injury, rounded out the ASP Women's World Tour surfers earning semifinal berths.
"I am super stoked on my start to the year, especially coming off having a broken foot,and then I ended up getting food poisoning the other day. I had to get rushed to the emergency room – it's like what's next?" said Ballard. "But all of that has made me stronger and more appreciative; it has got me right in this very moment and not looking ahead so much. I'm really excited to be in this position and have that result."
Reigning Roxy Pro champ Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) and rookie Silvana Lima (BRA), who were responsible for taking out top seeds in Georgeson and Mulanovich, were both eliminated in their quarterfinal heats. Also failing to advance from the quarters were last year's runner-up Megan Abubo (HAW) and local surfer Trudy Todd (AUS).
The next event on the ASP Women's World Tour will be the Roxy Pro in Fiji from April 22-29, 2006.
ROXY PRO FINAL RESULTS:
Melanie Redmann-Carr (AUS) def. Layne Beachley (AUS)
ROXY PRO SEMIFINAL RESULTS:
HEAT 1: Layne Beachley (AUS) 14.33 def. Samantha Cornish (AUS)10.86
HEAT 2: Melanie Redmann-Carr (AUS) 14.50 def. Rochelle Ballard (HAW)
ROXY PRO QUARTER FINAL RESULTS:
HEAT 1: Layne Beachley (AUS) 14.50 def. Megan Abubo (HAW) 14.50
HEAT 2: Samantha Cornish (AUS) 17.04 def. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 16.00
HEAT 3: Rochelle Ballard (HAW) 11.50 def. Silvana Lima (BRA) 10.50
HEAT 4: Melanie Redmann-Carr (AUS) 15.23 def. Trudy Todd (AUS) 11.40