Beachleys Bacon Saved

The Beachley Classic - reported on here two weeks back as having lost its major sponsor - is back in business after National Australia Bank came to the party.

With ${{{100}}},000 in prize money, Layne's eponymous event, based at her home beach of Manly in Australia, has been billed as the richest on the women's WCT. But it hit a major speed bump after recently losing its first year sponsor, the beach shoe maker Havaianas.

It's now known as the NAB Beachley Classic. "We're absolutely delighted to be involved with this fantastic event and look forward to backing women's surfing and bringing the world's best to Sydney," an NAB spokesman, George Frazis, told reporters.

NAB is one of Australia's four main banking groups and is involved in numerous other sporting endorsements, including pro football and international athletics. It's also now one of only two major non-surf-corporate backers of elite professional surfing, the other being the men's WCT blanket sponsor Foster's.

The event will be held at Manly October 9-14.

Ms. Beachley, who as defending world champ will compete as well as drive the event, was her ever-chipper self on announcing the deal. "I play to win," she said. "All the girls are ripping and the race for number one is on... but I have never been one to shy away from a challenge."