Chelsea Georgeson (AUS), the reigning ASP Women's World Champion, has defended her Rip Curl Pro Mademoiselle title today with a win over current world No. 1 Melanie Redman-Carr (AUS) at Les Bourdaines today.
Georgeson remains third on the ASP ratings, but has lessened the gap between her and world No. 2 Layne Beachley (AUS). Redman-Carr who fell to second in the world last week, is back on top after her runner-up finish to Georgeson.
"I'm just happy to have my first win this year." Georgeson said. "It feels like forever since my last win at Maui. It's definitely been a hard start to the year, because Mel's just been on fire. She won the first three contests of the year and there hasn't been a whole lot of room for anyone else up there at the top. At the same time, it's really good competition."
Georgeson commanded today's thirty-minute all-Australian final, leaving Redmann-Carr needing a combination of two excellent scoring waves to overtake her. This marks Georgeson's third ASP Women's World Tour victory in France – her first was in 2003.
"France has always been a really special place for me," Georgeson said. "I love coming here, I love the people and the place. To come first here again feels really good and hopefully next year I can make it three in a row.”
Though no easy task, the current world champ is still mathematically capable of defending her world crown. She will, however, need to win at least two of the three remaining events on this year's tour.
“Right now, each contest is about trying to get a win because that's all I can do to get the world title back and that's what it's going to take to get it back," Georgeson said. "You can't win it with seconds and thirds, it's going to takes firsts at the moment. I've only got one win, Mel's got three, but hopefully I can do this in the next three contests – just do what I did here, be really focused and hope everything comes together for me.”
Things have definitely been coming together for Redman-Carr. Her result today marks her fourth podium finish in five events. Though she was decidedly beaten by Georgeson today, the 33-year-old Western Australian leaves France in a commanding position.
“I was really happy to make it into the finals, I had already regained my ratings lead at that point, but I didn't really feel like I was in the final – I just felt like I was drifting around out there," Redman-Carr said. "Chelsea got the best waves today and I probably missed one or two, I just mistimed them, so it was just quite boring for me out there – I was just drifting around out there hoping it would end.”
Redman-Carr eliminated Silvana Lima (BRA) en route to the final in much the same fashion. Lima, who has had an excellent rookie season, only caught three waves during their semifinal heat.
“The waves were good, but I couldn't catch them because I was paddling for the wrong ones." Lima said. "It was a good heat but luck was definitely on Mel's side, not mine. Overall it was a good experience, getting another third place is a good result for me. I just hope I can do better next time. I'm gaining experience on the WCT and am in a good position on the ratings – I'm focused and hoping to keep doing well.”
Jessi Miley-Dyer, the ASP Women's World Tour's only other 2006 rookie, was beaten by Georgeson in their semifinal heat after only catching one wave.
"I'm stoked just to make it through to the semis and get another strong result," Miley-Dyer said. "Chels surfed really good and when people surf really good like that, you can't really do much about it. Maybe if I'd caught two waves I could have given myself a better chance!"
The next event on the 2006 ASP Women's World Tour is the Havaianas Beachley Classic in Sydney, Australia in October.
FINAL: 1st earns US$10,000, 2nd earns US$6,000
Final: Chelsea Georgeson (AUS) 15.65 def. Melanie Redman-Carr (AUS) 10.25
SEMIFINALS: 1st advances to Final, 2nd finishes equal 3rd and earns US$4,250
Semifinal 1: Melanie Redman-Carr (AUS) 11.00 def. Silvana Lima (BRA) 2.30
Semifinal 2: Chelsea Georgeson (AUS) 13.75 def. Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 5.00