Australian World Championship Tour Surfer Richie Lovett Battles Cancer

Ten-year tour veteran and currently ranked number 23 surfer, Richie Lovett, has undergone hip surgery in Los Angeles, California to remove a rare malignant tumour.

Lovett started experiencing problems with his right hip during the final stages of the 2005 Foster's ASP Men's World Tour and initial scans were done prior to the remaining few events of the season.

Results indicated there was indeed a problem and that further tests needed to take place. After completing the 2005 season Lovett and wife Amanda, then preceded to fly out of his home base of Manly, NSW Australia, shortly after Christmas, to Los Angeles to seek specialist attention.

Post his initial surgery on 3 January 2006, biopsy results came back detecting a rare malignant tumour. The official definition is Clear Cell Chondrosarcoma - a low grade, very slow growing cancer tumour that does not respond to radiation or chemotherapy.

The only option is to remove the tumour via surgery. Lovett's surgery was completed on Monday 16 January 2006 at Cedar Sinai Hospital in Los Angeles.

The surgery involved removing part of Lovett's femur bone in his right leg then replacing it with an artificial prosthesis. This is the only way to make sure that surgeons extract all the tumour cells and that the chances of the tumour growing back are drastically reduced.

Obviously Lovett is completely blown away by it all, however he remains positive saying last week, " I will face this thing head on and fight. I'm staying positive mentally and I look forward to getting physically strong again soon. My wife Amanda has been amazing, supporting me every step of the way."

Richie's awesome ability as a surfer, his easy going and honest nature has made him not only one of the most feared and revered competitors on the Foster's ASP Men's World Tour, but also one of the most respected amongst his peers and the industry. Typically support has been coming from all corners of the globe.

Plans are underway for a fundraising event to help show support for Richie. Details will be released in the coming weeks. The ASP and major sponsor Aloha, joins Richie's other sponsors Watercooled, Electric and Surf Hardware International plus his family, friends and supporters in wishing him the best.