One of Australia's most cherished surfing talents Chelsea Georgeson has moved one step closer to her assumed heritage as surfing royalty by soundly defeating West Australian veteran Melanie Carr in lost at sea conditions in the final of the Billabong Pro Tahiti at Teahupoo today.

Braving continual lashings from heavy rain and wind squalls, and roving 4-5'+ wave peaks crashing in over one of the world's most dangerous reefs, Georgeson again showed the guts and graceful savvy that have become her trademarks. It was her first WCT victory since winning the Billabong Pro Maui in Hawaii last December. For Redman-Carr, it was a welcome return to top-end form, her first final since winning in Fiji in 2002.

Whilst nature's storm-tossed elements forced the shutdown of power, and therefore announcements of the progressive situation and judges' scores from the contest tower 900m offshore, Georgeson held both her strategy and surfing technique together to leave her elder peer requiring 7.34 points by the end of the 35 minute final.

After defeating renowned Hawaiian Rochelle Ballard, as well as Peru's defending World Champion Sofia Mulanovich earlier in the day, Georgeson's event victory saw her jump up from equal fifth and into the runner-up position in the current ASP Women's WCT ratings, narrowly ahead of Megan Abubo (HAW). Redman-Carr moved into fifth position behind fellow Aussie and surfing legend Layne Beachley who is now in fourth spot

"I've been getting okay results with a few quarterfinals and semis' but losing it and not making finals, so I'm really happy to both make a final, and then win one, especially here at Teahupoo, which is such a challenge," said a beaming Georgeson straight out of the water after her win, which was keenly cheered on by some dozen members of the Forster's Men's World Tour Top 45 sitting in the channel.

One of the differences between the approaches of Georgeson and Redman-Carr in the final this afternoon was that the young charger kept an eye on the inconsistent west peaks that came through the lineup from time to time. She was following the advice of local surfer Raimana {{{Van}}} Bastoloae, who was the star surfer in the barrel under that runaway jet ski that went over the falls and featured in newspapers around the globe last week. Georgeson got both of her high scores from over there, wide of the normal Teahupoo takeoff zone.

"Raimana saw me before I went out, and told me that the waves from the west barrel more, and that if you can get into them, they are definitely the ones to catch, and so that was my mission," said Georgeson.

"On was on my shortboard earlier, but it picked up throughout the day and so I jumped on my 6'1", and it just held in so much better into those pitching walls. I wasn't so deep in some of the barrels I managed to get, but a couple of the take-offs were kind of sketchy, so I was glad just to make them".

"I'm just so happy to move up to second in the ratings - now all I need is to get to first!" smiled Georgeson, who is now 648 points behind her Peruvian mate Mulanovich after four WCT events, with five remaining this season to determine the 2006 World Title.

"Sofia had won two events on the trot before this event, and she still finished third here, and so she's still going to be hard to catch and beat. I'll need to just keep on making finals! I just have to try and keep calm, go surfing, and not get too excited," said Georgeson.

Redman-Carr got to the final after a semi-final victory over another Australian in ASP 2004 Rookie of The Year Rebecca Woods. Woods defeated Australia's Trudy Todd in their quarter-final.

"I was just super-nervous in my semi-final," said Woods. "I need to relax, and get to know this wave. There was a couple of times when I was out of position, and a little confused and hesitant, but it was my best result to date, and so I can only improve from here. I might even stay a few more days and get some more experience".

Reigning world champion Sofia Mulanovich also claimed nerves as a major distraction in her semi-final matchup with Chelsea Georgeson.

"We were both nervous and kind of blowing it. We're good friends and have surfed with and against each other a lot, and somehow we both manage to mess up and fall off when we do," said the forever pleasantly natured Peruvian, who was not even aware she'd retain the ASP ratings lead, regardless of the eventual result in the Billabong Pro Teahupoo.

"We're a long way from the end of the season, and though I've improved a lot since my horror start to the season, I don't even look at the ratings. I'm just here to surf and do my best and get good results."

Mulanovich had progressed to that point after somewhat of an upset victory, when three-times Billabong Pro Tahiti champion Keala Kennelly from Kauai failed to emerge from a long sustained barrel late in their quarter-final exchange.

Redman-Carr beat South African Heather Clark in their quarter-final, after the goofy veteran produced some great individual moves, but failed to put it all together on enough waves. In the opening quarterfinal of the day, Chelsea Georgeson had made patience a winning virtue when she out-lasted a more restless Rochelle Ballard.

The final day of action in the women's division of the Billabong Pro Tahiti began at 11am, after a very slowly rising swell started materialising on the incoming tide, whilst organisers and the eight girls remaining in the draw anxiously willed the waves upwards after first an 8.30am, and then 10am holding call.

Conditions differed right throughout the day and never settled into a pattern whatsoever, sometimes cleaning up after passing rain squalls, but ripped up and ridged at others. Once again the girls, and everyone associated with running against the odds today, made a sustained sterling effort in getting the job done.

"All the girls stick together, especially in this place," said Melanie Redman-Carr who achieved her aim of making the final, but was obviously a little disappointed with her result.

"Here in Tahiti, everybody backs everybody else! Everyone wants to see you have a go, and get a good one, be careful on the reef, and see nobody hurt - even though we all want to see a bit of action"

Yet again, for the second consecutive event in challenging and sizeable conditions, the girls of the ASP have shown that they are lifting the proverbial performance and charging mantles. They are off to Perrinporth in the United Kingdom for their next WCT event which begins in just over a week's time.

The next call for the Billabong Pro Tahiti, which will hopefully see the long-awaitedintroduction of the Foster's Men's World Tour surfers, will be at 6.30am tomorrow (Tuesday May 10th).

The Billabong Pro Tahiti delivered by Air Tahiti Nui is proudly supported by Von Zipper, Bose, Kustom and The Tahitian Surfing Federation.

Billabong Pro Live Webcast: via www.billabongpro.com and www.aspworldtour.com each day of the event utilizing live coverage in English, French and Portuguese, with the event websites being translated into these three languages plus, Japanese and Spanish. Various camera angles, highlights and replays, weather and scoring information, direct viewer interaction, celebrity guests, interviews and more are a part of the daily webcast program.


Q1: Chelsea Georgeson def. Rochelle Ballard
Q2: Sofia Mulanovich def. Keala Kennelly
Q3: Melanie Redman-Carr def. Heather Clark
Q4: Rebecca Woods def. Trudy Todd


S1: Chelsea Georgeson def. Sofia Mulanovich
S2: Melanie Redman-Carr def. Rebecca Woods

Chelsea Georgeson def. Melanie Redman-Carr