On March 2 the Roxy Pro, the first event of the ASP Women's world tour, will take to the sands of Coolangattta, Australia.
"There are so many stories around the Women's Tour this year," says ASP tour manager Jessi Miley-Dyer.
It begins at the Roxy Pro. The story is that it is the start of a backbreaking climb to a summit. But as the schedule goes, if Bells has the history and France has the food, then the Gold Coast has the party. And a couple of other things: Perfect, right-hand pointbreaks. Warm, turquoise water. An excess of sunshine and an endearing deficit of clothing. The Quiksilver/Roxy Pro Gold Coast is everything landlubbers dream of the minute we confide that we are surfers. As if they didn't already know.
Back to these aforementioned stories: "You've got veterans like Sofia [Mulanovich] and Rebecca [Woods], who are mixing it up with the younger generation. Sofia, who's won a world title, is already an icon of the sport -- and she's still there," Miley-Dyer says. She goes on to mention "The Triangle": Stephanie Gilmore, Sally Fitzgibbons, and Carissa Moore.
"It's going to be ..." she trails off for a minute. "There are so many girls who are surfing so well now, that it's going to be really cool to see them surf at Snapper and see what happens. See what people have been doing over the break."
The Roxy Pro awakens the women's world tour after a seven-month hibernation following the U.S. Open in Huntington Beach, Calif., back in August of last year. Carissa Moore says she's been trying to incorporate creativity into her comp strategy. And it's safe to say that five-time world champion Steph Gilmore's spent a good portion of that time chasing barrels at her home break, which is Snapper Rocks. Obviously. So she's not just a threat because of her glaring talent; she's also got the home field advantage.
Despite all of that, her 2012 win didn't come easily. She had to get through North Narrabeen's Laura Enever, who's currently ranked eighth in the world. Enever, 21, is known for her gouging turns and go-for-broke determination. Last year, she narrowly lost the high-scoring final and she could easily come back to claim the event in 2013.
Lennox Head's Tyler Wright, 18, finished equal third last year and runner-up the year before that. Ever casual, Wright's actually a risk taker, and she may be young, but she's been busting airs in comps longer than just about anyone else on Tour right now.
Lately, it seems like the person on the podium at Snapper are most likely to be the ones standing on that exalted mountaintop. Roxy girl Sally Fitz seems intent on pushing Gilmore off of that peak. If someone goes all the way to Dubai to improve her boosts, those moves will come into play when it counts.
So yeah, the Roxy Pro Gold Coast is the big reveal and the prelude. It's gonna be one helluva show. You'll be able to watch all of the drama unfold at Roxylive.com, and for the first time ever, you'll be able to take part in it, thanks to iPowow. iPowow will allow online viewers to interact with commentators (and each other), predict heat outcomes, and even score waves in real time. This may prove irksome for judges if (when?) surfers begin to dispute their scores based on viewers' valuations. But I digress.
The Quiksilver and Roxy Pro trials will be held at Snapper Rocks on Friday, March 1st, and then come Saturday, "Let the games begin."