As the Hurley Pro heated up at Trestles on Tuesday, the ASP announced that the Top 17 women will join the party next September. Confirmation of a first-ever women's Tour event at Lowers sharpens an intriguing, if still very nebulous, image of the 2014 Women's World Championship Tour schedule.
There has been talk of dreamy venues like Fiji and Hawaii returning in 2014. That would certainly be a coup for the women, who've endured budget cuts and disappearing events over the past couple of years. While those particular Tour stops are still the stuff of rumors, the Lowers event is tangible evidence that things are looking up for the women's circuit.
"To be honest, it was a little discouraging [to have the women's schedule reduced], but we put our heads down and we were patient." current world No. 1 Carissa Moore said. And now, it appears that their patience has begun to pay off.
"The women surfing at the elite level of competition are some of the most inspiring athletes and individuals I have ever come across," ASP CEO Paul Speaker said. "Providing them with a quality platform upon which to perform is a crucial part of the ASP's DNA moving forward. This is the first of many exciting things to come."
For the most part, the Top 17 have also had to quench their thirsts for life-threatening situations (or at least, the odd reef thrashing) outside of the competitive arena. 2014 could change all of that. Lowers isn't a heavy wave, but it's a wave that favors the progressive, and it'll be the perfect place for the lady CT surfers to show off their rapidly growing aerial arsenals.
"To get them on such a high-performance wave, it's going to be awesome to watch," said Top 34 surfer Matt Wilkinson. Trestles is probably one of the most beloved and consistent surf spots in the world. Like Bells, it has a life story. It's sacred.
"I absolutely love this place," Moore said. "It was my first trip outside of Hawaii. [The wave] is so playful, and it's a great place for the women to showcase their talent."
On top of that, the famed Southern California break is mega crowded at every hour of every day. So the prospect of surfing it virtually alone is in-and-of-itself cause for celebration.
Though we don't yet know whether this comp will be a "Hurley Women's Pro," Hurley (and formerly, Nike) is a company that champions its female riders and has been hugely supportive of the Trestles event.
"Trestles is a tremendously rippable wave and I think the world's best female surfers are going to really turn heads out there next year," said Pat O'Connell, Hurley's vice president of marketing.
Women's Tour Manager Jessi Miley-Dyer said, "The addition of this venue to the women's schedule is indicative of ASP management's commitment to enhancing the women's Tour and placing these women in excellent waves."
The full ASP WWCT schedule is expected to appear sometime in the next month or so. For more info, check out ASPWorldTour.com.