Northern Peru Hosts ASP Top 17 for Movistar Peru Classic pres. by Rip Curl

LOBITOS, Piura/Peru  – The world’s best female surfers are heating up the 2009 ASP Women’s World Tour as Event No. 5 of 7, the Movistar Peru Classic presented by Rip Curl, commences its waiting period tomorrow.

Hot off the heels of two impressive events in Sydney and Portugal, the ASP Top 17 have traversed the Atlantic and are preparing to do battle in Northern Peru’s long lefthanders. Into its third year as an ASP Women’s World Tour event, this year’s Movistar Peru Classic will endeavor to bring the world’s best women’s surfers to the fabled lefthander of Lobitos for the first time ever.

Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 21, reigning two-time ASP Women’s World Champion and current ASP Women’s World No. 1, will look to claim her third consecutive event win in Peru this season, the stylish natural-footer having been dominant in 2007 and 2008.

“I definitely feel its achievable (winning three years in a row),” Gilmore said. “It’s such a cool event to win, I can’t wait to get started.”

Last year’s Peru victory saw Gilmore vault ahead of former ASP Women’s World Champion (2004) Sofia Mulanovich (PER), 26, in the hunt for the 2008 ASP Women’s World Title, a lead she would not relinquish. While the Australian sits in the No. 1 spot on this year’s ASP Women’s World Tour ratings, she knows how crucial a result this season will be to stay ahead of current ASP Women’s World No. 2, Silvana Lima (BRA), 25.

“Obviously a win at this event would come with some very valuable ratings points,” Gilmore said. “I’ll take as many as I can get right now.”

Coco Ho (HAW), 18, 2009 ASP Dream Tour rookie and current ASP Women’s World No. 3, scored her breakout result last week, claiming the Rip Curl Pro Search in Portugal over former ASP Women’s World Champion (2005) Chelsea Hedges (AUS), 26. Sitting at third on the 2009 ASP Women’s World Tour ratings, Ho is a real contender in challenging Gilmore and Lima for the top spot, but remains focused on achieving ASP Rookie of the Year and the Top 5 rating.

“I am kind of focusing more on the close battle for the Rookie of the Year,” Ho said. I’m just trying to stay on top of my game and not let this victory blow up my head and then I start losing. I just want to stay focused – there is still a long road ahead. I would really like to be Rookie of the Year and to stay Top 5, that would be the year of my life. Sally (Fitzgibbons) and Paige (Hareb) have both been really consistent, but I would have to say Sal is my biggest competition. We are both regular footers and she always pushes me. I always want to go out and surf as well as she did and she does a good job of pumping me up.”

The Movistar Peru Classic presented by Rip Curl will host the ASP Top 17 from November 3 – 8, 2009.