World Champion Mick Fanning heads up the 2010 Drug Aware Pro presented by Rusty at Margaret River

Coolangatta, Australia - An outstanding field of the world’s best men and women surfers are set to line–up at Margaret River for this year’s Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Six Star Prime rated Men’s and Women’s Drug Aware Pro presented by Rusty.

Mick Fanning, a past winner at Margaret River in 2001, headlines this year’s event as the number one seed and the current ASP World Champion is looking forward to great waves at one of his favourite destinations.

Speaking from Abu Dhabi today where Mick is attending the prestigious Laureus Sporting Awards and has been nominated for the World Action Sportsperson of the year Mick said,

“Margaret River is special to me, the year I won at Margaret River it was a huge catalyst to what was an incredible year – shortly after that win I went to Bells and won my first ASP World Tour event and went onto to fast tracking my way onto the ASP World Tour for the following season so the event really kick started my season that year and my career!”

“It’s a venue that generally delivers great surf – we go there expecting excellent surf and knowing there’s a real chance we’ll get some seriously big surf as well – I love the whole region and I’m looking forward to returning and surfing in what should be one of the best fields ever assembled there.”

A new ASP one world rating system has seen a dramatic increase in the over-all quality of this years field.

This year’s event field is stacked with seven of the world’s top 10 surfers competing including Fanning and current world number one and local favourite Taj Burrow along with 12 of the world’s top 16 women surfers headed by Sofia Mulanovich from Peru.

ASP Australasia Tour Manager Dane Jordan highlighted the significance of the new rating system saying,

“The field is a direct result of the one rating system as winning a Six Star Prime is roughly the same as finishing 3rd in a World Tour event - The tireless work of Surfing West Australia in stepping the event up to a brand new level in 2010 has also played a large part in this exciting line-up.”

Like Fanning’ s result back in 2001, whoever wins at Margaret River really sets themselves up for an incredible year in pro surfing and with a 170 Men’s and 60 Women’s strong international field the competition to grab the ratings points and prize-money will be fierce with competitors also relishing the opportunity of competing in serious surf at a venue that demands power performances.

The event will be:

Webcast live each day via or via

Live televised for the Men’s and Women’s finals via Fuel TV on Foxtel from quarter-finals onwards.

Complimentary Images daily will be forwarded along with press release.

National Newsfeeds begin on Wednesday 17th March and will continue through to finals – alerts and copy along with download details will be forwarded to networks daily.

The events official press conference is on Monday 15th March at 1.30pm at Lexus featuring Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson and Sofia Mulanovich.

This year’s event incorporates the MASS Festival adding to a week of Music, Art, Surf and Style in and around Margaret River.