World's Best Set to Battle at First Edition of ASP 6-Star Swatch Girls Pro
CAPBRETON, France - The first edition of the ASP 6-Star Swatch Girls Pro will run this week from May 12 to 16 at the world famous surf breaks of Seignosse and Hossegor with a gathering of the world's best female surfers confirmed in the South West of France for five days of intense action.
For its first edition, the Swatch Girls Pro will see a much expected battle take place between current ASP Elite Top 17 members including three-time ASP Women's World Champion Stephanie Gilmore (Gold Coast, AUS) and uprising talents seeking for valuable ratings' points.
"I am excited to be back in France competing at the Swatch Girls Pro,ï¿½ Gilmore said. ï¿½It will be challenging event with the stacked field of girls all dying for the 6 star points."
Gilmore, who has dominated the start of the year with three wins in four possible on the 2010 ASP Women's World Tour, will sure have all eyes on her when she paddles out with the competition vest on to try and claim another prestigious crown in France this week.
With the number of ASP Star Series Women's events in Europe jumping from one in 2009 to four this year and the Swatch Girls Pro allowing the world's best female surfers to get back to France and surf its powerful quality waves, the set-up for this first edition is ideal.
"France was not hosting any women's event anymore and this return is a great new step," ASP Europe Regional Manager Greg Puget said. "High performance, great lifestyle, exceptional athletesï¿½ This is more or less the set-up for the first edition of the Swatch Girls Pro going along with a live web coverage."
The Swatch Girls Pro is not only a major stop on the ASP Women's World Tour but alos the second stop on this year's ASP European Women's Star Series and will be crucial for Europe's rising talents towards their dreams of success before the summer events. With the women's tour in Europe becoming this strong, the future looks bright.
"The ASP Europe is very proud to sanction this major event on this year's ASP Women's Star Series," Greg Puget said. "2010 is a great renewal for women's surfing in Europe and this new opportunity for our athletes is only the ning of what we hope to be a multi-year project."
With the Swatch Girls Pro Junior also coming into the frame, not only will the event witness action from the world's best but also Europe's best Under-21 female surfers already in their second event this year and looking for crucial points as the event is rated Grade-2.
Coming from a win in the season-opener in Western France last month, regional ratings' leader Reunion Island born surfer Canelle Bulard (REU) along with fellow islander and reigning ASP European Women's Junior champion Johanne Defay (REU) will both attend the prestigious contest for a shot at the crown.
"To start the year with a win last month was above my expectations and it gave me a great confidence boost for the year," Bulard said after her win in Vendee. "I am looking at gaining experience on the Star Series as well this year but this second Pro Junior event will definitely be an important step."
With over seventy athletes focused on winning the first ever Swatch Girls Pro this week, all eyes of the surfing world will be on the ASP 6-Star and ASP Grade-2 Pro Junior heats, the beaches of Hossegor and Seignosse hosting the launch of what is expected to become a must-go stop on the ASP Women's World Tour in a near future. With conditions looking promising and the sand bank of Les Bourdaines chosen as main location for the contest, all is set for a great show.
"We have been checking all the main breaks of the area for the last three weeks and Les Bourdaines in Seignosse has some exceptional sand banks this year," Swatch Girls Pro contest director Philippe Malvaux said. "It's all about getting good waves and giving the opportunity to the world's best surfers to display their best performances and Les Bourdaines has the best set-up by far at the moment."
The ASP 6-Star Swatch Girls Pro and ASP Grade-2 Swatch Girls Pro Junior run from May 12 to 16 at Les Bourdaines in Seignosse, France.