SEIGNOSSE, France (Wednesday, August 27, 2008) The Rip Curl Pro Mademoiselle, event No. 3 of 8 on the 2008 ASP Women's World Tour, begins its waiting period tomorrow and projected swell reports are calling for clean conditions with surf in the four-to-six foot (1 metre) range for the ASP Top 17 to sink their rails into.
The first Dream Tour women's event since the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach last April, the Rip Curl Pro Mademoiselle will see the race for the 2008 ASP Women's World Title reignited, and while frontrunners Sofia Mulanovich (PER), 25, and Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 20, will be the favorites, a bevy of hard-charging females are looking to make their move in the picturesque French beachbreaks as well.
Amee Donohoe (AUS), 27, current No. 4 on the ASP Women's World Tour, has been prepping in Europe since competing in the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) event in Portugal earlier this month, and is hoping that her time in France will pay dividends at the Rip Curl Pro Mademoiselle.
"I've been in Europe a long time and hopefully that preparation pays off for me," Donohoe said. "I've been sick the past couple of days because of the water I think, but I've gotten plenty of surfs in and my boards are feeling good so I'm hoping for another result here in France."
Donohoe will face Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS), 22, and Julia De La Rosa Toro (PER), 26, in Heat 2 of Round 1 when competition commences.
Layne Beachley (AUS), 36, former seven-time ASP Women's World Champion and current ASP Women's World No. 5, is a four-time past winner in France and will look to awaken her own ASP Women's World Title campaign at the Rip Curl Pro Mademoiselle.
"I've had great success in France in the past but the last time I won here was back in 2002 so I'm definitely hungry for another victory," Beachley said. "France holds so many special memories for me and the waves really suit my surfing. It's been a fair break since the first two events of the season and things can really start turning for people here at this event."
Beachley will square off against current ASP Women's World No. 6 Megan Abubo (HAW), 30, and 2008 Dream Tour rookie Nicola Atherton (AUS), 22, in the opening heat of Round 1 when competition commences.
Atherton, current No. 11 on the ASP Women's World Tour, is eager to return to competition after the interim and is approaching the remainder of the season with renewed vigor.
"It feels like a brand new start," Atherton said. "During our Dream Tour interim, I took some time off from the WQS to focus on my surfing and equipment. I was also able to let some niggling injuries heal and get fit. It was the longest break I have had in four years. I used the time to refresh myself and get organized."
Atherton, in her rookie year amongst the world's best, is hoping to improve upon a season-high 9th place finish (Gold Coast and Bells) in France and kick off her requalification campaign for 2009.
"I haven't had any solid results thus far and I am really hoping to get off to a strong start in France," Atherton said. "I think punchy beachbreaks can be a strong point for me. It's what I grew up surfing. So far this season, the events have been really fun, but the waves have been pretty small and inconsistent. I'm just looking forward to catching more waves in my heats and surfing at my peak.
The Rip Curl Pro Mademoiselle will be the first event of 2009 in which all 17 of the world's best female surfers will be in attendance, with the 18th spot being filled by Lee Ann Curren (FRA), 19, winner of today's ASP Grade-2 Rip Curl Women's Festival Pro Junior.
Surf-report.com, official forecasters for the 2008 Rip Curl Pro Mademoiselle, are calling for surf to remain in the four-to-six foot (2 metre) range tomorrow before ping in the following days with calm winds projected until the weekend.
The waiting period for the 2008 Rip Curl Pro Mademoiselle runs from tomorrow, August 28, through September 1, 2008.
Event organizers will convene at 9am to assess the conditions for a possible 9:30am start.
The Rip Curl Pro Mademoiselle will be webcast LIVE via www.ripcurl.eu/?promademoiselle_home
Rip Curl Pro Mademoiselle Round 1 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Layne Beachley (AUS), Megan Abubo (HAW), Nicola Atherton (AUS)
Heat 2: Amee Donohoe (AUS), Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS), Julia De La Rosa Toro (PER)
Heat 3: Sofia Mulanovich (PER), Serena Brooke (AUS), Lee Ann Curren (FRA)
Heat 4: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Jacqueline Silva (BRA), Karina Petroni (USA)
Heat 5: Samantha Cornish (AUS), Rosanne Hodge (ZAF), Melanie Redman-Carr (AUS)
Heat 6: Silvana Lima (BRA), Rebecca Woods (AUS), Melanie Bartels (HAW)