With a week to go until the Swatch Girls Pro China Hosted by Wanning 2013 gets underway, the official event wildcards have been announced to complete the 36 woman field of surfers from across the globe.
Swatch Proteam surfer Darci Liu will compete in the event for the third year running, representing the local surf community on Hainan Island where she runs a surf school, and has been instrumental in helping promote the sport.
"It's a huge honor for me to watch these elite surfers from around the world grace our waves, let alone compete against them," said Darci. "This year the buzz around the event is bigger than ever and I can't wait to welcome the surfers back to Wanning."
Darci will be joined by two surfers from Chinese Taipei, Monica Guo and Wen Ling Chou, both of whom have experience in competing in the event previously, and will be looking to draw on that experience as they take part in the most talented field of women's longboarders ever assembled.
Monica qualified via the local Hainan Open event in late October as the highest ranked Chinese finisher, while Wen Ling is Chinese Taipei's most well traveled and successful professional surfer to date, becoming the first Chinese Taipei surfer to win a heat at an ASP World Championship event at last year's SWATCH GIRLS PRO CHINA, and is returning this year in the hopes of bettering her equal 13th place finish.
"It's such a great feeling to have finished 13th last year," said Wenling. "I've received great support from the Chinese surf community and feel really proud to represent Chinese Taipai. I'm honored to receive another chance to surf with these incredibly talented surfers."
The final wildcard spot will go to Australia's Emma Webb, a former Australian Title holder. Emma, who hails from one of Australia's strongest talent hotbeds Torquay, qualified for the 2012 event but was forced to withdraw due to pregnancy, and will join this year the field as one of many strong contenders gunning for the 2013 ASP Women's Longboard World Title.