ASP Top 17 Fire Back into Action at Rip Curl Pro Mademoiselle

HOSSEGOR, France (Monday, August 18, 2008) - The ladies of the ASP Top 17 will spring back into action in the coming weeks, invading the high-performance beachbreaks of Hossegor, France for the Rip Curl Pro Mademoiselle running from August 28 through September 1, 2008.

Event No. 3 on the 2008 ASP Women's World Tour, the Rip Curl Pro Mademoiselle will see the world's best female surfers don the competitive jerseys for the first time since March, kick starting the remaining part of the season as well as reigniting the hunt for the highly-coveted ASP Women's World Title.

Sofia Mulanovich, former ASP Women's World Champion (2004) and current ratings leader on the 2008 ASP Women's World Tour, has spent the mid-season break fine-tuning her equipment in beachbreaks around the globe as well as keeping her competitive skills tack-sharp on the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS).

"I have been spending a lot of my time between California and Peru just surfing and doing a bit of training," Mulanovich said. "I have also done a couple of trips to Indo and I competed in the US Open where I made it to the Quarters. I'm super pumped for the next ASP Women's World Tour event and for sure looking forward to getting back in the zone."

Mulanovich, who won the Rip Curl Pro European event last year in Spain, is excited to see the venue relocated back to France, and will hunt another solid result in her campaign to regain the ASP Women's World Title.

"I have made the Finals in France twice getting second in Hossegor against Layne and winning before in Anglet," Mulanovich said. "I love France. I love the vibe and everything there - one of my favorite stops on tour for sure. Every girl on tour is a tough competitor, but Steph (Gilmore), being the ASP Women's World Champ, is always the one to beat. I feel really positive and ready for the competitions coming up. I have been surfing lots of beachies here in California and my boards are amazing. I am having fun and want to keep having fun all year."

Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), reigning ASP Women's World Champion and current No. 2 on the 2008 ASP Women's World Tour, will look to recharge her competitive mindset in the coming weeks before the Rip Curl Pro Mademoiselle, drawing on exotic overseas training during the break.

"I've spent a lot of time on boat trips in the Mentawais and surfing in Bali and also watching the ASP World Tour events," Gilmore said. "I will admit that I have been extremely relaxed and am still probably cruising in an off-season kind of mode. To get back into the competitive mindset, I'll just continue along with my normal lead up to an event - sorting out my boards, etc. I was also able to compete in the US Open and shake some cobwebs off."

Although yet to secure a solid result on French soil, Gilmore's undeniable penchant for high-performance surfing sees her as one of the favorites and the young Australian is keen to chip into her Peruvian opponent's ratings lead in the race for the ASP Women's World Title.

"I've only competed in France once before as a wildcard and I lost to Sofia (Mulanovich) early on but I really enjoy the atmosphere and the waves there so I'm pretty excited to kick off the tour again with the Rip Curl Pro Mademoiselle event," Gilmore said. "I'm feeling pretty good about being in second position going into the rest of the year. I know it's going to be a hard chase with Sofia's lead but it makes for good sport, doesn't it?"

Other solid contenders for the 2008 Rip Curl Pro Mademoiselle title include seven-time ASP Women's World Champion Layne Beachley (AUS), veteran campaigner and current ASP World No. 3 Samantha Cornish (AUS), South American phenom Silvana Lima (BRA), Hawaiian powerhouse Melanie Bartels (HAW), among others.

The waiting period for the 2008 Rip Curl Pro Mademoiselle runs from August 28 through September 1, 2008.

The Rip Curl Pro Mademoiselle will be webcast LIVE via the RIP CURL MADEMOISELLE SITE

Current ASP Women's World Tour Ratings:

1 - Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 2172 points
2 - Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 1560 points
3 - Samantha Cornish (AUS) 1524 points
4 - Amee Donohoe (AUS) 1512 points
5 - Layne Beachley (AUS) 1308 points
6 - Rebecca Woods (AUS) 912
6 - Megan Abubo (HAW) 912 points
6 - Claire Bevilacqua (AUS)* 912 points
9 - Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 732 points
9 - Julia De La Rosa Toro (PER) 732 points
11 - Silvana Lima (BRA) 720 points
11 - Rosanne Hodge (ZAF) 720 points
11 - Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 720 points
11 - Serena Brooke (AUS) 720 points
11 - Nicola Atherton (AUS) 720 points
16 - Melanie Bartels (HAW) 552 points
17 - Melanie Redman-Carr (AUS) 540 points
17 - Karina Petroni (USA) 540 points
* First replacement on ASP Women's World Tour.