MANLY BEACH, Australia (Friday, October 10, 2008) - The 2008 Beachley Classic got underway this morning, completing Rounds 1 and 2 as well as the opening two heats of Round 3 at nearby Freshwater Beach in clean two-to-three foot (1 metre) waves.
Stop No. 5 of 8 on the 2008 ASP Women's World Tour, the Beachley Classic was privy to some dramatic upsets during Round 1, however top seeds prevailed eventually, advancing through to Round 3.
Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 20, reigning ASP Women's World Champion and current No. 1 on the 2008 ASP Women's World Tour, was sent into the elimination Round 2 today at the hands of Rosanne Hodge (ZAF), 21, and Oakley Trials winner Tyler Wright (AUS), 14, this morning, but the champ rebounded in her second heat of the day, taking the win to advance through to Round 3 where she will once again draw the youngster Wright.
"That's the first time I've been in Round 2 all year so that was interesting," Gilmore said. "I didn't have a warm-up this morning and I was perhaps a little too cruisey in my Round 1 heat. I was on some new equipment and didn't get the momentum going that I needed. Stoked to get through Round 2 and I think I'll be drawing Tyler (Wright) again in Round 3. Should be a good match-up."
Julia de la Rosa Toro (AUS), 26, current No. 11 on the ASP Women's World Tour, caused a major upset this afternoon, defeating current ASP World No. 4 Samantha Cornish (AUS), 27, in Round 3 of the Beachley Classic.
"This matches my best result of the season," De La Rosa Toro said. "I haven't made the Quarterfinals since the first event of the year so I'm excited to advance through and get a result. The Beachley Classic is a super important event for all of us, given the 20% increase in prize points. I'm sitting outside the bubble at the moment so I need a result here in Sydney.'
Cornish was in blistering form today, netting the event high single-wave score of a 9.80 out of a possible 10 in Round 1 before opening her Round 3 heat with an impressive 7.65. The Australian, however, was unable to stop a rampaging De La Rosa Toro from fighting back with excellent scores of her own.
"I knew Sam (Cornish) would be dangerous on the righthanders because she was surfing them so well in Round 1," De La Rosa Toro said. "She started out with a really good one, but I was just patient and waited for the waves that offered a little more scoring potential and it paid off."
De La Rosa Toro will face current ASP Women's World No. 5 Amee Donohoe (AUS), 27, in Round 4 of the Beachley Classic.
Today's action occurred today amidst the big announcement that Layne Beachley (AUS), 36, former seven-time ASP Women's World Champion and current No. 3 on the ASP Women's World Tour, will retire at the end of the season. The announcement was made via a heavily-attended press conference at the main event site in Manly Beach.
Despite her media obligations, Beachley found time to advance through her Round 1 heat, showcasing the characteristic style and flair that has seen the iconic Australian advance to the top of the surfing world throughout the past two decades.
Beachley will face fellow veteran Melanie Redman-Carr (AUS), 33, in the final Round 3 heat when Beachley Classic action resumes.
Event organizers will reconvene tomorrow morning at 7am at the primary venue at Manly for a possible 7:30am start.
When Beachley Classic competition resumes, Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS), 22, will battle Jacqueline Silva (BRA), 29, in Heat 3 of Round 3.
BEACHLEY CLASSIC Round 1 Results:
Heat 1: Melanie Redman-Carr (AUS) 15.65, Amee Donohoe (AUS) 11.75, Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 10.40
Heat 2: Samantha Cornish (AUS) 16.30, Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 10.45, Karina Petroni (USA) 9.20
Heat 3: Rosanne Hodge (ZAF) 12.75, Tyler Wright (AUS) 8.60, Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 8.50
Heat 4: Megan Abubo (HAW) 9.85, Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 9.70, Serena Brooke (AUS) 8.85
Heat 5: Rebecca Woods (AUS) 14.25, Layne Beachley (AUS) 13.30, Nicola Atherton (AUS) 10.25
Heat 6: Silvana Lima (BRA) 12.75, Julia De La Rosa Toro (PER) 10.50, Melanie Bartels (HAW) 1.85
BEACHLEY CLASSIC Round 2 Results:
Heat 1: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 13.50, Karina Petroni (USA) 10.85, Serena Brooke (AUS) 7.35
Heat 2: Melanie Bartels (HAW) 10.00, Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 8.50, Nicola Atherton (AUS) 6.00
BEACHLEY CLASSIC Round 3 Results:
Heat 1: Julia De La Rosa Toro (PER) 14.35 def. Samantha Cornish (AUS) 12.90
Heat 2: Amee Donohoe (AUS) 12.15 def. Rosanne Hodge (ZAF) 7.30
REMAINING BEACHLEY CLASSIC Round 3 Match-Ups:
Heat 3: Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) vs. Jacqueline Silva (BRA)
Heat 4: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) vs. Tyler Wright (AUS)
Heat 5: Sofia Mulanovich (PER) vs. Karina Petroni (AUS)
Heat 6: Melanie Bartels (AUS) vs. Rebecca Woods (AUS)
Heat 7: Silvana Lima (BRA) vs. Megan Abubo (HAW)
Heat 8: Layne Beachley (AUS) vs. Melanie Redman-Carr (AUS)