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GILMORE AND GEORGESON CLASH ON DAY ONE OF THE ROXY PRO

News provided by ASP World Tour on 1 March 2006

The first day of the Roxy Pro saw the 2006 Association of Surfing Professionals (ASP) Women’s World Tour kick off with a bang, or more specifically, a crash here at Snapper Rocks on the Gold Coast of Australia.

Event favorites Chelsea Georgeson (AUS) and Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), who are the reigning ASP world champion and Roxy Pro champion respectively, accidentally collided at the end of their highly anticipated heat three clash.

"There wasn't much time left and I had been falling off on all the other waves so I was just waiting for that one good one,” said Georgeson who swapped spots on the leader board with Gilmore several times throughout the 30-minute heat, but ultimately came out on top.

“I knew Steph got the first one of the set but the second one was good too so I took off. I was so into what I was doing and was concentrating really hard, so when I did a floater and came down, I wasn't looking where I was going and Steph was right there. I was like ‘Oh my God’ and jumped off my board to try and miss her!"

Georgeson did miss Gilmore but not her board, which she ran over before wiping out. Fortunately, neither of the local lasses were hurt and, finishing first and second in the round one heat, will meet again in round three.

“I was pretty amped to just go out there with Steph and surf like we do when we free surf. It builds my confidence to beat her because she is such an awesome surfer,” Georgeson said. “I know how well she surfs out there because I watch her surfing out there regularly. I’m just stoked to have come out on top after that heat and we'll just have to see what happens in the next one.”

Both girls opened their accounts with waves in the 9.0 or “excellent” range today, with wildcard Gilmore earning the highest wave score of the entire contest thus far, a 9.33 out of a possible 10.

“It was good fun, straight of the bat we both had really good waves that had us pumped for the rest of the heat. I thought I had her there for awhile, but she got me back there at the end,” Gilmore said. “It would have been cool to beat her, but you get that and we'll get to match up again so, hopefully next time.”

The highest heat total of the day, however, belonged to an in-form Layne Beachley who scored 17.50 out of a possible 20 points with her best two waves. Beachley, a former six-time world champion as well as the 2003 Roxy Pro champion, was forced to sit out the Hawaiian leg of the ASP Women’s World Tour in December of last year and hadn’t surfed for over four months before arriving at Snapper Rocks last week.

"It's good to get the first heat out of the way. It wasn't until I had a break from the sport that I realized how much I love it and how much I miss it,” Beachley said. “I felt like it was going to be a gradual climb with gradual momentum gained throughout the event, but I started pretty strong and the waves are really conducive to high scores so I was patient and picked out the good ones.”

Beachley faces South Africa’s Heather Clark in the next round.

Other round one standouts were 2004 world champion Sofia Mulanovich (PER) and ASP Women’s World Tour rookie Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS). A relaxed Mulanovich posted one of the higher heat totals of the day despite only committing to two waves.

“This is usually the event where I feel the most pressure on tour but I feel good, said Mulanovic. “I'm just having fun. I'm more relaxed than last year. I only caught two waves in that heat, that's how relaxed I am.”

Fresh from an ASP World Junior title and now batting in the big leagues, an excited Miley-Dyer made her presence felt in her round one heat, winning it and avoiding round two in the process.

"I was really stoked. I woke up this morning and found out the contest was on, I had a couple of friends ring me and say ‘… this is your first heat in the ‘CT ever,’ and I though about it and went ‘no way’,” Miley-Dyer said. “Coming here to this event, seeing all the scaffolding and stuff, I got really excited. I was quite nervous going into the event, I really wanted to get through that heat and skip the second round."

Round two casualties today belong to Snapper Rocks local Serena Brooke and former event winner Jacqueline Silva.

A call on competition status will be made tomorrow morning at 7am.

www.aspworldtour.com and www.roxy.com will host the live webcast of the entire event. Interviews, replays, special guests and Roxy’s daily "Live at 5" wrap up are all highlights of the webcast.


ROUND 1 RESULTS:

HEAT 1: 1st Layne Beachley (AUS) 17.50; 2nd Heather Clark (ZAF) 11.67; 3rd Keala Kennelly (HAW) 10.33
HEAT 2: 1st Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS) 14.27; 2nd Megan Abubo (HAW) 12.24; 3rd Samantha Cornish (AUS) 10.30
HEAT 3: 1st Chelsea Georgeson (AUS) 17.17; 2nd Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) 17.10; 3rd Serena Brooke (AUS) 9.33
HEAT 4: 1st Sofia Mulanovich (PER) 14.84; 2nd Silvana Lima (BRA) 13.34; 3rd Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 11.37
HEAT 5: 1st Claire Bevilacqua (AUS) 12.50; 2nd Julia Christian (USA) 10.36; 3rd Melanie Redman-Carr (AUS) 9.97
HEAT 6: 1st Rebecca Woods (AUS) 13.83; 2nd Rochelle Ballard (HAW) 12.20; 3rd Trudy Todd (AUS) 10.93

ROUND 2 RESULTS:

HEAT 1: 1st Samantha Cornish (AUS) 13.74; 2nd Melanie Redman-Carr (AUS) 10.50; 3rd Serena Brooke (AUS) 10.17
HEAT 2: 1st Trudy Todd (AUS) 12.67; 2nd Keala Kennelly (HAW) 12.43; 3rd Jacqueline Silva (BRA) 8.50



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