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News provided by ASP World Tour on 3 July 2006

BIARRITZ, France – The first two rounds of the Roxy ASP Women’s World Longboard Championship (WWLC) presented by Evian ran in half to one meter (two to three foot) waves at Côte des Basques, Biarritz, on France’s southwest coast today.

Preliminary rounds of the inaugural event whittled the field of 60-plus surfers to 48, with today’s winners joining the seeded surfers in round three.

Contest director Marc Sarran will assess the swell, tide and wind daily to capitalize on the best conditions available during the remaining six-day competition window, with three days needed to complete the event due to radical tidal differences.

American Schuyler McFerran, 19, claimed the day’s highest wave score, a 9.00 (out of 10), in winning her round one heat against Margaret Yao (USA) and Grace Davies (GBR).

“I was shocked,” McFerran, who hails from Encinitas, California, said. “Somehow I found an open-faced wave, got to the nose a couple of times, did a floater and milked it for all it was worth. The judges liked it so I’m stoked.

“I love longboarding. I think it’s a beautiful, graceful sport. I’m proud to be a longboarder and really happy to be competing here in Biarritz because women’s longboarding is finally receiving some backing and we have a world title now. I’m really stoked to be here and want to go as far as I can.”

McFerran, who went on to win her round two heat as well, will now meet Claire Karabatsos (FRA),
Mary Bagalso (USA) and Carmel McGrath (USA) in round three.

Japanese-born Hawaiian surfer Miku Uemura, 22, also positioned herself strongly heading into the seeded rounds. Making the most of tricky conditions and racking up two of the day’s highest heat totals in the process, Uemura used her competitive-surfing savvy to easily advance through the preliminary rounds.

“The waves are really hard to catch, you have to be lucky enough to find an open face. It’s not a long wall and the wave has been breaking late so I’ve been hitting it and doing floaters – something I’m good at because I’m not really good at noseriding,” Uemura said.

Uemura, who said she has spent very little time on a longboard in the past four years because she’s been competing on the Japanese shortboard circuit, looked right at home today and is eager to round out her wave-riding repertoire with a solid result at the Roxy ASP WWLC.

“I’ve been waiting for a contest like this. When the Roxy Japan sales rep told me about it I was so excited. I was like, ‘Really! Yeah, yeah, I want to go!’ I was so happy. I think all of the shortboard competition experience I’ve had is helping me a lot. Competition is all a big game and I’ve been playing it for the last three years, so I think that will help for sure.”

Also catching the crowd’s attention was 46-year-old paraplegic surfer Angela Madsen (USA) who was so eager to be involved in the first-ever Roxy ASP WWLC that she entered the competition despite there not being a separate division for surfers with a disability.
“I signed up to compete in a surfing expression session for disabled surfers last year, but when that was cancelled and I heard about this contest I decided to sign up for the competition anyway, just to be a part of it and get out there,” Madsen said.

“I always try to convince people with disabilities to get more involved, and this is another case of if you build it they will come. If surfing events actually made a place for surfers with disabilities and people were encouraged to get out there and improve their quality of life through sport and surfing, I’m sure many more women would become involved.”

The Roxy ASP WWLC will run in conjunction with the Roxy Jam Biarritz, a summer surf festival designed to celebrate the female surf lifestyle. Live music, art exhibitions and philanthropic activities will bolster Biarritz’s already contagious surf vibe during the week-long event. Tonight’s entertainment will feature among others, Lee Ann Curren – daughter of three-time world champion Tom Curren.


ROUND OF 72 (1st and 2nd advance to ROUND OF 60, 3rd = 61st place, 4th = 67th place)
HEAT 1: Miku Uemura (HAW) 14.50, Noelle Rogers (USA) 10.00, Jenny McCarthy (AUS) 9.15, Cat Slatinsky (USA) 8.15
HEAT 2: Gaelle Szymkowiak (FRA) 7.00, Robin Hesson (USA) 4.00, Angela Madsen (USA) 0.70
HEAT 3: Candice O’Donnell (AUS) 6.30, Sormarie Nieves (USA) 5.85, Kaoru Naito (JPN) 4.00
HEAT 4: Coline Menard (FRA) 9.40, Emma Fitzhenry (GBR) 7.25, Erin Lewis (USA) 6.10
HEAT 5: Schuyler McFerran (USA) 14.00, Margaret Yao (USA) 7.90, Grace Davies (GBR) 7.75
HEAT 6: Hanalei Reponty (FRA), Melanie Fosse (RUN), Marie Vigne (FRA)

ROUND OF 60 (1st and 2nd advance to ROUND OF 48, 3rd = 49th place, 4th = 55th place)
HEAT 1: Miku Uemura (HAW) 14.75, Ashley Lloyd (USA) 12.50, Nina Blake (GBR) 5.95, Noelle Rogers (USA) 4.60
HEAT 2: Deanne Ashmore (GBR) 10.75, Gaelle Szymkowiak (FRA) 5.90, Krisein Magelssen (HAW) 4.95, Robin Hesson (USA) 3.60
HEAT 3: Bianca Valenti (USA) 14.75, Clemence Godineau (FRA) 6.35, Kaoru Naito (JPN) 4.00 Sormarie Nieves (USA) 3.30
HEAT 4: Coline Menard (FRA) 12.25, Marinane Bellegrade (FRA) 7.50, Emma Fitzhenry (GBR) 6.85, Linde Logtenberg (HOL) 3.60,
HEAT 5: Schuyler McFerran (USA) 13.75, Kaitlin Maguire (USA) 13.50, Kelly Coward (USA) 8.75,
Margaret Yao (USA) 6.20
HEAT 6: Melanie Fosse (RUN) 9.00, Kath Robinson (AUS) 8.25, Yoko Furuchi (JPN) 5.85, Hanalei Reponty (FRA) 4.60

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