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News provided by ASP World Tour on 4 July 2006

BIARRITZ, France – The number one seed, Summer Romero (San Diego, USA), was eliminated from the Roxy ASP Women's World Longboard Championship (WWLC) presented by Evian in two foot (half metre) surf at Côte des Basques, Biarritz, today.

Romero finished third in her heat, losing to fellow Americans Bianca Valenti (who won the heat) and Kassia Meador in their round four match-up.

Romero posted an excellent 8.5 (out of 10) score early and sat with the lead for most of the heat, but was pushed to third when both Meador and Valenti bettered their best wave scores with just two minutes remaining. She finished just three-tenths of a point behind Meador.

“I’m not too disappointed, I just didn’t catch another wave,” Romero, 24, said. “The surf was small, it was high tide and it was so hard to get into them. If I would have got another wave it would have been a whole different story, but that’s just the way contests go.”

Being the inaugural Roxy ASP WWLC, almost everyone of any significance in women’s longboarding is here in France this week. With qualifying rounds wrapped up yesterday, round three featured the crème de la crème of the field today.

“This contest is pretty stacked,” Romero said. “You’ve got people from all over the world here so there’s definitely going to be hard heats. Some of the earlier heats were a lot easier; I would have to say ours was the hardest heat out there today.”

Romero said that the heat winner, Bianca Valenti, who posted the highest wave score of the event so far (a 9.5), has been largely absent from the longboard scene in recent years.

“Bianca was one of the top longboarders as a grom (young surfer) but then she stopped because she went to school and started shortboarding.,” Romero said. “It’s awesome to see her back on the longboard scene killing it. She’s always been an amazing surfer so it’s good to see her competing again.”

Valenti, a student at the University of California Santa Barbara, was pleased with the result, but not surprised.

“I’ve beaten them before so I know I have it in me to get high scores. They have to get high scores to beat me,” Valenti said. “This is cool because I go to school and most of these girls don’t, so I’m always sitting in class going, ‘arghhh!’ It feels good to win heats when they get to travel all of the time.”

Kassia Meador, 24, who came second in the four-woman heat, which also featured Helene Chabeaud of France, was relieved to have survived the encounter.

“That was a really tough heat. Those two girls, I could be in a final with both of them, so I’m just really lucky to have advanced. I’m still shaking,” Meador said. “I was in between second and third for most of the heat and knew I needed a good score so I caught a little one and tried to make the best of it. It could have gone either way so I’m stoked.”

Other heat winners today included USA’s Jennifer Smith, Ashley Lloyd, Mary Osborne, Julie Whitegon, Schuyler McFerran, Kaitlan Maguire and Kelly Nicely; Hawaii’s Crystal Dzigas and Joy Magelssen; Reunion Islander Coline Menard and South African Simone Robb.

Robb, who lost her board in transit and only just recovered it this morning after road-tripping to Spain to pick it up, was thrilled.

“The prize-money I’ve won so far will already pay for half of my air ticket here,” Robb said. “Longboarding doesn’t exist in South Africa – there are no sponsors, no discounts on boards, no media coverage, nothing. Making it this far means I can pay back some of the money I borrowed to get here and advancing further might mean breaking even, who knows, maybe even putting a little in my pocket.”

Robb hopes more events like the Roxy ASP WWLC will help put longboarding on the map in South Africa and make it a more viable career path.

Though no Australian surfers won their round three heats today, several finished in second place and advanced to round four. They were Belinda Baggs, Gretchen Jorgensen, Selby Riddle, Chelsea Williams and Lisa Nicholson.

Only 24 surfers remain in contention for the first ever ASP Women’s Longboard World title. With very small swell forecast for tomorrow, competition will be placed on hold until conditions are assessed the following morning (Thursday, July 6).

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ROUND OF 48 (1st and 2nd advance to ROUND OF 24, 3rd = 25th place, 4th = 37th place)
HEAT 1: Jennifer Smith (USA) 13.75, Janna Irons (USA) 10.85, Miku Uemura (HAW) 9.95
Sabrina Olas (BRA) 6.10
HEAT 2: Ashley Lloyd (USA) 13.35, Belinda Baggs (AUS) 10.60, Estitxu Estremo (SPN) 10.45, Annie Granier (FRA) 8.90
HEAT 3: Crystal Dzigas (HAW) 13.50, Deanne Ashmore (AUS) 11.75, Kim Hamrock (USA) 8.00, Angela Bauer (BRA) 4.40
HEAT 4: Mary Osborne (USA) 8.00, Gretchen Jorgensen (AUS) 14.25, Karina Abras (BRA) 12.15, Gaelle Szymkowiak (FRA) 9.65
HEAT 5: Bianca Valenti (USA) 16.75, Kassia Meador (USA) 14.75, Summer Romero (USA) 14.60, Helene Chabeaud (FRA)10.35
HEAT 6: Julie Whitegon (USA) 15.00, Leah Dawson (USA) 12.60, Clemence Godineau (FRA) 6.45
Luiza Tavares (BRA) 6.10
HEAT 7: Coline Menard (RUN) 13.75, Selby Riddle (AUS) 10.15, Cristiana Pires (BRA) 8.5, Kula Barbieto (HAW) 6.9,
HEAT 8: Joy Magelssen (HAW) 15.15, Chelsea Williams (AUS) 14.85, Tegan Riddle (AUS) 7.35, Marinane Bellegrade (FRA) 7.05
HEAT 9: Schuyler McFerran (USA) 12.00, Claire Karabatsos (FRA) 11.40, Carmel McGrath (AUS) 9.15, Mary Bagalso (USA) 5.75
HEAT 10: Kaitlan Maguire (USA) 11.50, Lisa Nicholson (AUS) 9.05, Julie Cox (USA) 8.90, Myriam Imaz (SPN) 4.70
HEAT 11: Kelly Nicely (USA) 10.50, Melanie Fosse (RUN) 7.65, Kirsty Webster (AUS) 7.25, Nathalie Destandau (FRA) 6.05
HEAT 12: Simone Robb (ZAF) 9.75, Kristy Murphy (USA) 9.60, Yuko Shimajiri (JPN) 9.00, Kath Robinson (AUS) 5.65

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