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News provided by ASP World Tour on 16 June 2007

ARICA, Chile (Saturday, June 16, 2007) – Three-time Foster’s ASP World Champion and current world No. 7 Andy Irons (HAW) has proven himself in the heavy, barreling surf of Pipeline and Teahupoo time and time again.

Reports from Arica, Chile, the location of the 2007 Rip Curl Pro Search event, indicate that Irons and the rest of the Top 45 will have an opportunity to show their skills in a wave equally as critical when competition commences on June 20.

Irons won the 2006 Search event held in long, barreling, warm-water rights in La Jolla Mexico. The cold-water Chilean break of Ex-Isla Alacran is so-likened to Hawaii’s Banzai Pipeline that the right and left-hand reef break is known as the ‘South American Pipeline.’

“Defending the Search title is unique because you’re dealing with an entirely different element than the one you won the event in,” Irons said. “The wave in Arica is the exact opposite of what we dealt with in La Jolla last year, so it levels the playing field for sure.”

Irons, who won his last world title in 2004, made the final at the Rip Curl Pro Bells Beach, but has yet to win an event this year.

Fifteen-year veteran Taylor Knox (USA) helped secure his fifth top 10 career finish (his best-ever result was world No. 4 in 2001) when he made last year’s Search final.

“Making the finals of last year's Mexico contest was definitely one of the best experiences of my life,” Knox said. “I've never seen waves that perfect!”

Knox is currently rated equal 20th on the Foster’s ASP World Tour and will be looking for a result in Chile to move up the world rankings.

“It's a very important contest for everyone and being a new spot it's going to level the playing field for sure,” Knox said. “It's going to be amazing for everyone around the world to see a new place for the first time, especially since it's a pretty heavy wave.”

Three-time ASP World Champion Tom Curren (USA) who is an integral part of Rip Curl's Search team and is responsible for scouring the globe for locations like Arica all year long, was one of the surfers on hand for a solid eight foot (three metre) swell that hit Ex-Isla Alacran last week.

After sampling the tricky reef break, Curren claimed that the weighty wave is going to be one of the most exciting spectacles of the competitive season.

"It's a spectacular arena for an event," Curren said. "It's probably one of the heaviest waves outside of Hawaii and Tahiti!"

The Rip Curl Pro Search is a unique event which enjoys a floating license that enables it to visit a different world-class wave each year. The 2007 event in Arica, Chile follows outstanding events held in La Jolla, Mexico in 2006 and Saint Leu, Reunion Island in 2005.

The event waiting period for the Rip Curl Pro Search Chile stretches from this Tuesday, June 3 to July 1, 2007. Four days full days of competition are needed to run the event in its entirety.

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