When girls rule waves
By IAN MONAGHAN
THE prime beach and point-breaks between Lennox Head and Ballina are preparing for an influx of some of Australia and New Zealand's best women surfers.
The ICON Australia All Girls Surf Showdown is in its 13th year and, in conjunction with the incredible generosity and support of local businesses, is looking forward to an iconic event on the June long weekend!
The event has served to launch a flotilla of female professionals on the world championship tour, the latest of whom is Kingscliff's reigning Showdown Open Pro winner, Stephanie Gilmore.
Gilmore made the whole world sit up and pay attention by winning the Gold Coast event on the world tour just two months ago.
Many previous All Girls' competitors have competed at the sport's highest levels, including Pauline Menczer, Trudy Todd, Yvonne Byron, Jenny Boggis, Rebecca Woods and Laurina McGrath.
Event organiser Vicki Bellato is 'stoked' with the response from surfers throughout Australia, New Zealand and even Japan.
Return entrants this year include Laura Enever, who stunned the crowds with her gutsy performances in the Under-14s, Ashleigh Smith, defending her Under-16 title as well as having a shot at the Under-21s, plus local Sophie Shelton, Open B Division winner in 2004, who is entered in the Under 21s as well.
Another local, Jenny Boggis, has retired from the World Qualifying Series to study and will be competing against the likes of Karlee Mackie, Sandra English, Renee Hyman, and NZ girls Hester Sutherland and Ayla Whitney in the prestige Open Pro Division.
Entries are filling rapidly and some divisions are already at their maximum.
The closing date is next Friday and for more information call Vicki on 66 874992 or check out the ICON Australia All Girls Surf Showdown website www.allgirlssurf.com, or email the event co-ordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org.