This week Sydney’s Northern Beaches will play host to the Top 17 female surfers in the world, as they gather to compete at the prestigious Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic at Dee Why. The event is organised and run by seven-time ASP Women’s World Champion, Layne Beachley and offers the richest prize purse on the ASP Women’s World Championship Tour, with USD$130,000 on the line.
Stop No. 4 of 7 on the 2012 ASP Women’s World Championship Tour, the Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic offers the competitors the chance to compete in Australia’s biggest city. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 24, four-time ASP Women’s World Champion and current ASP Women’s World No. 1, has already built an intimidating lead on the ratings after two 1st place finishes and one runner-up at the first three stops on this year’s ASP Women’s World Championship Tour. The Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic is the halfway mark on this year’s tour and the pressure is on current ASP Women’s World No. 2 and 3, Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), 21, and Carissa Moore (HAW), 19, to step up and prevent Gilmore from amassing an unassailable lead.
Gilmore has taken out the Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic title three times in the past and is looking forward to returning to Sydney.
“I enjoy competing in Sydney, because it’s Australian waters,” Gilmore said. “Dee Why is great because it offers a challenging beach break and a great wave at the point and you have to be able to adapt to the contrasting conditions to win. It’s great to have three final appearances from three events so far this year, but I know I can’t get too far ahead of myself. Layne is such an iconic Australian figure and it’s fantastic to have her running the Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic, which is a very prestigious event. Layne was on tour for many years, so she knows how to put on a great event!”
Layne Beachley is thrilled host the Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic for the seventh year and is looking forward to seeing the world’s best female surfers in her backyard.
“The 7th annual Commonwealth bank Beachley classic is sure to be another cracker of an event with huge swells predicted,” Beachley said. “Current ASP Women’s World No. 1 Steph Gilmore has been on a remarkable run with two wins from three starts, and will be going all out to continue her red hot roll towards her 5th ASP Women’s World Title campaign at Dee Why next week.”
Tyler Wright (AUS), 18, won the Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic back in 2008 as a 14-year-old wildcard, and is looking forward to retuning to Dee Why in the hopes of claiming the event title once again.
“That win was ages ago now,” Wright said. “I’ll always have fond memories of winning the Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic. I was just a kid. This event will always be a special one for me. I’m really looking forward to the event this year, the waves are always fun.”
Lakey Peterson (USA), 17, is the highest placed rookie on the ASP Women’s World Championship Tour, currently 6th on the ratings and is heading to the Commonwealth Bank Beachley Classic for her first time. The young Californian is excited to return to Sydney’s Northern Beaches as it’s the place she learnt to surf when she was just 5-years-old.
“I love Sydney!” Peterson said. “We have a lot of friends there and it always feels like home when I go there, which is good when you’re on the road for so long. I’ve never really surfed at Dee Why, but I’m looking forward to it because the waves looked great at the event last year.”
The event will run from April 18 – 23 and be webcased live via http://www.beachleyclassic.com