ASP Women's World Tour 2010: Interview With Lee-Ann Curren

French Surfer Lee-Ann Cullen enjoys having the eyes of the media on her as she awaits her surfing premiere in the ASP Women's World Tour of 2010. Will the pressure be too much?

Lee-Ann Curren Photo: Aquashot/aspeurope.comGOLD COAST, Australia – The 20 year-old Lee-Ann Curren from Biarritz, France, earned a spot in the ASP Women’s World Tour last December after a couple of years on tour with the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS).

Curren, a former ASP European Pro Junior champion and ASP European Women’s Champion, will represent France as she faces the best female surfers of 2010, becoming the third French and European female surfer ever to enter the coveted ASP Top 17.

This weekend in Australia, Lee-Ann Curren launches her rookie career at the Roxy Pro Gold Coast 2010, a long awaited competition for the French surfer. In the past, Curren had competed in a few ASP Women’s World Tour as a wildcard, but now she gears up for Round 1 of the season opener against former ASP Women’s World Champion Sofia Mulanovich (PER) and experienced athlete Rosanne Hodge (ZAF).

In anticipation of the ASP Women's World Tour, Curren sent us a few words by email. This is what Lee-Ann has to say…

ASP Europe: How are you? What’s the feeling like going to your first ASP Women’s World Tour event as a member of the elite?

Lee-Ann Curren: It took me more than three days to get to the Gold Coast, I missed a connection and had to wait for a new flight, etc… So I was pretty tired when I got here but fortunately there was some swell and good waves and I was able to recover from jet lag fast enough. 

ASPE: You know a few of the girls on tour already and have been competing in a few events thanks to wildcards in the past. Does it make it easier? 

LAC: I am happy I got those wildcards the past couple of years because it would have been a lot more pressure if i twas my first ever ASP Women’s World Tour event. It doesn’t mean it will be easy though because a lot of the girls on tour just rip. Anyone can lose first round at any event so I’ll give it my best, I will try and improve and we’ll see how it goes.

ASPE: These days professional surfers travel with at least one coach, sometimes a couple of persons to help out. What’s your plan for your rookie season? Who will you be travelling with?

LAC: I think the entourage of a professional athlete has always been crucial. I feel I am lucky because I have great people around me, my family and my friends in Biarritz who have always been supporting me. I also work with a coach who will be travelling with me this year, and my boyfriend Andre who competes on the ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS). 

ASPE: You will be travelling to new surf locations… Is there a place where you will feel more comfortable?

LAC: Well… It seems like everytime I feel I can do well at an event, I lose first round, and vice versa. So let’s say I’ll do well in… Peru ? Haha…

ASPE: How do you deal with the media and I guess, the growing attention from them?

LAC: When I got back to France before coming to Australia [coming from Brazil…], I had a lot of media requests because of my qualification for the ASP Women’s World Tour but my main sponsor Roxy had made up a really good agenda, and everything was wrapped-up in a couple of days. So I feel pretty good with it actually!

ASPE: Looking at the business side of things, how is it going with your sponsors? Do you feel things are going well?

LAC: I have just resigned for three years with my main sponsor Roxy, so it takes us until the end of 2012. I will still be surfing boards made by Al Merrick, Vans sponsors me for shoes and FCS for technical equipment. From that, I’ve signed a deal with Orange, and Toyota will supply me with a Prius for the next six months. So everything’s pretty good!

ASPE: Now talking about your competitive approach… You are known to be calm and relaxed, is it true? Any pressure?

LAC: I do feel pressure of course like any other athlete before my heats, especially for the the first event of the year. Sometimes I can’t sleep or eat anything. But that’s for crucial moments. Usually when it’s time to paddle out and surf, I manage to take the pressure off and focus on my surfing. But generally, I am relaxed.

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