Billabong Girls Pro Rio prepares for imminent ASP Top 17 assault

The waiting period for the 2008 Billabong Girls Pro Rio is just days from commencing and the world’s best female surfers are descending upon the idyllic beaches of Barra de Tijuca in Rio de Janeiro for stop No. 4 of 8 on the ASP Women’s World Tour.

Silvana Lima.  Copyright: ASP CestariWith both the race for the 2008 ASP Women’s World Title as well as the hunt for Dream Tour requalification well underway, the Billabong Girls Pro Rio is certain to play a pivotal role this season and the ASP Top 17 are coming in guns blazing.

Sofia Mulanovich (PER), 25, former ASP Women’s World Champion and current No. 2 on the 2008 ASP Women’s World Tour, stumbled at the last event in Europe, finishing a disappointing equal 9th, but the fleet-footer Peruvian is looking forward to rebounding at the Billabong Girls Pro Rio.

Like the majority of girls on tour, Mulanovich’s experience in Rio is limited, but the young natural-footer will be sure to stay adept as she enters into the fray alongside fellow frontrunners. Mulanovich will face Rosanne Hodge (ZAF), 21, and Serena Brooke (AUS), 32, in the opening round of the Billabong Girls Pro Rio.

Rebecca Woods (AUS), 23, current No. 8 on the 2008 ASP Women’s World Tour, traveled to Brazil a few days early to prepare for the upcoming event in hopes of improving her current spot on the ratings with a breakout result at the Billabong Girls Pro Rio.

While there are several surfers more than capable of a victory in Brazil, Woods notes that local experience could play a significant advantage in Rio.

Woods battles Amee Donohoe (AUS), 27, and Julia De La Rosa Toro (PER), 26, in Round 1.

Silvana Lima (BRA), 23, current No. 6 on the 2008 ASP Women’s World Tour, is the only true Rio de Janeiro local on tour, with fellow ASP Top 17 Brazilian Jacqueline Silva, 29, hailing from Florianopolis, and the explosive natural-footer will have the support of her hometown crowd. Lima will square off against Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS), 22, and Nicola Atherton (AUS), 22, when Billabong Girls Pro Rio action commences.

The 18th seed will go to the winner of this week’s ASP World Qualifying Series (WQS) 4-Star event in Rio de Janeiro. The waiting period for the 2008 Billabong Girls Pro Rio runs from September 10 - 18, 2008.

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Casey Brown.  Copyright: Brent Hillemann
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Billabong Girls Pro Rio 2008.  Copyright: ASP Cestari
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Women’s World Title race heats up at Billabong Girls Pro

The ASP Top 17 will return to Brazil this coming week to prepare for the Billabong Girls Pro Rio, event No 4 of 8 on the 2008 ASP Women´s World Tour, and with the race for the World Title in full swing, the performance levels are sure to be heightened in the playful beachbreaks of Barra de Tijuca in Rio de Janeiro.


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