Women's longboard to get world champ
For the first time, the Association of Surfing Professionals will recognize a women's world champion in longboard surfing this year.
The Roxy Women's World Longboard Championship is scheduled to run July 3 to 9 at Biarritz, France.
The winner of the contest will be considered the 2006 world champion.
"In its inaugural year, the Roxy ASP Women's World Longboard Championship will definitely attract the very best exponents in the world, and it's about time the girls strutted their stuff on the world stage," ASP President Wayne Bartholo-mew said.
At least seven spots are expected to be reserved for Hawai'i surfers.
The contest was originally scheduled for 2005, but was canceled because of a lack of sponsorship. In longboard surfing competitions, all competitors must ride a surfboard at least 9 feet long.
The men's world longboard championship contest also was canceled last year, and has yet to be scheduled for 2006.
TWO HAWAI'I SURFERS ON BIG-WAVE LIST
Shane Dorian of the Big Island and Jamie Sterling of Sunset Beach are among the finalists for the Billabong XXL Big Wave Awards for 2006.
Dorian is one of five surfers nominated for the "Monster Tube" category. Sterling is one of five surfers nominated for the "Biggest Paddle Wave," meaning he paddled into the wave on his own, without the aid of a personal watercraft.
Somewhat surprisingly, no Hawai'i surfers or Hawai'i waves are in the top category — the Billabong XXL Biggest Wave.
The candidates for biggest wave are: Spain's Ibon Amatriain for a wave off Spain; Australia's Ross Clarke-Jones for a wave off Mexico; California's Tyler Fox for a wave off California; California's Brad Gerlach for a wave off Mexico; and California's Darryl "Flea" Virostko for a wave off California.
Hawai'i surfers have won the Biggest Wave category the past three years: Makua Rothman in 2003, Pete Cabrinha in 2004, and Dan Moore last year.
MEN'S WORLD TOUR SET TO RESUME NEXT WEEK
The Rip Curl Pro men's surfing contest is scheduled to run April 11 to 21 at Bells Beach, Australia.
It is the second contest of the 2006 World Championship Tour.
Florida's Kelly Slater, the seven-time world champion, won the first contest of the year last month in Australia.
Hawai'i surfers in the contest are Andy Irons, Bruce Irons, Fred Patacchia Jr., Roy Powers and Pancho Sullivan.