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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, February 26, 2010

ASP World Tours take off in Australia

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Advertiser Staff

SURF SPOT

A weekly feature about surfing in Hawai'i. Submit comments or story ideas to dmorinaga@honoluluadvertiser.com or call 535-8101.

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The Association of Surfing Professionals 2010 World Tour will start this weekend in Australia.

The holding period for the men's Quiksilver Pro is scheduled for tomorrow through March 10 at Gold Coast, Queensland, Australia.

The Roxy Pro women's contest will also be staged at Gold Coast during the same time period.

Eight Hawai'i surfers five men and three women have qualified to compete on the 2010 world tours.

Kaua'i's Andy Irons will make an anticipated return to the men's tour after taking a sabbatical in 2009. He won the world championship in 2002, '03 and '04. He is the last Hawai'i surfer to win the world title.

The other four surfers on the men's tour in 2010 will be Kekoa Bacalso, Fred Patacchia Jr., Dusty Payne and Roy Powers.

Bacalso finished 2009 ranked No. 18, and won the ASP Rookie of the Year award.

Patacchia was Hawai'i's top-ranked surfer in 2009 at No. 15. Powers was No. 26. Payne is in his rookie season on the tour.

Australia's Mick Fanning is the defending world champion.

The 2010 men's tour will feature 10 contests. The only Hawai'i contest that will count toward the world title race is the Billabong Pipeline Masters in December.

The 2010 women's tour will feature three Hawai'i surfers.

Coco Ho of Sunset Beach is considered a title contender after finishing 2009 ranked No. 4. She won the ASP Women's Rookie of the Year award.

Melanie Bartels of Wai'anae had the best season of her career in 2009, finishing No. 6.

There is also much anticipation for the rookie season of Honolulu's Carissa Moore. She is a senior at Punahou School, and will compete on the world tour in between her academic responsibilities.

The 2010 women's world tour will feature nine contests, including two in Hawai'i the Gidget Pro at Sunset Beach in November, and the Billabong Pro at Honolua Bay, Maui, in December.

Stephanie Gilmore of Australia is the three-time defending women's champion.

For more information, visit www.aspworldtour.com.