The Beachley Classic

October 29, 2007 @ 10:07 AM – Lorna Galt

Living by the beach definitely has its advantages and this past week will be hard to top as I’ve been sharing the beach with some of the top female surfers in the world!

The Beachley Classic was held here at Manly Beach, Australia by local surf hero and all-round cool chick Layne Beachley. This is the 5th stop on the women’s ASP world tour and has the biggest cash prize of $20,000 US dollars on the entire tour making for a competition with added bite.

The final produced the tightest result of the competition, with last year’s wildcard entry and subsequent winner, Steph Gilmore taking home the fattest cheque on the tour for a second year running.

In the end Steph won by just 0.1 of a point to Brazil’s Silvana Lima. Silvana pulled off the move of the contest, but was undone by Steph, who surfed consistently, hitting big scoring waves with absolute style. This girl is a legend in the making, consistently scoring over 9 point waves in the quarters, semi and final.

Watching the very best compete for the top prize in the women’s surf calendar was also a great lesson in professionalism – Beachley is well-respected for good reason. Even when she lost her heat and was obviously disappointed, I watched as a couple of young boys asked to have their photo taken with her. Beachley was the total professional, as she smiled and posed with them before going to get changed. ……unlike a certain Brazilian surfer…..who after losing to Steph, to put it mildly, let rip. The crowd watched stunned as her coach had to hold her back from running up to the judge’s tent and letting them know exactly what she thought of their decision.

This is exactly NOT what women’s surfing needs. Not every surfer can be Layne Beachley, but women surfers have to work extra hard as it is to be taken as seriously as the men. Being a pro clearly takes more than just results, and Steph seems to well on her way. Can’t wait for the next stop on the tour! Lx