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Billabong Pro Maui

Beachley Wins World Crown

Falconer Defends Event Title

mardi 4 décembre 2001Information World Surf League

image 300 x 158Layne Beachley. Photo : P.Tostee / ASP
Australian Layne Beachley today reached an ’Everest’ of a career goal by equaling the previous record Record #sailingrecord set of four consecutive world titles by claiming her fourth at the Billabong Pro Maui, the final women’s World Championship Tour (WCT) of 2001. Neridah Falconer, meanwhile, achieved her own milestone this afternoon by defeating 1993 world champion and fellow Australian Pauline Menczer to successfully defend her 2000 event title.

Surf Surf #Surf remained 3-4ft (1.3m) throughout the day at Honolua Bay, allowing organizers to finish this crucial event at the ’Caves’ section of the legendary break.

Beachley, 29, who was eliminated during the quarterfinals by Heather Clark (SAfr) this morning, after making an uncharacteristic mistake, went through the full spectrum of emotions. Needing 6.11 points to advance, and holding priority, she took off on a crucial wave with 15 seconds remaining in the heat, but to the disbelief of spectators lining the cliffs above the break, fell on her first maneuver. Her disappointment apparent immediately, when she cried, "I feel like I’ve lost a loved one," and did not return to the beach, electing rather to continue surfing further up the point and listen to the event commentary.

Through an amazing succession of losses by fellow world title contenders, Beachley’s title hopes continued to grow as each contender was eliminated from the event.

Hawaiian Keala Kennelly, who needed to advance to the final to keep her title chances alive, was first out of the race when she lost the third quarterfinal to 13th seed Kylie Webb (Aus). Melanie Redman (Aus), who posed the biggest threat to Beachley’s title hopes from the start of the event, rated a slim 30 points behind, was then defeated by Falconer the next heat.

By this point Clark was the only one who could overtake the ratings lead, needing to win the Billabong Pro Maui. Menczer denied this, however, scoring the event’s only perfect 10-point ride during their semifinal clash. The diminutive natural footer snuck into a long tube, executed a vertical re-entry, and then proceeded to do a number of roundhouse cutbacks that ultimately sealed Clarks’ loss and handed Beachley her fourth ASP world title.

"What a traumatic day," exclaimed Beachley afterward. "When I lost my heat, I felt like the world had been pulled out from under me. I refused to come out of the water until it had all been decided. I feel like the luckiest, most loved world champion right now. I feel so blessed."

Falconer, 29, who stamped her mark on the Billabong Pro Maui last year with an impressive win, put her polished backhand attack to further good use today, collecting US$10,000 for her second consecutive title.

"I had a good feeling about the event when I pulled up here the other day, just remembering the good times I’ve had here before, and I hoped for good waves in the contest," said Falconer. "I’ve always felt pretty confident on my backhand, especially in good point break waves. The secret here was obviously to wait for the sets and get the right positioning because some were swinging wide and closing out."

Menczer, 31, had stated her intentions of winning the event before it began, saying, "If I can’t win the world title, the least I can do is win the event." And while finishing so close, Beachley promised to make up the difference of US$4,000 in prizemoney to Pauline for helping her to attain the all-important accomplishment.

In a short ceremony adjacent to the pineapple fields above Honolua Bay immediately after the final, both the event champion and the new world champion were crowned, and quite fittingly, Layne received a pineapple as an unofficial trophy for her fourth world title.


Official Results of Billabong Pro Maui Final Day
- 1st Neridah Falconer (Aus) 20.6 - US$10,000
- 2nd Pauline Menczer (Aus) 10.6 - US$6,000

Semifinals (loser finishes equal third and receives US$4,000)
- SF1 : Pauline Menczer (Aus) 22.75 def. Heather Clark (SAfr) 20.1
- SF2 : Neridah Falconer (Aus) 20.1 def. Kylie Webb (Aus) 14.25

Quarterfinals (loser finishes equal fifth and receives US$3,500)
- QF1 : Pauline Menczer (Aus) 17.25 def. Serena Brooke (Aus) 15.35
- QF2 : Heather Clark (SAfr) 18.6 def. Layne Beachley (Aus) 17.8
- QF3 : Kylie Webb (Aus) 19.15 def. Keala Kennelly (Haw) 18.85
- QF4 : Neridah Falconer (Aus) 16.9 def. Melanie Redman (Aus) 16.5

Final ASP 2001 WCT Ratings
- 1. Layne Beachley (Aus) 1760-points
- 2. Melanie Redman (Aus) 1730
- 3. Neridah Falconer (Aus) 1600
- 4. Rochelle Ballard (Haw) 1570
- 5. Serena Brooke (Aus) 1550
- 5. Keala Kennelly (Haw) 1550
- 5. Heather Clark (SAfr) 1550
- 8. Megan Abubo (Haw) 1450
- 9. Maria ’Tita’ Tavares (Brz) 1390
- 10. Pauline Menczer (Aus) 1260
- 11. Jacqueline Silva (Brz) 1230
- 12. Kate Skarratt (Aus) 1060
- 13. Kylie Webb (Aus) 930
- 14. Prue Jeffries (Aus) 750
- 15. Lynette MacKenzie (Aus) 600
- 15. Trudy Todd (Aus) 600

2002 WCT Seed Order
- 1. Layne Beachley (Aus)
- 2. Melanie Redman (Aus)
- 3. Neridah Falconer (Aus)
- 4. Rochelle Ballard (Haw)
- 5. Serena Brooke (Aus)
- 6. Keala Kennelly (Haw)
- 7. Heather Clark (SAfr)
- 8. Megan Abubo (Haw)
- 9. Maria ’Tita’ Tavares (Brz)
- 10. Jacqueline Silva (Brz)
- 11. Lynette MacKenzie (Aus)
- 12. Samantha Cornish (Aus)
- 13. Amee Donohoe (Aus)
- 14. Chelsea Georgeson (Aus)
- 15. Pauline Menczer (Aus)
- 16. Kate Skarratt (Aus)


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