Beachley Is Best

Gary Kewley
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Friday - December 15, 2006
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Layne Beachley wins another ASP World Title
Layne Beachley wins another ASP World Title

Aloha, surfers and beach-goers!

Wow! What a season! What a rush!

The Vans Triple Crown has just been scoring perfect waves. We will likely have the new Pipe Master and Triple Crown champ by the time you read this. Check it all out at the SURFNEWSNETWORK web-site.

The girls were on fire and finished it all Dec. 10. The ever-amazing Layne Beachley (Australia) won an unprecedented seven world titles - just one short of Kelly Slater. She actually surpassed Kelly’s “five in a row” with her six consecutive titles from 1998 through 2003! This means that she is the most dominant female surfer of all time and truly one of the world’s greatest female athletes ever. Every sports person should stand up and take notice.

Layne, who has been on the ASP Tour for a towering 17 years, started when she was only 17. She is now a mentor to so many younger pros. Layne’s a leader and a winner in every sense of the word.

Beachley didn’t have to push as hard for this title, which is OK with her: “It’s surreal, absolutely surreal ... It’s been such a journey this year, and to not have to actually fight for it, to have it almost handed to me, it’s one of the most amazing experiences I’ve ever had. This is probably one of the most rewarding and satisfying world titles I’ve ever won.”

Layne Beachley (Sydney, Australia) won an unprecedented seventh ASP World Title at the Billabong Pro
Layne Beachley (Sydney, Australia) won an unprecedented
seventh ASP World Title at the Billabong Pro

This is the fifth world crown the 34-year-old has clinched on Maui. She clinched her first title in 1998 in France, and her second in 1999 at Sunset Beach.

Each of her five since has been won at Maui’s Honolua Bay.

“This is my fifth world title on Maui and my seventh title overall,” Beachley said. “Maui obviously has a very special place in my heart; it’s such an amazing amphitheater. It’s been such a beautiful day and such a surreal experience - I don’t know how to explain it. I’m not finding it anti-climatic that Chelsea (Georgeson) didn’t get through her quarterfinal, but I anticipated it coming down to the final so we could fight for it - that’s how I’ve won all of my other world titles out here,” Beachley said. “To have Chelsea go down, and to paddle out there as the 2006 ASP World Champion rather than fighting for it, was unbelievable.”

Beachley was the world’s No. 1 female surfer for six successive years - from 1998 to 2003 - and holds the record for the most consecutive surfing world championships, male or female. Her ASP Women’s World Title stranglehold was interrupted by Sofia Mulanovich in 2004 and Georgeson in 2005. Only Kelly Slater has won more ASP World Titles than Beachley, having won his eighth ASP crown this year. Slater’s five consecutive titles from 1994 to 1998 are the closest anyone has come to nearing Beachley’s six-year pro-surfing monopoly.

The surfing world needs these two phenoms to go at it again in 2007 ... please!

Great news for Xcel Wetsuits team rider Gabe Kling! The 26-year-old regular-foot (left in front) qualified to compete in the 2007 WCT (World Championship Tour). This is the most prestigious and sought-after tour in competitive surfing. He got the great news on Dec. 11 that he’d have a chance to go after the top 45 surfers in the world!

North Shore resident and Xcel Wetsuits owner Ed D’Ascoli knows how to spot talent no matter where they were born ... just as long as they’re born to win! Hailing from Saint Augustine, Fla., Kling is known for his explosive style and seamless flow, and is “really amped” for his upcoming WCT debut. “I can’t decide what I’m looking forward to the most, because there are so many great waves.” He’s talking about the Dream Tour, of course! Created to promote “the best surfers on the best waves” around the planet. We wish him the best ... because if Xcel’s WCT man does as well as that “other guy” from Florida (Slater), he’ll do just fine.

I’ll catch you catching some waves and reading this next week!

GQ, dropping in 4 U!

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