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Sunset Beach, HI (November 30, 1997)-- The women's four-star Quiksilver Roxy Pro World Qualifying Series (WQS) competition -- the second women's contest in the G-Shock Triple Crown of Surfing and one of the most pivotal women's events of the series-- got underway this morning in five- to seven-foot waves.

What makes it so critical? Four things:

* Surfers have an opportunity to garner more WQS points in order to advance in the ranks of the World Qualifying Series (WQS) tour and eventually move closer to their goal of joining the Top 11 womenon the World Championship Tour (WCT) presented by Kahlua.

* One wildcard -- the surfer with the most accumulated points toward the Triple Crown of Surfing Championship ratings not already in the top 11 -- will be seeded into the next Quiksilver Roxy Pro WCT immediately following this one.

* Finally, points from these two contests will be added to the points earned in the women's OP Pro event at Alii Beach Park and the woman with the highest points will become the inaugural women's Triple Crown of Surfing Champion. She will receive $7,500 for her endeavor.

Brazilian bombshell Maria Tita Tavares won the women's OP Pro and although she placed third today in her heat and didn't make it through to the next heats, stands a good chance of being the wildcard surfer in the women's WCT. The only other surfers who stand a chance of ousting Tavares are Hawaii's Keala Kennelly and Cathy Beauford, and Tahiti's Patricia Rossi -- but they would have to win the WQS event.

Hawaii's Rochelle Ballard only caught one wave and didn't make it through her heat. All she could say was: "I'm so frustrated."

Some confusion in the women's first Round of 32 heat resulted when some of the surfers thought the heat was 30 minutes long while other's thought it was 25 minutes. As a result, an additional five minutes was surfed by Hawaii's Megan Abubo, Japan's Hiromi Hasegawa and Australian's Neridah Falconer and Sandie Ryan.

"When we checked in for the heat we were told it was a 30 minute heat," Falconer said. "We surfed the heat and it finished early. We were sitting out the back waiting for the last set, then the five minute horn went off. Sandie Ryan and I complained to the Beach Marshall and the contest director about the mistake and the contest director throught it was only right to set up the remainder of the heat.

"It didn't worry me that I surfed or didn't surf the remaining five minutes" said Falconer who was second in the heat to Abubo's first place. "But I thought it was the fairest decision for everybody. Megan and I still made it through."

For more information:
Carol Hogan or Jodi Holmes
Lava.Net/Honolulu Cellular - Sunset Beach Media Center
808-638-5533 Fax: 808-638-5008

Check out the official Triple Crown website at:

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Last Modified: Sunday 11/30/97 1729 HST
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