Sophia is on topof the world



WOMEN'S professional surfing hit new heights on the weekend with the crowning of the new women's world champion, Peru's Sophia Mulanovich.

The stylish Peruvian champion placed second in the second last WCT event of the season the Roxy Pro to defending six-times champ Sydney's Layne Beachley at Haleiwa on the North Shore of Oahu, Hawaii.

Sophia only had to place in the top three to claim the 2004 women's world title.

The sponsors of the Roxy were so impressed with this year's finalists including third-place getter Tweed's Chelsea Georgeson, they doubled the prizemoney stakes for the final four.

That's a huge vote for women's pro surfing and the commitment of more prizemoney for next year's events.

The future of women's professional surfing has never looked better.

Mulanovich has been tipped to a future world champ for some time now and this year it all came together with three wins on the trot to set up an almost unbeatable lead to clinch her second world title.

Sophia also bagged this year's World ISA women's title in Ecuador in February.

Her fast rise to fame has been on a steady curve upwards, ever since the young Peruvian natural-footer was winning events at home against open guys in her junior years.

The easy-going and humble Mulanovich is actually Peru's second world champion.

Back in the prehistoric surfing ages of 1965, an unheard of Peruvian big wave champion named Felipe Pomar won a world title in Peru from Australia's Nat Young and also in the final was Gold Coast legend Ken Adler.

Aiming for a seventh consecutive world title Layne Beachely went out with dignity winning her first event for the year in the tricky and solid 6ft Haleiwa and was full of praise for the new Peruvian number one.

There is one final event on the women's ASP WCT world tour, the Billabong Pro at Honolua Bay, Maui and Beachley will be keen to maintain her record for wins in the Hawaiian surf where her reputation is still number one.

Coolangatta's Trudy Todd who went out in the quarter finals at Haleiwa is currently rated 10th and will need to finish better than ninth on the ratings for next year's women's world tour.

Trudes will be aiming for the light at the end of the Honolua Bay 'tunnel' and a good result in the Billabong Pro to help her qualify for 2005.

Another future women's world champ is Chelsea Georgeson, the lean and agile goofyfooter originally from Avalon who moved to Tweed Heads a year ago.

Chelsea has had a great year on the women's tour and is currently rated fourth.

The ever-smiling blonde-headed Georgeson has a reputation for surfing like a guy and must stand a huge chance to challenge for next year's number one and reclaim the world title for Australia.

Right now Chelsea is content to finish the year off in Hawaii with one more event, the Billabong Pro in Maui while pay TV viewers get to see Chelsea's Hawaiian surfing life in her 'Reality TV' debut on cable television starting next week.

The original American creators of the first Survivor TV reality show have produced a survivor surfing show in Hawaii called the 'Boarding House - North Shore'.

The six-part series based on the North Shore of Oahu features Chelsea as the youngest (18 years) and the oldest Sunny Garcia (33 years) with five other surfing guys and girls living together in a beach house while surfing and competing in last year's November and December Hawaiian surf season.

The first episode can be seen on the Fox 8 program of Foxtel TV starting at 9.30pm on next Tuesday, November 30.

The first-ever reality TV show on surfing is not without its controversy when Sunny Garcia loses his cool against one unfortunate individual who cops a 'Hawaiian sandwich' creating a storm of protests from the offended viewing public.



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