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World Title Contenders Prepare for Showdown at Target Maui Pro

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Caption: World title contenders Sally Fitzgibbons, Stephanie Gilmore and Tyler Wright arrive in Honolua Bay ahead of the Target Maui Pro.
Image: ASP / Laurent Masurel

HONOLUA BAY, Maui/Hawaii (Friday, November 21, 2014): The world’s best female surfers have converged in Hawaii ahead of the final event on the 2014 Samsung Galaxy ASP Women’s World Championship Tour, the Target Maui Pro presented by Schick Hydro Silk. The waiting period for the event begins tomorrow, Saturday, November 22 and runs through Saturday, December 6, 2014.

The Target Maui Pro, held at the world-class wave of Honolua Bay, returns to the schedule this year for the first time since 2009 and will determine the 2014 ASP Women’s World Champion. This season has delivered the closest title race in the history of women’s surfing and only three surfers remain in contention to take the title in Maui: Australians Stephanie Gilmore, Sally Fitzgibbons and Tyler Wright.

“It’s pretty much my favorite event that I’ve ever competed at in my entire career,” said Stephanie Gilmore. “I love coming here, it’s a magical wave and I love surfing it. It’s like the reward at the end of the year. This world title race is at boiling point and to have three of us so close is so incredibly exciting and nerve-racking. It’s been an incredible year for all of us and to come here and finish up at a showdown at this perfect wave is a great moment for professional surfing.”

“There’s a lot going on at the event,” said Sally Fitzgibbons. “With the title race coming down to the final event it’s exciting for the sport and for Australian surfing too having three Aussie girls going for the title. I think it’s got the makings of a massive moment in our sporting history and it’s one of the closest races we’ve had to date.”

“It’s amazing that the ASP have secured this event for us,” said Tyler Wright. “The wave is insane. I’ve only surfed it once about six or seven years ago so I’m super excited to get back out there and surf. There’s a world title on the line, and it’s against Steph (Gilmore) and Sally (Fitzgibbons), but I try not to think about it too much.”

Surfline, official forecaster for the Target Maui Pro, have called for:

Very small/slow surf prevails on Saturday. Sunday will pulse up a bit and become much more contestable as some shadowed NW swell wraps around the corner of Molokai. That swell continues Monday, although local wind will shift onshore. More favorably angled and larger N swell is possible Tuesday before fading Wednesday. We’ll monitor for possible NNE groundswell for the end of the upcoming week.

ASP World Title scenarios:

•    Only Fitzgibbons and Gilmore can win the World Title without a surf-off.
•    If Gilmore makes the Final, she will win the World Title.
•    If Fitzgibbons wins the event and Gilmore finishes in third place they will be tied.
•    If Fitzgibbons wins the event and Gilmore finishes in fifth place, Fitzgibbons wins the World Title.
•    If Wright wins the event and Gilmore finishes fifth or below then they will be tied.
•    In the event of a tie there will be a surf-off for the World Title, per ASP rules.

Event organizers will convene at 7 a.m. tomorrow morning to assess conditions and make a call for the day.
Watch all the action from the Target Maui Pro LIVE at ASPWorldTour.com

Target Maui Pro Round 1 Match-Ups:
Heat 1: Malia Manuel (HAW), Johanne Defay (FRA), Pauline Ado (FRA) 
Heat 2: Carissa Moore (HAW), Courtney Conlogue (USA), Alessa Quizon (HAW) 
Heat 3: Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Coco Ho (HAW), Paige Alms (HAW)
Heat 4: Sally Fitzgibbons (AUS), Dimity Stoyle (AUS), Alana Blanchard (HAW)
Heat 5: Tyler Wright (AUS), Laura Enever (AUS), Paige Hareb (NZL)
Heat 6: Lakey Peterson (USA), Bianca Buitendag (ZAF), Nikki Van Dijk (AUS)  

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