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My growing surf library- Women of the Waves

womenofwavescover.JPGA few weeks ago Paula Bushardt sent me an email regarding photos of east coast surfers in a new book by Linda Chase, called Surfing, Women of the Waves. I finally followed through and ordered a copy to add to my ever growing surf library. It’s funny how sometimes I cannot put two and two together. I remember photographer/filmaker Elizabeth Pepin traveling to Wilmington – she and Sally Lundberg were showing their award winning documentary One Winter Story at the Scene First Student Film Festival. Elizabeth and Sally took some time off their hectic schedule to meet with a group of East Coast Wahines at Paula’s house on Figure 8 Island. Well these photos transpired into an entire chapter of Linda’s book!

When I opened the book, it’s coincidental how I just happened to turn to page 94 to see my name highlighted in red with a quote, talk of the East Coast Wahine Championships, and another quote from this very website. A little light bulb went off in my head and I recalled receiving an email from Linda many many months ago- she didn’t give me a lot of details, only to say she liked what was written about our contest and could I give her a quote about women’s surfing. That said, there are some great photos from that weekend (we used to have them linked up through our site, but I just checked and the link is no longer active) and talk of east coast surfers like Lisa Andersen, Mimi Munro, Frieda Zamba, Connie Arias, Christa Alves, Karina Petroni, and Jo Pickett.

I have only skimmed the rest of the book so I can’t offer a full fledged review, but I will post the synopsis from the publisher, Gibbs Smith.

“Surfing is art on waves, a form of self-expression.” —Lisa Andersen, four-time women’s world champion

As the official counterculture sport of the 1960s, surfing was not just a sport but a lifestyle, one long, sun-drenched beach party with endless waves and music, as well as an unapologetically masculine culture. This notion has since been disproved by generations of amazing female surfers who have made an indelible mark on the sport. Surfing: Women of the Waves highlights some of these extraordinary women of surfing, from Linda Benson and Joyce Hoffman in the 1950s and 1960s to Layne Beachley, Sofia Mulanovich, Bethany Hamilton, and the great Lisa Andersen, four-time women’s world champion. Today, women of all ages and skill levels have taken their place among the waves—longboarders, shortboarders, goofyfooters, hotdoggers, young girls, and surfer moms—these are the women of the waves!

Women featured include: Bethany Hamilton, Jessi Miley Dyer, Melanie Redman-Carr and Layne Beachley: Australia Sofia Mulanovich, Punta Hermosa, Peru (small town outside of Lima); won 2006 U.S. Open Lisa Andersen, Florida Megan Abubo, Hartford, Connecticut Emilia Perry and Alana Mock, Northshore, Hawaii Monyca Byrne-Wickey, Hana, Hawaii Kristen Steiner, Big Island, Hawaii Melanie Bartles, Hawaii Lisa Benson, Encinitas, California Kim Hamrock, Huntington Beach, California Jennie Useldinger, Ashley Lloyd, Jamilah Star, Savannah Shaughnessy, Katherine Carter: Santa Cruz, California

Linda Chase attended Occidental College in Los Angeles, where she obtained a degree in economics. Soon thereafter she pursued a career in publishing that included a stint as researcher, writer, and editor, and later as editorial director and publisher. Linda researched the sport while living in Malibu for five years and subsequently wrote an article in Preferred Way magazine on her surfing experience.

Elizabeth Pepin currently works as a Producer and Associate Producer at KQED-TV in San Francisco. She is one of four women in the country who specialize in shooting female surfers. She also makes independent documentaries outside of KQED and has won four Emmy Awards for her documentary film work. In addition to filmmaking, Elizabeth is also a photographer and author.

Categories: Anne's Archives, General.

Getting Rid of Plastics

plastic_pollution_250252.jpg I was in the bookstore the other day and started skimming through a book called “The Toxic Sandbox.” It’s geared toward parents concerned with the chemicals and pollutants that are effecting children as early as inside the womb. I spent most of my time reading the chapter about plastics. It really has reinforced my want to get the most plastics possible out of my life. My first step was over a year ago when I purchased the reusable, collapsable bags from my local grocery store. They are well-made, hold a lot of weight and I keep a few in my car and home at all times. At my local Surfrider Foundation meeting the other night we talked about a campaign against plastics- not just bags, but bottles, take-out food containers, plastic cutlery, etc. A little lightbulb went off in my head and I realized I had managed to stop using plastic at the grocery store, but I was still guilty of accepting  bags from Target and other similar stores.                  (Image note: that’s a bag not a jellyfish! Photo from NOAA)

I am now researching all the ways I use plastic in my life and what within reason can I get rid of. Did you know your plastic shower curtain is full of pollutants, or when you nuke cling-wrap covered food in your microwave you are cooking chemicals right into your food? I’m no expert on plastics, but I am definitely concerned enough to try and find an alternative wherever possible. I would love to hear any ideas on how you have stopped using plastics. Glass jars for storing food items? A cloth sack for produce? What can we use in place of Zip-locks?

Funny that I should be blogging on plastics, as just a few minutes ago I coincidentally received this message from :
New York’s City Council passed a bill requiring large stores and retail chains to collect and recycle plastic shopping bags. According to a New York Times report: “New York is by far the largest American city to enact so broad a measure to limit the environmental impact of the bags. Altogether, each year the country is estimated to use 86 billion bags, which end up blowing down city streets, or tangled in the stomachs of whales, sea turtles and birds, or buried in landfills where they enjoy free rent for 1,000 years.”

Other cities like Melbourne and San Francisco have banned bags outright. San Francisco was the first city in North America to ban non-recyclable and non-biodegradable bags made from petroleum products. Africa has moved toward a continent-wide plastic bag ban, and just last week, China’s cabinet issued a directive banning their production, prohibiting stores from handing out free plastic bags after June 1st and imposing fees on their usage. People in China use up to 3 billion plastic bags daily! Help keep the momentum going here in the United States and just say no to plastic bags!

So maybe I’m on the right track. And I’m not stopping there. I have big issues with junk mail, disposable coffee cups, and what’s happening to China. But, for now, here are a few useful links regarding plastics

Categories: Anne's Archives, General.

Chelsea Hedges is having a baby!

Chelsea Hedges leaves World Tour for 2008chelseahedgesandjason.jpg


January 9, 2008 : – – Motherhood has claimed another of Australia’s top surfers, with former world champion Chelsea Hedges quitting the world championship tour to give birth this year. The 2005 world champion will not tour in 2008 as she and board-shaper husband Jason are expecting their first child in June.

Hedges is the second top rated Australian surfer to quit in the past 12 months, with WA’s Melanie Redman-Carr stepping off the tour last October when she revealed she too was expecting. Hedges, 24, is currently enjoying her last surf trip, holidaying on the Caroline Islands with friends including recently crowned 2007 world champion Stephanie Gilmore.

“I’m going to go and surf on a surf mat and have so much fun. I’m over the moon about the baby,” Hedges told friends prior to departing. While Hedges will take the entire year off, Redman-Carr has left the door ajar for a possible return in 2008. The former world No.2 has been seeded 13th for the 2008 season, which suggests she has notified tour officials about her intent to compete this year.

Redman-Carr kept her spot on the WCT by finishing fifth on the World Qualifying Series. Hedges, who finished seventh in the 2007 world ratings after winning the opening event on the Gold Coast, could return directly to the WCT next year if she applies for and is granted a wildcard. Despite the loss of proven performer Hedges, Australia is still poised to dominate the women’s title race with nine of the 17 ranked surfers all from down under.

Serena Brooke and Nicola Atherton will join the tour this season while WA’s Claire Bevilacqua is the first replacement and will compete until Redman-Carr makes her comeback. And 2008 is set to be a watershed year for women’s surfing with prizemoney exceeding the $US1 million ($A1.14 million) mark for the first time in history. There will be $US695,000 on offer for eight WCT events and $US415,000 up for grabs at the 17 WQS contests.

World champion Gilmore will delay her season start, withdrawing from next week’s WQS event the Roxy Surf Festival at Phillip Island. Gilmore and Hedges have won four of the past six contests held at Phillip Island. While Hedges is out due to her pregnancy, defending two-time champion Gilmore has sponsor commitments following her world title triumph in her rookie season.

Gilmore was disappointed not to be able to chase a three-peat, as the year-opening event is often a precursor for the season ahead. “There’s really no better way to kick off your competitive assault for the year,” said Gilmore. “Winning this event the last two years really boosted my confidence for the rest of the year and with such an international field it gave me a taste of the fiery competition that lies ahead.

“It’s an enormous (WQS) points boost and with some other consistent results, the winner is almost guaranteed a spot on the ASP women’s world tour.”

Categories: General.

New Year, Old Photos, Time To Move On


I was in San Clemente, California over the New Year digging through some boxes in our storage closet when I came across a box filled with old photo albums. The one I lingered upon the longest was filled with photos of surfing. It began with the first annual East Coast Wahine in 1997. After getting over the shock of how young, thin, and physically fit I was then compared to now, I was able to rejoice in the memories. There were photos from Eastern Surfing Championships in 98, my first trip to California, US Champs in Hawaii, and several other East Coast Wahines. Familiar faces like Marty Mentzer, Sara and Maggie Willis, Eileen O’Connor, Barbara Corey, Kelly Kane, Erin Whittle, Katie Coryell, Patti Hook, Mimi Munro, Shannon Sommers, Colleen Hanley, Elisabeth Funderburk, Karen Allison, Paula Bushardt, and the list goes on and on of the women I’ve surfed and traveled with. The experiences I’ve shared with so many of you and the waves we have ridden together. I feel like my venture to the west coast and into the heart of the surfing industry- starting out with Surfing Girl Magazine and moving onto Surf Life for Women, all while continuing to direct the East Coast Wahine could have never have happened without all the women surfers I’ve met along the way. I felt like all the east coast girls were rallying for me, keeping me afloat in the big bad “bro” world of surfing. You all have been my inspiration and my motivation.

Just now, as I write, tears well up in my eyes. I honestly didn’t know I was going to write this, share these emotions that tug at my heartstrings and pull me back to the east coast over and over from so far away. So while I’m so open and raw I’ll just say it. It’s time to move on, to let go, to set myself free. For ten years I’ve given my heart and soul to the East Coast Wahine Championships. I don’t want to see it go. I don’t want to let it go, but I must in order to grow.

There are options for the East Coast Wahine Champs to continue. I have three ready to go in my head. But I’m going to hold them here awhile, hoping that someone is going to come along with a likewise or better idea. I’ve always felt that surfers should give back to the sport they love. The East Coast Wahine has been such a joy- quite possibly the best thing I’ve ever done with my life (aside from marrying my husband and birthing my daughter). If it is to keep on keeping on, then I’m holding the space and will gladly share all the intricacies of running the first-ever and longest running all-women’s surfing contest on the east coast. If it’s the end, so be it. Nothing is permanent.

Thank you east coast wahines, every single one.

-Anne Beasley Weber 1/6/2008

Categories: Anne's Archives, General.

“the epoch of belief”

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of Light, it was the season of Darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything before us, we had nothing before us, we were all going direct to heaven, we were all going direct the other way – in short, the period was so far like the present period, that some of its noisiest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or for evil, in the superlative degree of comparison only.”

Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities, English novelist (1812 – 1870)


About one hundred and fifty years later, I read this quote and am amazed at its timeless universality. This quote could just as easily be applied to the 2007 surf year. I had the opportunity to score a beautiful south swell at my home break (spring break, the Hook), an epic typhoon in July (Kona, Hawaii), beautiful consistent hurricane waves in August (Dean in Wrightsville Beach), a crazy booming late season south swell in November, and some good, fun and really BIG waves in December. But in between those epic highlights there were some of the longest flattest spells I have ever witnessed. And I have exceptionally low standards (remember, we’re talking waves only here) – I am one of those people that wants to get wet everyday it is possible to surf. ThereNew year’s Eve were definitely multiple occasions where I did not get wet for days in a row because there was NOT surf.

Right now, we are in a nice stretch of getting waves, but it is frigid (51 water temp, air = low 30s in the morning). I broke down today and got a 5-4, the 4-3 with booties and a hood was NOT cutting it. I would rather get a 5-4 than break down and wear gloves. For whatever cockamamie reason I would rather buy a 5-4 than purchase and wear gloves. I don’t know if it’s a west coast judgment issue, a Santa Cruz judgment issue or just my own internal judgment issue but gloves are not for me. After trying on, purchasing and wearing my new O’Neill grom Mutant series 5-4 I know I just made one of the best purchases of my entire life. The new 5-4 is the old 4-3.

As 2007 ticks away, I hope that you can also relate to Dickens. I hope you have had and continue to have a vast range of experiences in and out of the water that keep you intellectually and physically stimulated. More than anything else – I hope to not get caught up in comparisons, I hope I can be present and open to appreciating all that the ocean has to offer – even when it is flat!

Categories: General, west coast wahine.

Stephanie Gilmore is the New World Champ!



Billabong Pro Maui pres. By Hawaiian Airlines
Stop No. 8 of 8 on the ASP Women’s World Tour
Honolua Bay, Maui
Dec. 8-20, 2007



HONOLUA BAY, Maui (Thursday, Dec. 13, 2007) – Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) has just made ASP History as the first-ever surfer to claim the ASP World Title in their rookie season, having bested fellow contenders Sofia Mulanovich (PER) and Silvana Lima (BRA) in Round 3 competition today at the Billabong Pro Maui at Honolua Bay.

The 19-year old from Coolangatta, Australia, blitzed past opponent Rochelle Ballard (HAW) with a stunning performance to advance through to the Quarterfinals of the Billabong Pro Maui after rival Mulanovich went down to wildcard Keala Kennelly (HAW) in a surprise Round 3 elimination.

“Surprisingly, I did quite well to not watch Sofia’s heat at all, and I didn’t even know that Keala (Kennelly) had won until right before my heat was about to start,” Gilmore said. “That was interesting. I guess it was awesome for me. I was stoked. It pretty much just fired me up when I heard that, and then the next wave I got barreled.”

With Mulanovich eliminated, and following her phenomenal win over the veteran Ballard, Gilmore needed fellow rookie Rosanne Hodge (ZAF) to defeat remaining contender Silvana Lima (BRA) in the final heat of the day to seal the ASP Women’s World Title. With less than five minutes remaining, Hodge turned the tide with an incredible forehand assault on a roping righthander which would put her into the lead. The countdown to the heat ended with the raucous applause from the army of media and hundreds of spectators assembled on the beach.

Gilmore first moved to World No. 1 on the ASP ratings when she took out the Rip Curl Bells Beach in Australia in April – though she shared the top spot with 2005 ASP World Champion Chelsea Hedges (AUS) at the time.

She claimed the sole ratings lead after a semifinal finish in Brazil, but then dropped to 4th in the world with a 9th in Spain. Back-to-back wins in Sydney, Australia and Peru put Gilmore in contention to seal the deal with one event to go in Sunset Beach, Hawaii, but the Australian fell short, netting only an equal 9th place finish.

Requiring a result in Maui, Gilmore stepped up her performance at Honolua Bay, consistently displaying her world class form before sealing the title this afternoon.

Despite the numerous accolades collected by predecessors such Layne Beachley (AUS) and Kelly Slater (USA), Gilmore is the first surfer ever to claim the ASP World Title in their rookie season.

“That’s amazing, I never even thought of that until now,” Gilmore said. “It’s truly an honor to make my way into the history books. To do it here in Maui, in waves that are barreling, and with all the family and friends here to share it with is truly amazing. I’m absolutely over the moon, and I’m just at a loss for words.”


Categories: General, WCT Archives, Women\'s Pro Tour.

Billabong Pro Maui: 3rd round

Billabong Pro MauiJessi

So there I was, stoked that the Billabong Pro Maui’s third round was finally running. The waves were beautiful and in the 5ft. range,some bigger. It looked so fun and warm! I caught the end of the 3rd heat where Jessi demolished Woodsy,then got to see KK back in action. She got Sofia so rattled that she couldn’t stay on her board despite making it out of some nice barrels. Too bad. Then it’s time for Steph’s heat against the retiring Rochelle Ballard. This is Rochelle’s last contest so I was stoked to get to see her surf in her last contest in her home state of Hawaii. Well the webcast goes down after Steph’s kick ass waves. Rochelle finally gets a nice one and that’s all I get to see. I was looking so forward to seeing Amee and Bevo’s heat too, especially with Bevo’s WCT hopes on the line. That heat would have been something to witness. They have both been surfing so well, it was no telling how that one could have gone.

Regardless, I was stoked to get to see KK surfing again. I miss seeing her on the tour. It would be so cool if she returned in 2008.

I guess I’ll just have to wait and read about the results later.

Categories: General, Ocean\'s oasis, Women\'s Pro Tour.

2007 Hurricane Season Wrap Up

We had an early one and everyone thought that that was a sign of things to come,ie, heavy duty season. However,it was a rather lackluster hurricane season. Funny thing, though,there is a system in the Atlantic right now and Puerto Rico is getting some surf from it. The east coast already had some swell on the way and Invest 94 is going to give it a little nudge so we should start seeing swell by Wednesday. It will be nice to have something to break up this flatness.
I also want to post an article I ran across which will wrap up the season quite nicely:

2007 Atlantic hurricane season ends, questions remain
2007 Atlantic hurricane tracks

Storm tracks of the 2007 Atlantic hurricane season courtesy NOAA

As 2007 Atlantic Hurricane Season Ends, Questions Remain

Surfersvillage Global Surf News, 3 December, 2007 : – – As the 2007 Atlantic hurricane season officially comes to a close on November 30, NOAA scientists are carefully reviewing a set of dynamic weather patterns that yielded lower-than-expected hurricane activity across the Atlantic Basin. As a result, the United States was largely spared from significant landfalling storms. However several noteworthy events took place, including two back-to-back Category 5 hurricanes hitting Central America and the rapid near-shore intensification of the single U.S. landfalling hurricane.

As a whole, the 2007 Atlantic hurricane season produced a total of 14 named storms, including six hurricanes, two of which became major hurricanes. NOAA’s August update to the seasonal forecast predicted 13 to 16 named storms – of which seven to nine would be hurricanes, including three to five major hurricanes of Category 3 strength or higher. An average season has 11 named storms, with six becoming hurricanes, including two major hurricanes.
Tracks of all named storms of the 2007 season; Stronger-than-predicted winds over the Caribbean and western tropical Atlantic led to stronger wind shear- limiting storm formation, duration, and intensity.
“The 2007 Atlantic hurricane season produced the predicted number of named storms, but the combined number, duration and intensity of the hurricanes did not meet expectations,” said Gerry Bell, Ph.D., lead seasonal hurricane forecaster at NOAA’s Climate Prediction Center. “The United States was fortunate this year to have fewer strong hurricanes develop than predicted. Normally, the climate patterns that were in place produce an active, volatile hurricane season.”


Categories: General, Ocean\'s oasis.

Rochelle Ballard to retire


HONOLUA BAY, Maui (Friday, Dec. 7, 2007) – Legendary ASP tour veteran Rochelle Ballard (HAW) will cap off her esteemed and ground-breaking career at the Billabong Pro Maui presented by Hawaiian Airlines from Dec. 8 – 20, 2007.

Ballard has officially announced her retirement following the completion of the 2007 ASP Women’s World Tour, and is pleased that her career will culminate at home in Hawaii.

“Honolua Bay is a very special place,” Ballard said.  “It is an amazing wave and one of my favorite events on tour.  I am so happy to be at home finishing off my last event as a touring pro.    I have enjoyed many amazing experiences over the years and have seen so much change and grow on tour.  To finish it at a barreling righthand pointbreak is a win win experience no matter what the result.”

The Hawaiian’s storied journey throughout the ranks of the ASP World Tour has seen her rise as high as No. 2 in the world in 2004, as well as collect a number of victories including the Gunston 500, the Billabong Pro at Burleigh Heads, the U.S. Open, among others.  However, despite the countless accolades she has acquired, Ballard will most miss her companions on tour.

“Traveling with my best mates on tour especially my best friend Megan (Abubo) is what I’ll miss most after this season,” Ballard said.    “We have always amped each other up so much.  Also, visiting old friends in the countries we go to and eating at my favorite cafe’s around the world…and all the sick parties on tour weren’t so bad either.”

Although Ballard is looking forward to a bit of a respite after over a decade of competing against the world’s best, she shows no signs of slowing down.  Look for the powerful natural-footer to continue pushing the limits of high-performance surfing as she watches the next wave of professional surfers take on the ASP Women’s World Tour.

“I think it’s amazing what the younger girls are doing, and I am so excited to enjoy watching them,” Ballard said.  “I look forward to continuing to be a part of their careers.  I’m a kid at heart and always will be.”

Ballard will join the rest of the girls on the ASP Top 17 in Maui, including ASP World Title contenders Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), Sofia Mulanovich (PER) and Silvana Lima (BRA).

The Billabong Pro Maui pres. By Hawaiian Airlines will begin its waiting period on Dec. 8, 2007 and have until Dec. 20, 2007 to complete the event.  Only two full days of competition are required to complete the event, and event organizers will look to run in the best conditions possible.

All Billabong Pro Maui action will be webcast LIVE via and

Categories: General, WCT Archives, Women\'s Pro Tour.

Sofia gives Gilmore a run for the title



Roxy Pro Hawaii
Stop No. 7 of 8 on the ASP Women’s World Tour
Sunset Beach, Hawaii
Nov. 25 – Dec. 6, 2007



SUNSET BEACH, Hawaii (Thursday, Nov. 29, 2007) – Former ASP World Champion Sofia Mulanovich (PER) tamed 8 to 10 foot (three metre) surf at Sunset Beach to win the Roxy Pro Hawaii today. Her victory has put her just 101 points behind ratings leader Stephanie Gilmore (AUS) and put her well and truly in the race to win her second World Title heading into the final event on the 2007 ASP Women’s World Tour in Maui next week.

“It’s pretty amazing, I really never thought of a World Title coming here,” Mulanovich said. “I just wanted to have fun, surf wave by wave, and just have a good contest. But now it’s on, it’s so on!”

The victory is her second on the 2007 ASP Women’s World Tour and the 8th of her World Tour career. It is also Mulanovich’s first ASP World Tour rated win in Hawaii.

“I’m just stoked,” Mulanovich said. “Sunset can be such a perfect wave. I really want to thank Rochelle Ballard for helping me out with my board choice, she pushed me to use that board and it really paid off. Thanks to everyone who helped me out, my boyfriend who was my caddie and my longtime sponsor Roxy for another great event.”

Mulanovich finished the four-woman final with 13.73 points to Amee Donohoe’s (AUS) 10.83, Samantha Cornish’s (AUS) 7.64 and Jessi Miley-Dyer’s (AUS) 6.40 points. Donohoe, who only needed a mid-range score to take the lead, was understandably disappointed to miss out on her first World Tour win but has jumped to 5th on the ratings with the result.

“I’ll be honest – it’s a good result but to sum it in two words, second sucks,” Donohoe said. “There was a turning point when I took off on a wave with like three minutes to go because I didn’t realize that there was a bigger set coming through behind that one. I just took off on a shoulder and when I turned around there were three waves with the scoring potential to easily get a 6.0. That was the point where I just got really frustrated. I knew I had made a mistake. Everyone is a good competitor and you can’t give anyone an inch.”


Categories: General, Women\'s Pro Tour.