Today marks the beginning of the Swatch Girls Pro Longboard World Championship in Wanning, China.
The contest lasts five days, with 32 of the world's finest, female longboard surfers in the world competing in five rounds of competitions, as well as the quarter and semi final. The final of the competition will feature a 30 minute woman-on-woman heat, with the winner of the event also being crowned the 2012 ASP Women's Longboard World Champion. (Not to mention a cash prize of $10,000!)
The competition's host, Wanning, is on Hainan Island, which is said to be Hawaii of China, and the Swatch Girls Pro China event is helping to put women's surfing on the map in China.
This is the second year of the competition, and Swatch Pro Team Rider Kassia Meador emphasised how significant the competition is by saying, "It’s so rad to see the looks on kids faces here at the beach as they’re catching their first waves after watching the girls surf. It really feels like we’re part of something new and fresh here, and that’s the best feeling for a travelling surfer.”
Thanks to the time difference in Europe and China, day one of the competition is already complete, and we can report that Kassia Meador breezed through her heat, with Lindsay Steinriede, Jen Smith and Kelia Moniz also all advancing to round 3,with what Swatch are calling "polished performances" from all surfers.
Reading the profiles of some of the competitors is fascinating, and it just goes to show how diverse the world of female athletes and sport is.
Best of luck to all of the competitors, and we can't wait to see who comes out on top!
For more information on Swatch Girls Pro and women's longboarding, check out swatchgirlspro.com