Kelia Moniz is the new ASP Women’s Longboard World Champion after winning the SWATCH GIRLS PRO China 2012 hosted by Wanning in 2-3ft (shoulder high) surf. In a repeat of last year’s final, Kelia faced off against Australia’s Chelsea Williams, the defending event champion, and promptly set about a commanding display of smooth, radical longboard surfing, mixing rail-to-rail lines and classic hang-ten moves to leave Chelsea needing a combination of scores (16.05 vs. 9.5). “I can’t believe how awesome it feels, I’m so thrilled to get the win. It’s been tough with small waves this week but we were all super stoked to see the surf today on the last day of the event. Chelsea has been surfing really well all week, I knew I’d need to surf my best to beat her and I got lucky finding some really nice waves. Wow, I’m the World Champion… that’s awesome!” Kelia won the first heat of the first round on day 1 of competition and has been the outstanding surfer in every round since, showing finesse in all conditions, and thus was thoroughly deserving of her win, as Chelsea sportingly concurred. “She was the better surfer in that heat for sure, so congratulations to Kelia. It’s a bummer for me to finish runner-up again, once you get in the final you’re kinda only really thinking about winning, but it wasn’t to be. I fell off a few times and never really found my rhythm.”
“It was always going to require a bit of luck going down to last day with a lot of heats to run,” said Contest DirectorDane Jordan. “But our luck was in with the back up site picking up the new swell offering the girls some decent waves to show what they can do. Nobody wanted to finish up in tiny conditions, so we were stoked to make the call to move, and even more stoked when it paid off with some great surfing witnessed en route to crowning a new World Champion.”
With the final day of the waiting period not offering much swell at the main event site, organizers decided to go mobile and run at a spot 1 km south of Riyuewan, a reef picking up the best of the new 2-3ft (shoulder high) east swell. The decision was instantly vindicated with excellent scores being posted right through the rounds up to the final. The semis saw Summer Romero narrowly lose out to Kelia in a tight heat, while Chelsea had made short work of Karina Rozunko, the 16-year-old American making her debut in ASP competition in their semi.
Earlier, the quarters were a cosmopolitan affair, with surfers from five regions; Hawaii, USA, Australia, France and Japan represented. The equal fifth Japan’s Hiroka Yoshikawa earned for making the quarters represents Japan’s best ever finish in ASP World Title rankings, whilst China’s Wenling Chou’s equal thirteenth earlier in the week was also a new first in a great event for Far East surfing.
Stay tuned for official surf forecasts, updates, videos, news and interviews: www.swatchgirlspro.com