Friday, December 6, 2002


Christian joins the club

Star-Bulletin staff

Julia Christian turned a four-year dream into reality by winning the Turtle Bay Resort Women's Pro on the North Shore yesterday, earning a berth on the 2003 ASP World Championship Tour.

Kauai's Keala Kennelly took second place with Sofia Mulanovich in third and Australian Prue Jeffries fourth. The Turtle Bay Resort Women's Pro is the second leg of the women's Vans Triple Crown of Surfing.

Christian caught the fewest waves of all four finalists -- just three rides -- but made them count. Her first two scores of 6.67 and 5.93 were the best scores of the heat with the exception of Kennelly's 7.5-point ride. Christian won 12.6-11.73.

"I lost early in the Roxy Pro at Haleiwa and I thought it was all over for me," said Christian of her qualification chances. "I'm in disbelief. I'm so excited. I'll be going to Maui to surf in the trials of the Billabong Pro next week. That will be my first taste of WCT competition and I'm looking forward to seeing what I'm in for next year. I'm feeling pretty good about it right now so we'll see how it goes."

Kennelly scored the best ride of the heat but narrowly missed out on the win due to the lack of a strong second ride score.

"I don't normally surf this wave very well," Kennelly said. "I had one great score in the beginning of the heat but I got caught inside and couldn't get back out for a while. I think we got really lucky today, it was glassy and clean. I've surfed many contests here and the conditions were never this good. But it was still a matter of being in the right place at the right time for the good scores."

World champion Layne Beachley, Hawaii's Rochelle Ballard and Menczer were among those sent home early.

The women's Triple Crown Series now moves to Maui for the final women's WCT event of the year, Dec. 8-20.

Vans Triple Crown of Surfing

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