Billabong Girls Pro Rio On, Potential Champion Crowned Today

RIO DE JANEIRO, Brazil (Wednesday, September 17, 2008) - After five consecutive lay days, the Billabong Girls Pro Rio is back in the water with the possibility of crowning a champion by day's end.

Event No. 4 of 8 on the 2008 ASP Women's World Tour, the Billabong Girls Pro Rio is seeing improved conditions in the three foot (1 metre) range this morning with the Quarterfinals scheduled to begin at 7am.

"We've awoke this morning to much calmer conditions today with surf in the three foot (1 metre) range on offer at the main venue of Barra da Tijuca," Brooke Farris, ASP Women's World Tour Manager, said. "We'll be starting competition with the Quarterfinals at 7am with the possibility of powering through the Finals should conditions remain contestable."

Today's competition will feature some important match-ups in the race for the 2008 ASP Women's World Title.

Stephanie Gilmore (AUS), 20, reigning ASP Women's World Champion and current No. 1 on the 2008 ASP Women's World Tour ratings, has elimnated local wildcard Maria Tita Tavares (BRA), 32, from Billabong Girls Pro Rio competition and will face another Brazilian in Dream Tour veteran Jacqueline Silva, 29, in Quarterfinal 2.

Sofia Mulanovich (PER), 25, former ASP Women's World Champion and current No. 2 on the 2008 ASP Women's World Tour will battle powerbroker Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS), 22, in Quarterfinal 3 while Layne Beachley (AUS), 36, former seven-time ASP Women's World Champion and current No. 3 on the 2008 ASP Women's World Tour, will take on local favorite Silvana Lima (BRA), 23, in Quarterfinal 4.

Up first will be defending event champion Samantha Cornish (AUS), 27, against Melanie Bartels (HAW), 26, in Quarterfinal 1.

The Billabong Girls Pro Rio will be webcast LIVE via www.billabongpro.com/rio08 beginning at 7am.

For more information, log onto www.aspworldtour.com

Billabong Girls Pro Rio Quarterfinal Match-Ups:

Quarterfinal 1: Samantha Cornish (AUS) vs. Melanie Bartels (HAW)
Quarterfinal 2: Jacqueline Silva (BRA) vs. Stephanie Gilmore (AUS)
Quarterfinal 3: Sofia Mulanovich (PER) vs. Jessi Miley-Dyer (AUS)
Quarterfinal 4: Silvana Lima (BRA) vs. Layne Beachley (AUS)