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2005 T&C Surf Women’s Pipeline Championship

IBA bodyboarding + Surfing & Longboarding
Pipeline, Ehukai Beach Park, North Shore, Oahu
11 - 16 March 2005

T & C Surf Women's Pipeline Championship Finalized
Victories to Australia, Hawaii & California

Surfersvillage Global Surf News , 12 March 2005: - - Honolulu, HAWAII; - Australian Kira Llewllyn (Sunshine Coast, Qld) rose to the top of the International Bodyboard Association (IBA) world rankings after a win in the T & C Surf Women's Pipeline Championship today, held at the famous Banzai Pipeline in wave face heights of four to eight feet. Along with the bodyboarders, the first ever women's shortboard competition was held this week as part of the T & C Surf Championship and was won today by 15-year-old Kauai schoolgirl Alana Blanchard (Hanalei). The longboard final was taken out by Californian Kim Hamrock (Huntington Beach), the oldest competitor in the event at 44 years of age.

For Llewllyn, her victory today over Daniella Ronquillio (Brazil), Mandy Zieren (Australia), and Caroline Casemiro (Brazil), signals a changing of the guard. For over a decade, Brazilian women have dominated international pro bodyboarding competition, but their super-power hold on the sport has only served to fuel women from other nations to push for a higher level.

"It's a changing of the guard for sure," said Llewllyn, 21, who has won at Pipeline before and is no stranger to the finals. "For a couple of years now there have been Australians making finals - today there was myself and Mandy - and I think we put a bit of a whirlwind into the lineup. The Brazilian domination has had such an effect that the rest of the world wants a piece of it."

While conditions for the final were highly contestable at a clean height of 4-8 feet offering top wave scores in the 6-8 point range for Lllewllyn and Ronquillio in the final, it was actually a lot smaller than Llewllyn would have liked it. The bodyboarders are well regarded for their fearless charging at the Pipeline.

"It was a bit small, but there were still some good barrels, and you can hardly say it's not that good if it's barreling! But all year long we look forward to surfing at Pipeline because it's a wave that you can rely on to be big and powerful. I think we would have enjoyed it even more if it had been a bit bigger, but it was fun."

All of today's winners received $500.

Blanchard was somewhat of a surprise champion in the shortboard division, eliminating world No.8 ranked Melanie Bartels and four other women to claim first place. Conditions in her final were a little inconsistent, offering only the occasional barrel and not a whole lot of open-faced rides. But Blanchard found her way onto the longest, cleanest waves to emerge a clear-cut champion of the event. She surprised none more than herself with the win.

"I just wanted to come here and do the best I could," Blanchard said of her intentions for the competition. "I didn't think I had that many good rides, but I guess it was the same for everyone."

Blanchard's top two scores of 6.83 and 6.33, each out of a possible 10, pushed her 2.5 points clear of second placed Crystal Dzigas (Honolulu). Third place was 14-year-old Punalu'u surfer Ashley Hunter, followed by Brenda Fried (Haleiwa), Melanie Bartels (Waianae), and Kim Hamrock (California) in fourth through sixth respectively.

Hamrock and Dzigas were surfed out by the conclusion of the day's competition, having worked their way through semi-finals and finals of both the shortboard and longboard divisions today.

Dzigas had the crowd going during the final of the shortboard when she pulled into a dredging barrel at the right-hander known as Backdoor Pipe. While she was unable to clear her way through it, it was still regarded as the best tube-ride of the competition.

"I could hear the guys out there (close to the break) yelling for me to go, so I went," said 21-year-old Dzigas. "I always thought that Pipeline was for the guys, but now I'm ready for another one of these events!"

Like the bodyboarders, Hamrock, the winner of the longboard final, probably wished the waves had been a little bigger. A professional surfer for over 20 years, now a mother of four close-to-grown children, Hamrock was just happy to be free to travel to Hawaii and compete in the event. She tapped into a perfect rhythm in the longboard final and had every long, open-faced wave available.

"This was a really awesome competition," said Hamrock. "I'm just happy to have been in it. I am so impressed with the way the girls are surfing. For me, it's just a blessing to be out there. It was so much fun."

The overall consensus was that the inaugural T & C Surf Women's Pipeline Championship was a total success. As the first ever stand-alone women's surfing event at Pipeline, offering three separate division, the event attracted a total of 96 competitors from nine nations.



1st - Alana Blanchard (Hanalei)
2nd - Crystal Dzigas (Honolulu)
3rd - Ashley Hunter (Punalu'u)
4th - Brenda Fried (Haleiwa)
5th - Melanie Bartels (Waianae)
6th - Kim Hamrock (Huntington Beach, CA)


1st - Kira Llewllyn (Australia)
2nd - Daniella Ronquillio (Brazil)
3rd - Mandy Zieren (Australia)
4th - Caroline Casemiro (Brazil)


1st - Kim Hamrock (Huntington Beach, CA)
2nd - Crystal Dzigas (Honolulu)
3rd - Alex Florence (Haleiwa)
4th - April Grover (Haleiwa)
5th - Marlene Gonzales (Haleiwa)
6th - Caron Farnham (Australia)

The official surfline for the contest and surrounding events will be   
It will be broadcast live via the internet with
Contest t-shirts will be available at all seven T&C Surf locations and online at

SUPPORTING SPONSORS: Nextel, First Hawaiian Bank, Surf & Sea, Seaductive Surfwear,, and

Previous reports:
# 1 : T&C Surf Women’s Pipeline Championship set for Friday
# 2 : Historic day as women surf alone at the Banzai Pipeline....

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Betty Depolito

Melissa Ann Pampulov  

Better than Blue Crush!!!!!!!!
Banzai Betty will host First Ever Women's Stand Up Surfing Event at the Banzai Pipeline! After several years of controversy, contemplation and contempt women will finally get their day at the Pipeline. For years by-standers have wondered why women weren't included in the ASP event at Pipe, but surfers would always say it was because the world famous surf break was too dangerous for the women. Even the women themselves have been divided about whether or not they would want to compete atPipeline. For the past several years permits for Pipeline have been so
tight that a women's event at there or any new event there seemed impossible.

Ironically, local women surfers who have been getting edged out of the Northshore contests for the past several years may have been the catalyst which sealed the deal. Around the turn of the century, women lost their honorary event at Sunset, first to the WCT girls, then all together. This year the last standing womens WQS again became limited to WCT girls, confirming to local girls that they would have no pro event in Hawaii this year. Fortunately, this may have been the push the women needed
to get their Pipe permit from the city. Not only will the contest do justice to local surfers, but to all women surfers who want to have a chance to compete in a sizable reef break. Unlike the men's tour, speciality or extreme women are not offered a day of trials heats at breaks such as Teaupoo, Fiji, or Honolua and the WQS tour is composed of beach breaks and small surf.The Pipe event has the potential to breed a whole new generation of women surfers and women's events.

You couldn't find a better person than Banzai Betty to host the first ever women's surfing event at the Banzai Pipeline. With a nickname like Banzai, you shouldn't have to ask if she surfed the Pipeline; she also pioneered places like Waimea, and Sunset Beach. In 1978 Betty became California WISA champion for which she was awarded a a wild card entry and ticket to travel to Oahu and compete in the Smirnoff Pro.That year she placed third in ten foot waves at Sunset Beach and never left the Northshore. Since then Betty has been a strong force behind what has pushed women's surfing to a whole new level. In the early 90s she began her career as a videographer, being one of the first women to film from the water and the first media person to really focus on the women. Betty made it a point to get women's surfing on television, pushing the woman's image and producing all women videos. It is from this perspective perhaps that most inspired Betty to have a women's contest at Pipe. "It is the most photographed wave" says Betty who explains how the variety of water angles and close proximity to the Beach will allow for great coverage which will "show off women's surfing" On the other hand she explains that "Pipeline is not a wave for everyone, but the girls who do go out and appreciate a steep take off should have an opportunity to see where they stand against all the other women." Though many complain that women don't have the ability to surf Pipe Betty feels very passionately that "women should get the opportunity to try, to build up their talent out there and gumption", When she is not filming or surfing, Betty works at KHON TV2 televsion in Honolulu in the areas of news production, audio technician, graphic artist, assistant directing and of course does the surf report. Other than being a competitive surfer rated in the top 10 for years on the world tour, Betty has a history of experience with directing, commentating and promoting surf contests. She helped to organize the WISA circuit back in the 70s and put together the first women's bodyboarding event at Pipeline in 1986. She has worked for companies such as XCEL, ASP, Dateline, Fox, Outdoor life network and ESPN. When it comes to women's surfing; you might just call her the Queen B.

The first women's surfing event at Pipe will be held between the holding period of March 11-16 in conjunction with the women's bodyboarding championships to kick off the GOB tour. It should be an interesting experience for the women to compete with other waterwomen instead of with the men. It should build new bridges in the world of womens sports.The Pipeline surfing Champion, The Pipeline Bodyboarding Champion and The Hawaiian Champions in both divisions will be crowned. The 2 day event will include bodyboarding and surfing and will have two expression session heats for any women that want to go out. Betty has invited some surfing legends like Jericho Poppler and Linda Benson to be a part of the festivities and plans on showing all girl movies in the community all week to build the hype. Betty hopes to run the event in anywhere from 2-8 feet surf and says that "as the season is winding down March usually kicks in clean solid swells and westerly angles. Closing ceremonies will celebrate the event and share a story of the history of women's surfing. This event will be dedicated to Avreal, a women surfer who died surfing huge backyards around 1981.
Pipeline, Ehukai Beach Park, North Shore, Oahu