So... We released the first episode of The WSL Vault today - the 2007 Quiksilver Pro Gold Coast Championship Tour event.
It is incredible. The waves were pumping at Snapper Rocks, the world's best surfers were in the midst of then-8x World Champion Kelly Slater's second ascension, the surfing -- from top-to-bottom -- was unbelievable, and the fashion was questionable at best.
Joel Parkinson, Bede Durbidge, Mick Fanning, Slater, Josh Kerr, Taj Burrow and Ben Dunn all into the Quarterfinals - seven of eight Australians, in the time before the rise of the Brazilian Storm - and all of them taking off behind the rock, heat after heat.
What's not incredible ... there's no women's surfing in the highlight show. Was there a women's event? Absolutely.
The 2007 Roxy Pro Gold Coast was hotly contested, but a sad sign of how far we've had to come in the surfing world is that there was no highlight show for the women's tour back in the ‘00s. So, while we hope the entire surfing world enjoys the trek down memory lane with the WSL Vault episodes, we'll be doing what we can to remind everyone that the women were in the water and pushing it just as hard as they ever have.
10 Things to Know About the 2007 Roxy Pro Gold Coast:
1. Who was the Runner-Up? None other than reigning four-time WSL Champion Carissa Moore. How is that possible if this event happened 13 years ago? Great question. She was 14-years-old. That's right, Carissa Moore - at 14 years young - took on the world's best surfers and made the Final. A sign of things to come.
2. Okay then, did Stephanie Gilmore win? In point of fact, she didn't! At 17, Steph won the 2005 Roxy Pro Gold Coast as a wildcard playing hooky from Palm Beach High School and announced herself as the generational talent...multi-generational talent I guess. She would go on to win her first of seven World Titles in 2007, but it didn't start with a win at home on the Gold Coast - she finished 5th, losing to the eventual winner in the Quarterfinals, who was…
3. Chelsea Hedges. The 2005 Women's World Champion was/is one of the greatest goofyfooters to ever step foot on board. In fact, her 2007 Gold Coast win was the last time a goofyfooter took that event out...until Caroline Marks ended the drought with her win in 2019.
4. Who had a bad event? Well, shockingly enough, 2004 Women's World Champion Sofia Mulanovich and Hawaiian style master Rochelle Ballard were the two that went down in Round 2 with Equal 17ths.
5. Silvana Lima, one of two Brazilians on tour alongside Jacqueline Silva, was into her first of several runs at the elite Championship Tour, and she blazed her way to a Semifinal finish, losing to eventual winner Chelsea Hedges.
6. Jessi Miley-Dyer, current VP of Tours, was holding it down for the goofyfooters alongside Hedges, the only two out of the Top 17, but didn't fare as well in the 2007 Gold Coast event, going down to Amee Donohoe in Round 3.
7. Rosanne Hodge, current WSL Commentator and Co-Host of World Surf Weekly, was a rookie amongst the world's best in 2007, but she too fell short in Round 3 against veteran Melanie Redman-Carr.
8. Redman-Carr was one of two surfers from Western Australia on the women's tour in 2007, the other being the then-youngster Claire Bevilacqua, who now surfs for Italy on the Qualifying Series.
9. The national makeup of the Top 17 in 2007 was 47% Australian, 23% Hawaiian (remember, they are a sovereign surfing nation), 12% Brazilian, with France, South Africa and Peru each taking 6% a piece.
10. The entirety of the event was ran at the primary venue of Snapper Rocks - all 23 heats over three days - even though the 2007 Roxy Pro Gold Coast event had the mobility options of Duranbah, Rainbow Bay, Greenmount, Kirra, Burleigh Heads and Stradbroke Island at its disposal.