The ladies say 'Hello' to Surf City for the weekend


Surf City will be the temporary home of the women's World Qualifying

Series as the $20,000 Hello Kitty Boardfest hits the shores on the

south side of the Huntington pier tomorrow through Sunday.

The field will include 64 of the top women surfers trying to cash

in on some valuable four-star points and prizes. Some big names are

entered, like series points leader Sofia Mulanovich, U.S. Open winner

Chelsea Georgeson and Hawaiian shredder Rochelle Ballard, plus West

Coast standouts Julia Christian from Carlsbad, Palos Verde's

surfer-TV star Holly Beck and Surfside's Jodie Nelson.

Women from the U.S., Australia, France, Hawaii, South America and

New Zealand will be competing in the three-day event.

Hello Kitty is celebrating its 30-year anniversary by bringing the

surf festival here to feature women's surfing.

There's also some other fun stuff, like sandcastle building, a

tug-of-war contest, crab walk races, hula hoop and a beach obstacle

course, to name a few. Top female skateboarders Cara-Beth Burnside

and Sasha La Rochelle will demonstrate their talents, give tips and

signing autographs. Singer Lisa Loeb will be performing live on

stage. Finally, Beck will headline a daily surf clinic to educate and

instruct gals of all ages on how to take their surfing skills to the

next level.

Sounds like fun, and for all you gals into surfing, ya better get

on down there and check it out.

The World Championship Tour's Billabong Pro in Spain has been on

hold since round three with dropping swells, but the surf was

expected to pick up today through Saturday.

During the break, world champ Andy Irons won the Expression

Session by busting a massive front-side air!

The U.S. surfers are still hanging tough with A.I. and Kelly

Slater leading the way. Taylor Knox, Timmy Curran, C.J. and Damien

Hobgood, Pat O'Connell, Cory Lopez and Shane Beschen are still in and

ripping. Some of the Aussies posting some good scores were Taj

Burrow, Joel Parkinson and Dean Morrison. Some big name vets losing

out were Mark "Occy" Occhilupo, Hawaiians Sunny Garcia and Bruce

Irons and Aussie Mick Campbell. Should be some killer lefts off the

point when the swell hits at that classic historical break.

Surf Night at the Surf Theater tonight will feature the hot new

surf flick "State of S" at the Mann's Pierside Pavilion at 7 and 9

p.m. The movie is a documentary showing the beginning of the short

board revolution till today's rip roaring action. It's 30 years of

time with interviews of some of the great surfers of their eras. From

Tom Curren to Mick Fanning and even some footage of Huntington

resident Peter Townend and former resident Brad Gerlach. The

soundtrack includes Pearl Jam and some new up-and-coming bands.

There's been a couple of fun days out in the water here lately --

hope you're getting them -- and the water temp is still nice. I'm

loving it. See ya in the lineup, Fig over and out.

* RICK FIGNETTI is an nine-time West Coast champion, has

announced the U.S. Open of Surfing the last 11 years and has been the

KROQ-FM surfologist for the last 18 years, doing morning surf

reports. He owns a surf shop on Main Street. You can reach him at

(714) 536-1058.

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