O’Neill Europe is pleased to confirm the names of the world-class surfers now preparing to embark on the second edition of O’Neill The Mission. Billed as the ultimate freesurf contest challenge, The Mission 2007 will set the stage for a hand-picked selection of the world’s best surfers to explore and tame French Polynesia’s heaviest reef breaks from 27th May – 4th June 2007.
With only a few days to go before the action gets underway and with a prize purse totaling US$50,000, eight of the most exciting names in professional surfing have accepted invitations to board the 120ft luxury Haumana yacht before competing in this creative and mobile contest.
Leading the charge is big wave specialist Ian Walsh (HAW). The O’Neill team rider will be back once again to defend the crown he won in such emphatic style in 2006. One thing is certain, though: Walsh will have his work cut out for him if he’s to repeat his victory this time around – former elite ASP Men’s World Championship Tour competitors and fellow O’Neill team riders Jarrad Howse (AUS) and Roy Powers (HAW) will both be vying for top honors. Meanwhile, 17-year-old surf phenom Clay Marzo (HAW) completes the Hawaiian trio aboard the Haumana and will be determined to make a name for himself on the global stage.
With the winner set to pocket an incredible US$25,000, O’Neill team rider Justin Mujica (PRT) and wild card competitor Patrick Beven (FRA) will both need to step things up in the monster-sized waves if they’re to stand any chance of walking away with the winner’s check. Two wild card surfers who should have few problems getting comfortable in the line-up include recent Billabong Pro trials winner Manoa Drollet (PYF) and Michel Bourez (PYF). Having grown up just around the corners from Teahupoo, these guys will be looking to make local knowledge pay.
These eight surfers, accompanied by special invited guest and current WCT competitor Caroline Sarran (FRA), are all scheduled to arrive in the Tahitian capital of Papeete later this week before making their way to the chain of atolls in the Tuamotus. Once there, 12 staff will welcome them aboard the Haumana ahead of an incredible week-long hunt for picture-perfect barrels. The icing on the cake comes in the form of a 6-7ft swell, forecast to hit by this weekend.
While the remote and mobile nature of the contest makes live webcastings next to impossible, O’Neill will be posting daily reports and videos showcasing all the highlights on the new event website – www.oneilleurope.com/themission