Philippa Anderson signs on for Mattara men’s contest

Philippa Anderson will compete against the men in the Mattara Pro this weekend. Picture: Simone De PeakPHILIPPA Anderson will follow in the wake of multiple world champions Layne Beachley and Carissa Moore when she competes against the men in an ASP/WSL event this weekend at the Mattara Pro.
Shanghai night field

The Merewether natural-footer entered the one-star, qualifying series contest on Friday and is set to become just the third woman to take on the men at second-tier level on the World Surf League or Association of Surfing Professionals tour.

– PHILIPPA ANDERSON

Seven-time world champion Beachley competed against the men in the Mark Richards Pro in Newcastle at Surfest in 2004 as a wildcard. She lost to three-time world champion Andy Irons in a famous battle-of-the-sexes heat in front of 20,000 spectators.

Moore, who is close to her third world title, competed twice in her native Hawaii against the men in prime-rated contests in 2011 and did not progress past her first heats.

Although joining a select group, Anderson is no stranger to taking on the boys.

In 2013, she became the first female to compete at the Mattara Surf Classic, which has risen to WSL level this year and is celebrating its 54th edition.

She progressed past her first heat and has also had success against male opposition in the Merewether Surfboard Club open division and at their annual Ray Richards Man On Man Memorial in recent years.

With the women’s QS series finished for the year, Anderson is looking for all the competition practice she can get as she builds towards her 2016 campaign.

She fell short of the championship tour with a QS ranking of 13th this year.

“I haven’t surfed a heat in a while, so it will be good to get it all fresh,” Anderson said.

“I love competing, and I always want to win. I don’t mind that it’s against the guys. I’m not scared or anything.

“It’s just another contest.

“I’ve finished for the year, my next one won’t be until January, so I guess it will be just good to put the rashie on and get some practice. Practice makes perfect, I guess.”

She said “it won’t be easy” taking on the likes of n teammate Shane Holmes, who won Mattara in 2011, but she was ready for the challenge.

“I do the open men’s events at Merewether boardriders and I get through a couple of heats every now and again, so I’m not nervous or anything,” she said.

“I think it will just be good to surf against the guys because in boardriders they don’t go easy on me because I’m a girl, and I think that really has helped me for my heats against the girls, to just push really hard.

“I’m just excited because the guys that normally go in it surf really good, and to just be in the water and learn what they do, their tactics, will be great.

“I’m still learning and I just want to get as much experience as I can and hopefully I can get through a couple of heats.”

The event is set to be held at South Bar Beach and attract a field of mostly exciting young n talent.

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