UPDATE March 10, 2015: Due to decreased swell activity on Australia's Gold Coast the Heritage Series heat between Layne Beachley and Lisa Andersen has been postponed. The specialty event will now run between September 9 - 20, 2015 during the Trestles Women's Pro event window.
The Roxy Pro Gold Coast, the opening event of the 2015 World Surf League (WSL) Samsung Galaxy Championship Tour (CT), will play host to the first Heritage Series of the year. The specialty contest will see fierce rivals and true legends of the sport, Lisa Andersen (USA) and Layne Beachley (AUS), face off on Australia's Gold Coast for the inaugural women's Heritage Heat.
Andersen and Beachley hold a staggering 11 World Titles between them and this heat will be a rematch of their 2000 Final at Snapper Rocks, when Beachley defeated Andersen on her way to claiming her third World Title.
The WSL Heritage Series, which celebrates the rich culture and history of professional surfing and is designed to honor the icons of the sport, was launched at the J-Bay Open in 2014 where surfing legends Tom Curren and Mark Occhilupo squared off in rifling Jeffreys Bay. Curren emerged victorious, securing a Perfect 10-point ride in the process. Martin Potter and Brad Gerlach revived their rivalry and battled at Trestles, with Gerlach taking the win. Finally, the Billabong Pipe Masters saw two-time World Champion Tom Carroll storm to victory against Derek Ho, Gary Elkerton and Sunny Garcia in the final Heritage Heat of the year.
Beachley holds a world-record seven World Titles, the most held by any female surfer, although current Champion Gilmore could equal her record with a win this season. Beachley also holds the record for most consecutively won Titles by a either a male or female surfer at six. She notched a total of 24 CT event wins over the course of her career before retiring in 2008.
"The last time Lisa and I competed against each other was at Snapper 15 years ago and I narrowly defeated her in the Final," Beachley said. "As usual, there was no love lost between us."
"I am extremely excited to have the opportunity to surf against Lisa again," she continued. "She was my greatest rival during my career and at the same time, a woman I have a tremendous amount of respect for. To have Snapper on our own, while rekindling our past rivalry will be a whole lot of fun. Bring it on."
After becoming Rookie of the Year in 1987, Andersen spent six years on Tour, placing Top 10 each season. Following the birth of her first child in 1993 Andersen went on to claim four consecutive World Titles in 1994, 1995, 1996, 1997. Like Beachley, Andersen tallied 24 event wins over her career before retiring in 2001.
"I always look forward to this time of year," said Andersen. "Getting out of the winter time here in California and getting out in the warm waters on the Gold Coast! I'm super excited and honored to be able to surf with Layne this year. It should be fun. I'm so excited!"