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THE WOMEN OF RED BULL HEAVY WATER: ANDREA MOLLER

We are days/weeks away from a formative event in the history of women’s SUP racing. The Red Bull Heavy Water in San Francisco, CA – a world class SUP race which is held in a 10 foot plus swell requirement – is welcoming women into their midst.


For the first time in the history of event, the APP World Tour and Red Bull Heavy Water have added 10 formidable females to be the first women contestants for this extreme SUP event.


We caught up with legendary Brazilian-American canoeist & big wave charger Andrea Moller to get her perspective.


Aside from her renowned experience as downwind queen, Moller is a big wave surfer at heart. Charging 40-foot waves at Pe’ahi (AKA “Jaws”) is at the root of Andrea’s passion as a waterwoman.

APP:  How is the Red Bull Heavy Water a new event experience for you?

AM:  First of all I’m honored to be invited.  I’m definitely excited to see women being a part of this amazing event.  Red Bull Heavy Water has a unique format that I’ve never done before.  In between seven miles of flat water and huge surf, the challenge is huge!


APP:  Have you done any training on Ocean Beach?  If so, what are your impressions?

AM:  I’ve surfed Ocean Beach before, on a surfboard, on small days  – never on a SUP. The main impression is that the current can get crazy strong.


In 2005, Andrea crossed the Ka’iwi Channel competing with the men as part of the first female Stand Up team, together with Maria Souza to cross the grueling 32-mile Molokai to Oahu, Ka’iwi channel. Today Andrea holds the world record in this crossing.

APP:  How does the Red Bull Heavy Water help elevate the status of women in the realm of big wave surfing?

AM:  Red Bull Heavy Water requires a high level of ocean skills which definitely pushes everyone’s limit, whether you’re a man or woman, to the max.  This invitational event will allow women to showcase their talents in this arena and help with the whole progression of the sport.


APP:  What’s your greatest wish/what do you want to see happen?

AM:  For now, all I really want is to experience this format and hope everyone plays safe in the surf.  It will be interesting to see how we feel in the surf after a 7.5-mile flat water race.


In 1998, Andrea followed a dream to move to Maui where she became a paramedic and professional water athlete. She has dedicated her life to many water sports, focusing her biggest passion on surfing big waves, paddling outrigger canoes and SUP. She began paddling in 1999 to keep herself physically trained, took the sport seriously, and has become internationally recognized as an outstanding waterwoman.

APP:  Any advice to the women who might NOT have your big wave experience and who are perhaps more nervous than you about the event?

AM:  My biggest advice is to get out there and spend some time on bigger surf.  I’m just as nervous and challenged.  Stand up paddle racing in huge surf is a lot different then regular surf.  The challenge will be huge for all of us.


ABOUT RED BULL HEAVY WATER

The Red Bull Heavy Water is an invitation-only extreme open water SUP racing event wherein 36 elite athletes compete across a 7.5 mile course within the raging currents under the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, CA.  After the grueling course, to finish the race,  athletes have to complete a 3-pronged surf battle (SUP sprints in and out of the breaking surf zone) to finish at Ocean Beach.


Prize money for this event is unparalleled in the world of stand up paddling as men & women will compete for prize money totaling $75K.  The greatest names in the sport are in the line up.  The action will ALL be available LIVE through Red Bull and the APP World Tour’s LIVE BROADCAST via Facebook and partner websites.


The APP World Tour and Red Bull are currently in a holding pattern (or “On Call”) to create the exact date for the event.  The waiting period runs from 15th October – 2nd November, 2018. Event organizers require a swell height large enough (10’+) in order to call the event.


Stay tuned at www.appworldtour.com and our Facebook and Instagram (@appworldtour ) pages for up-to-date information on this monumental program getting ready to be unleashed in Ocean Beach this month!


Written by:  Evelyn O’Doherty Online Editor / APP World Tour