Print and Go Back ESPN.com: Surf [Print without images]

Monday, October 13, 2008
Fast Layne Exit


It seems that womens professional surfing icon, Layne Beachley, has announced her retirement from full time competition at the end of this season.

Layne Beachley, the most winningest women's pro surfer ever.

But hell, what does that mean anymore? Just ask somebody like Kelly or Brett Farv-ray, or Favre — that old dude with the eternal 5'oclock shadow that plays for the Jets now.

Beachley is a seven-time world champ. She first came on the scene in '89, locked up with Lisa Anderson for some epic showdowns, won her first world title in '98 and her most recent in 2006. She notched an astounding 29 career victories, and was voted Australian Female Athlete of the Year in '03.

"There's been millions of highlights," Beachley said. "I think every time that I stopped in my tracks and had to pinch myself and ask 'is this real?' have been the highlights of my life. Finding myself in the most random places on Earth, donning a bikini with a board under my arm and just staring out into the ocean in disbelief that I get to do that for a living. One of the greatest achievements was winning my first event back in 1993 and winning my first ASP Women's World Title back in 1998. Those were both enormous acheivements for me."

Beachley surfed the quaterfinals earlier today, of her own signature event — the Beachley Classic in Manly, AUS. I suspect a deserved standing ovation.
It's doubtful that Beachley's retirement is going to involve a track suit and bridge club.

Beachley will most certainly get event invites next season, and she plans to graciously accept them, but feels it's time to pursue other avenues full-time.

"I have my own brand, Beachley Athletics, which I really want to put a lot more time and energy and effort into," Beachley said. "I don't think it's achieving the success it deserves because I can't commit enough resources to it. I have my charity, Aim for the Stars.. I've just begun promoting my book, Beneath the Waves. I will still stage the Beachley Classic. I love women's surfing. I'm really passionate about it. Just because I'm walking away from the Tour doesn't mean I'm walking away from women's surfing. I'll still be there as a supporter and a believer and also pursuing a career in the media."

The classy lady will be missed.