Jessi’s On A New WaveAfter more than six years on the professional surfing world tour, Bronte’s Jessi Miley-Dyer has finally made it to the top – but not as a competitor.
Jessi has swapped her competition singlet for more ‘formal’ attire in her new role as ASP Women’s World Tour Manager.
It’s a far bigger challenge for the 25-year-old former junior world champion, but a challenge she is looking forward to after the appeal of competitive surfing ran out of steam.
“My heart wasn’t really in competing anymore,” she said. “I didn’t re-qualify for the 2012 tour and I wasn’t upset at all.
“The passion/drive to win events is important, so when I didn’t have that anymore I knew my time was up. Surfing in contests has been a massive part of my life since I was fourteen and I figured it was time for me to do something new.”
Jessi is now responsible for all women’s surfing events – as well as new events and marketing and sponsorship of the women’s tour – and she said she will also be looking to add a few more events for the girls.
And, as well as being a part of the ‘Dream Tour’ in a management role, one of the more appealing aspects is it’s a job that pays!
“For the past two years or so I really have made nothing,” Jessi said. “The last couple of months on tour my credit card started declining every second time I used it, which is always a good indication that you need to fix your cash flow… ha ha. To have a real pay check is going to be a welcome change.”
She said women’s surfing was still strong despite the industry, overall, being in “a spot of trouble”, but it was important to focus on the events that were in place rather than chasing new contests or worrying about events that had already been lost.
“Pushing individual athletes’ stories is going to increase interest in the events as spectators become emotionally attached. But the way I see it I’m there to show the story of the group as opposed to working for one or two stars, because everyone already knows their story.”
And what does the future hold for the women’s tour?
“Women’s surfing has never been stronger and the interest in the girls as surfers has never been higher – especially as progression comes more into play,” Jessi said.
“Obviously the new star in women’s surfing is (Hawaiian) Carissa Moore – at 18, the youngest world champion ever.
“However, Sally Fitzgibbons really pushed her through 2011, which was a great rivalry to watch. The new ones coming up are Americans like Lakey Peterson and Sage Erickson, and Hawaii’s Malia Manuel. And Steph (Gilmore) is always there.”
What about new events?
“Any new event is welcome,” Jessi said.
“What about the Bondi Rescue Pro at Bondi? Put Harries in a bikini and I will give him a wildcard!”
The 2012 women’s world tour kicks off with the Roxy Pro on the Gold Coast from February 27 to March 7. To find out more visit www.aspworldtour.com.