FINISHED WITH THE TOUR, STILL SHREDDING
With seven ASP world titles, countless victories, and the place as the most successful female professional surfer ever, Layne Beachley finally passed on the torch in October of this year. To celebrate her lifetime of accomplishments and her recent engagement to long time boyfriend Kirk Pengilly, friends, family and industry supporters hosted a tear-inducing and bubbly-popping surprise celebration for Layne this past week. Known for being one of the most prominent cataylsts for the advancement of women’s pro surfing, there was no shortage of surfers and friends to show their support at the Waimea gala. Included in the guest list were fellow World Champions and friends Lisa Anderson (4x World Champ), Sofia Mulonovich (1x World Champ), and Stephanie Gilmore (current 2x World Champ), who all dipped their straws in the cocktail-filled ASP world title cup.
To add to the smiles and overall jolly and sentimental mood of the night were the guest’s Layne costumes. The theme of the night was “dress like Layne.” This exploded into a mélange of Oakley and Zinc-faced, bandaged (from the famous fin accident in Japan circa 97’), big bikini-bottomed Layne look-alikes who took the opportunity to add some good-hearted roast-worthy moments to the night’s events. To top off the night, Layne received some great gifts, including a special Pipeline book from Sean Collins and the folks at Surfline in which all the guests from the evening signed.
Surprised, overjoyed and with eyes glistening, Layne showed her appreciation for the flood of support from the industry, former world champions, the surf media, and industry execs, saying, “this is the best night of my life!”
Despite what many would consider “retirement” to imply, don’t expect this to be the last the surfing community will see from Layne. Right now she’s in Maui competing in the last event of the year no one would be surprised to see her finish off her career with a win at the Billabong pro. She will continue to work on her own brand Beachley, and has just released her autobiography, Beneath the Waves. Rest assured, this Pipline-sized wave of success has no plans of slowing down.